Reporting IT issues or feedback (EPS/IT/digital)

Reporting IT issues or feedback (EPS/IT/digital)

Read PSNC’s Reporting and feedback EPS one-pager factsheet for EPS information.

COVID-19 update (March 2020): If your pharmacy is faced with having to close temporarily and you have an outstanding question about EPS/IT please contact it@psnc.org.uk. PSNC is working with NHS Digital and other organisations regarding the arrangements in the event of a temporary closure.

Reporting and feedback processes relating to IT are set out below:

Reporting or feeding back

Apps

Refer to the ‘Feeding back or reporting about apps’ section of PSNC’s apps webpage or see also: Patient pharmacy-related choice and technology

EPS

EPS/IT and temporar closure (e.g. because of COVID-19 related issues): Please contact it@psnc.org.uk.

In addition to the Reporting EPS factsheet, another issue reported has been patients arriving at the pharmacy but their electronic prescription is not there as expected. The advice on locating a missing EPS prescription mentions the EPS Tracker can assist with resolving the issue. Or it@psnc.org.uk.

EPS nomination: Patients who wish to complain that they may be having their EPS nomination choices restricted, may complain to NHS England e.g. by writing to NHS England (england.contactus@nhs.net with ‘your prescription: your choice’ in the subject line as per the NHS nomination poster, and if they wish they may also cc the email address of their genuinely chosen pharmacy. Read more at Nomination and patient choice. Or it@psnc.org.uk.

 

Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs)

Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) using or assisting their pharmacy contractors with IT escalation routes and seeking PSNC support may also seek assistance from PSNC’s IT Lead: it@psnc.org.uk where the escalation route cannot be identified elsewhere on this webpage.

Medicine database issues

Medicine database issues: Medicinal items must be mapped against NHS medicine database and there is a reporting process outlined on this webpage. Or it@psnc.org.uk.

NHS App

In the event that NHS App is discovered to have contributed towards a clinical incident, NHS Digital maintain a reporting process set out on their NHS App reporting webpage.

NHSmail

NHSmail (see technical queries section of the main NHSmail webpage). PSNC can assist with escalation in accordance with the escalation process (psnc.org.uk/nhsmailescalation): it@psnc.org.uk.

ODS (F) code change or change of circumstance (e.g. ownership/location/PMR system)

ODS change: Pharmacy or ODS change checklist includes information about escalating ODS related items. Or it@psnc.org.uk where the checklist has not assisted with the question.

Patient pharmacy-related choice and technology

Note that in the event that a new technology may be restricting patient choice:

  • Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) web page about anti competitive practices explains that NHS England and NHS Improvement is the sector regulator for health services in England, and details of complaints processes are set out on its complaints webpage which explains that patients or heath and care staff are able to make complaints about patient choice issues. NHS England and NHS Improvement may also consider those anonymous complaints which are made in line with the suggested whistle blowing process.
  • You, patients, or health care providers may also decide to email a system provider if holding a belief that the system in question may have started to restrict a patient’s proper healthcare-related choice. Full patient choice should be maintained, regardless of the use of a particular system by a particular health care provider.
  • See also: Direction of prescriptions.

Some points are set out below which relate to patient choice and Patient Facing Services (PFS). These are also sometimes referred to as ‘GP online services’ or ‘online services’.

  • NHS Digital technically assures certain PFS. The services are: (1) Patient access to electronic health records; (2) Ordering of repeat prescription; or (3) GP appointment booking; (4) certain GP practice communication to patient.
  • Some of the providers that provide at least some of the PFSs will also work with a limited selection of pharma(cies). Some pharmacy contractors may also have their own tool or a selected tool which enables their patients to make use of PFS. Any pharmacy contractor can start to consider opportunities to help patients benefit from the use of PFS e.g. promotion of NHS App or an equivalent app/tool which allows PFS without influencing choice of pharmacy.
  • Patients have the right to choose any pharmacy to provide services for them. Patient choice of pharmacy should not be unduly influenced. Patients which believe their choice has been restricted may follow the process set-out on NHS England’s Poster/guidance on freedom of choice including patient process for complaints (pdf). The patient might request that their GP practice is not made aware of the complaint and if so, they can mention this within their complaint. They may also cc others into the complaint (e.g. the pharmacy) or may also mention within the complaint, whether the complaint can be shared with others such as the system provider, NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHS Digital, and PSNC. Patients or others may also complain in person or anonymously using the process mentioned earlier set out on the NHS England and NHS Improvement’s complaints webpage.
  • See also: the EPS nomination section of this webpage, Patient apps and their features and reporting apps, and the previously-mentioned Direction of prescriptionss webpage.

Patient Medication Record (PMR) pharmacy system suppliers: Choosing, changing or feeding back

PSNC IT/digital queries or feedback

Share any digital feedback for PSNC’s consideration at: IT feedback form.

Contact PSNC’s IT Lead/team: it@psnc.org.uk.

Summary Care Record (SCR)

Smartcards

Smartcards: Your local Registration Authority (RA) will manage card providing in your area e.g. providing new ones, adjusting roles etc. Contact details for your local RA are listed here. Also see: Smartcard escalation route which can involve it@psnc.org.uk.

Tokens (EPS)

Identifying issues with the national EPS systems

PSNC recommends pharmacy staff use both:

1) Spine alerts: Staff can register to receive text or email alerts in the event that the national NHS Digital systems that support EPS are experiencing issues.

2) Status Checker (Smartcard required): Staff can save as a ‘favourite’ website, NHS Digital service status checker webpage which provides information about the status of the national systems.

EPS Service Review findings

The NHS Digital conducted a comprehensive review of the service model in place to report issues and have these resolved.  They sought feedback from PSNC, pharmacy contractors, and other stakeholders. The review produced key recommendations such as those listed further below. Implementation of these service review recommendations is one of the dependencies before the next phase of EPS.

NHS Digital to monitor all EPS local systems

The real-time monitoring of all system issues (e.g. slow running of particular pharmacy systems) will help support resolution.

Visibility of system status

The status of all EPS systems to be made available as a clear dashboard to all end-users via the service status checker webpage mentioned above.

Pharmacy system suppliers’ platform/process to be reviewed

These reviews will look at:

  • areas of risk for resilience and produce an improvement plan to resolve vulnerabilities; and
  • suppliers’ processes in relation to recognised best practices for managing IT services.

System functionality to be reviewed

A review of changes requested to national systems. Agreed changes will be built into a work-off plan.

Pharmacy system supplier agreements to be established

New Service Level Agreements would include:

  • fix and response times for pharmacy staff who raise issues;
  • availability targets; and
  • systems to be managed in accordance with recognised quality standards (ITIL/ISO).

NHS Digital to co-ordinate resolution of high severity service incidents

Following the agreements mentioned above in point (5), the NHS Digital’s ‘Service Bridge’ (the co-ordination facility for national service incidents) to act as command and control during high severity service incidents e.g. EPS local system non-availability or inadequate performance. During a high severity incident NHS Digital to issue clear, consistent and timely communication to all stakeholders and adhere to agreed escalation paths.

 

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