NHS and IT/EPS
NHS and IT/EPS
The following is a high level summary of some key organisations involved with the delivery of NHS IT and EPS.
NHS IT operations
NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) are responsible for undertaking a range of tasks that support pharmacies in accessing and using national NHS IT applications.
The document – Securing excellence in IT Services: Operating model for community pharmacies, appliance contractors, dental practices and community optometry – sets out NHS organisational responsibilities in relation to IT.
Where there is a national policy directive for contractors to provide a service, including the Electronic Prescription Service, NHSE&I, through its local teams may either provide support functions itself or make arrangements for commissioning support units (CSUs) or any other IT provider to deliver them.
GP IT services will be managed by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) on behalf of NHSE&I. A CCG may choose to provide support functions to GP practices itself or make arrangements to commission support from CSUs or another IT provider – whilst it is possible that in some areas, NHSE&I and CCGs will commission the same CSU to provide EPS support for pharmacies and GPs respectively, this may not always be the case
Local digital roadmaps
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have developed Local Digital Roadmaps (LDRs) which set out how the local health system will increasingly use ‘digital’ to provide improved and more efficient healthcare.
This CCG work to produce LDRs has resulted from the agenda set out within the “Personalised Health and Care 2020” (PHC 2020) framework, which said that:
- clinicians should be increasingly paperless; and
- patients should expect that those caring for them have efficient access to relevant information.
The National Information Board (NIB) sets digital health priorities to increase the chances that the PHC 2020 objectives are achieved. NIB provided guidance for CCGs to help them develop LDRs, and to help them work with Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships to do so. LDRs are intended to be refreshed over time. The NIB said that CCG-led LDRs could support:
- an interoperable approach;
- procurement of the software and hardware technologies to support appropriate information sharing across systems;
- providing business change and training support regarding new technologies that help clinicians move towards paperless workflows; and
- the use of a robust delivery plan (CCGs could refer to NIB LDR guidance annex 4 and NHSE&I delivery plan guidance).
LDRs frequently include plans to boost:
- Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) utilisation;
- Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) utilisation;
- online ordering of repeat prescriptions;
- NHSmail usage;
- e-discharge; and
- use of Summary Care Record (SCR) and other electronic health record-sharing.
To review the current LDR for your area, select your region from one of the four links below and then navigate to the LDR document which relates to your area:
Reporting and resolving issues
For technical problems using the EPS service, system suppliers are currently and should continue to be a contractor’s first point of contact, the EPS Service model should be used to have issues escalated.
There may be a need to resolve operational issues that cannot be resolved directly between GPs and pharmacists, for example if inappropriate information is being included in electronic prescriptions for printing on the right hand side of dispensing tokens. Going forward, there may be a variety of organisations involved in supporting resolution of problems; this could include relevant leads at CSUs, CCGs or local NHSE&I teams.
In some areas, local NHSE&I teams previously supported deployment by organising beneficial local awareness raising events or facilitating bringing together GPs and pharmacies to discuss business change. In many areas, this type of support will continue to be available, but in other areas, it may not. Support is available if LPCs want to independently organise events to provide support for contractors.
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If you have queries on this webpage or you require more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To share and hear views about digital developments with like-minded pharmacy team members, join the CP Digital email group today.
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