NHS IT legacy projects

Published on: 30th July 2021 | Updated on: 15th March 2022

Some NHS IT projects approach later or end-of-life status (or will be replaced) such as those listed on this webpage.

EPS Release 1

In Release 1, patients still receive a paper prescription in parallel with the electronic transmission of the prescription message. The paper prescription remains the legal prescription in all circumstances. Initial implementation of Release 1 began from March 2005 and as of summer 2021 some GP practices continue to prescribe on Release 1 on occasion (such as when Release 2 prescribing is not an option).

Deploying EPS Release 1

In order to be able to use the Electronic Prescription Service pharmacy contractors need to have:

– An EPS compliant pharmacy system accredited as such by the NHS Digital. – Appropriate network connectivity to be able to operate the Electronic Prescription Service. – Staff operating the service who are registered users and have been issued with smart cards and PIN numbers under NHS England’s Registration Authority arrangements. (NB: During R1, it is only necessary for pharmacists to have smart cards or alternatively have a ‘premises’ card).

Using EPS Release 1

There are a number of reasons why pharmacies should use Release 1 of the EPS service where practical:

Through using the service, pharmacies can ensure that any remaining problems such as connectivity issues can be identified and resolved before the service becomes business critical in Release 2. If problems are identified in using the service, these must be reported to pharmacy system suppliers, ensuring the call reference number is recorded to support followup.

You can also use Release 1 prescriptions to reduce the time spent entering patient demographic information into your PMR system.

EPS Release 2

The focus now is deployment of Release 2.

Reduce time entering patient demographic information into your PMR via Release 1

Through using the service, pharmacies can ensure that any remaining problems such as connectivity issues can be identified and resolved before the service becomes business critical in Release 2. If problems are identified in using the service, these must be reported to pharmacy system suppliers, ensuring the call reference number is recorded to support followup.

Tip Topic Summary Advice
Release 1 / Nomination Use Release 1 prescriptions where presented populates your PMR with patient information.

Reduce time entering patient information: A number of pharmacies have reported that it is time-consuming to manually enter patient demographic information (e.g. NHS number which is required for Release 2 to set nomination) to change a patient’s nomination setting on the system. The lesson learned is that if the pharmacy is using EPS Release 1, the patient’s details are automatically populated on the PMR system, significantly increasing the efficiency of the nomination process.

Some pharmacies have chosen to use EPS Release 1 to support undertaking a data cleansing exercise on their local records, identifying and removing duplicates records that may exist. Once the initial link has been made, it will save time when future electronic messages or electronic prescriptions are received.

If your local GP surgery is not issuing bar-coded prescriptions, it is worth getting in contact with them to let them know that you are EPS R1 enabled and capable of processing EPS R1 prescriptions.

Related resources

Barcoded Rx (Release 1)

Shielded Patient List (SPL)

NHS Digital  previously added a ‘Shielded Patient Flag’ (previously also called Vulnerability flag) to the NHS Summary Care Record (SCR) of patients who were on the Shielded Patient List. This enabled community pharmacy teams using the SCRa application to see an alert when viewing the SCR of such a patient.

Shielded patients were generally those who were immunosuppressed and were at greater risk from infection from COVID-19; they had been asked by HM Government and the NHS to stay at home.

The Shielded Patient Flag supported pharmacy teams’ decision making about how to best support those people in the shielded group.

SPL: go-live and closure

The Shielded Patient Flag went live from April 2020.

Following the government announcement in August 2021 regarding the end of national shielding in England, the Shielded Patient List (SPL) for England closed and changes to patient risk status stopped being applied. This meant:

  • any changes to local patient risk status were no longer captured in the national SPL, or shared with other health and care system partners; and
  • the high-risk flag is not an indicator to be relied upon to assess a patient’s current risk from COVID-19 by GPs or in practice management and reporting

Information contained in the SPL was last updated at the end of September 2021.

As of November 2021, NHS Digital planned to undertake a managed closure of the SPL during late 2021 and early 2022 and planned to issue further communications.

More about Shielded Patient Flag

See legacy information at: Shielded Patient Flag factsheet

Shielded Patient Flag within SCR 1-click

SCR 1-click was previously made visible on: Cegedim Pharmacy ManagerPharmOutcomes and Sonar Informatics.

Other legacy projects

 

 

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For more information on this topic please email info@psnc.org.uk

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