Returning an EPS prescription to the Spine

Returning an EPS prescription to the Spine

Three scenarios are outlined to illustrate how this feature might be used.

Scenario 1: In advance of a temporary closure

This is not a desirable situation but may occur. Depending on the planned length of time for a required temporary closure pharmacy contractors may return to Spine those non-dispensed medicines as appropriate where those may need to be dispensed by other pharmacy contractors. Read more at: EPS/IT contingencies.

Scenario 2: An electronic NHS prescription has been pulled down by a patient’s nominated pharmacy but the patient has presented in another pharmacy with an urgent need for their medication.

This is not a desirable situation. In collecting consent for nomination, it should be clearly explained to patients that once a prescription has been sent to their nominated pharmacy, they should go to that pharmacy as going elsewhere may lead to delays in their care. In exceptional circumstances, to support patient care, where a message has been pulled down to a pharmacy, as long as the prescription has not been marked as ‘dispensed’, it can be returned to the Spine using the pharmacy system. Another pharmacy will require the prescription’s unique identification number to ‘pull down’ the prescription. If the patient has been given a ‘prescription token’ by the prescriber, this can be scanned to retrieve the electronic prescription. Alternatively, the prescription identifier could be provided by the original nominated pharmacy, for example by the pharmacy printing and sending a copy of the dispensing token. The prescription identifier (an 18-character code for nominated prescriptions in Release 2) could also be passed on verbally for keying in to the pharmacy system. It is PSNC’s position that once a pharmacy contractor has retrieved a nominated prescription, followed the nomination principles and prepared it in good faith, ready for collection by the patient, it should not be mandatory for them to return it to the spine if this means that they will be denied appropriate payment. Note, Release 1 enabled dispensing systems will not be capable of retrieving electronic prescriptions generated by a Release 2 system (either from scanning the barcode or entering the 18 character code on the prescription token).

Scenario 3: An electronic NHS prescription has been pulled down by a patient’s nominated pharmacy but the nominated pharmacy is out of stock of a product and the patient needs their medicine urgently

The electronic NHS prescription can be returned to the spine using the pharmacy system. The pharmacy is able to generate a ‘dispensing’ token which the patient can take to any other Release 2 enabled pharmacy to have dispensed. It will not be possible for a Release 1 enabled pharmacy to access a dispensing token generated by a Release 2 system, therefore whilst Release 2 is being rolled out, it may be necessary to consider other contingency measures in this situation, for example referring the patient to the GP so that a paper prescription can be issued that can be taken to any pharmacy. As with paper prescriptions, all items on an electronic prescription need to be dispensed by the same pharmacy. It is not possible for some items to be dispensed at one pharmacy and some at another.

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