Adding or changing a patient’s nomination

Adding or changing a patient’s nomination

The patient’s preference is held in a section of the central NHS Spine known as the ‘Personal Demographics Service’ (PDS). Pharmacies and GP Surgeries with Release 2 enabled systems will be able to send messages to the PDS to make a change to a patient’s nomination settings.

It will be possible to add, cancel or change a patient’s nomination settings.

Nominations must not be set, changed or cancelled unless staff involved are familiar the process for obtaining consent, have explained EPS, and have obtained informed consent.

If two pharmacies change the nomination settings for the same patient, prescriptions will be sent to the pharmacy that last set the patient nomination request. For more on which sites can be nominated see here.

Use of the NHS number to set nomination choice

Setting the nominated dispensing contractor will require the patient’s NHS number. It is increasingly common for this to be printed on NHS prescriptions and is always contained within an electronic prescription message. If a pharmacy does not have ready access to this number, Release 2 enabled systems will support pharmacy staff, with patient consent, in conducting a simple trace on the Personal Demographics Service to locate a patient’s NHS number. Pharmacy staff must enter sufficient information to achieve a 1:1 match, for example:

  • the patient’s name;
  • gender;
  • date of birth; and/or
  • postcode.

Use of Release 1 populates the NHS number field in PMR systems

A lesson learned from implementation of EPS Release 2 was that if the pharmacy is using EPS Release 1, patient’s NHS numbers are automatically populated on the PMR system, significantly increasing the efficiency of the nomination process. Where the NHS number is not available, pharmacy systems support pharmacy staff in conducting a simple trace to locate this information, however this is a slower process.

Staff involved with setting nomination

Only staff with an individually registered smartcard will be able to set a patient’s nominated dispensing site, but it is anticipated that any pharmacy staff members supporting the dispensing process will be able to apply for an individual smartcard with the appropriate access rights. Therefore, the administration of nomination change requests will not need to be undertaken by a pharmacist.

Workflow and changing nominations

Updating the patient’s nomination status can occur at a convenient time to support smooth workflow; it does not need to be carried out at the same time as dispensing a prescription.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What if a patient changes nomination but their prescriptions had been for another pharmacy?

Where a patient changes their nominated dispensing contractor, all nominated prescriptions that have not yet been retrieved (downloaded or ‘pulled down’) for dispensing from the original nominated dispensing contractor will be transferred across to the new nominated dispensing contractor. Once a nomination has been set, there is no ‘expiry’ date on the system.

Q. Will the pharmacy team be notified of a patient changes their nomination choice from our pharmacy to another?

No. Pharmacies will not be notified when they have been nominated or when the patient changes their nomination setting. However, pharmacies can, with patient consent, query a patient’s list of nominated dispensing sites, for example to aid patients who are trying to obtain their medication at an incorrect location.

Q. What controls are in place, regarding my access of patient information held on the PDS on Spine?

Every time someone accesses information held on the Personal Demographics Service, a record is made about who is accessing that data and how it is being used. This would include when a pharmacy queries a patient’s list of nominated dispensing sites. Privacy officers, in specific circumstances, are automatically alerted when actions have been taken by staff which may constitute a breach of confidentiality.

Related resources

For more on preparing/enhancing (EPS) use the buttons below:

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For more on dispensing and supply (EPS) use the buttons below:

eps arrow green-previous eps box green- home eps box green- home dispsupp-- eps arrow green-next

For more on nomination use the buttons below:

eps arrow yellow-previous eps box yellow- home- eps box yellow- nomination eps arrow yellow-next 


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