Sorting your prescriptions prior to submission

Sorting your prescriptions prior to submission

This section contains guidance for pharmacy contractors in England on submitting prescriptions to NHS Prescription Services.

Welsh contractors should refer to information on the Health Solutions Wales (HSW) website.

Pharmacy teams are able to download our Prescription Submission Factsheet for more information.

How to sort your prescriptions prior to submission

  • Remove all pins, staples, paper clips, labels or invoices from prescriptions as these will have to be manually removed before pricing and can delay processing.
  • Ensure prescriptions are submitted in the correct patient charge group (i.e. exempt, paid, and paid at old charge rate), taking extra care that no paid prescriptions are submitted within the exempt section as these will be switched. (Incorrectly filed prescriptions are a major cause of overpayments so please ensure that all prescriptions are filed in the correct charge group).
  • Each charge group should be secured with one or two elastic bands. Avoid using too many elastic bands (see picture).

Bad Rx bundleGood Rx bundle in box

  • Use the ‘red separator’ for separating:

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) issues contractors with three sets of red separators each month to sort certain paper prescription forms into their relevant exempt, paid or old charge rate groups. Only prescription items meeting the red separator criteria set out below should be included in the red separator.

Forms with these items on them should be wrapped in the red separators enclosed with your FP34C submission form for despatch to NHS Prescription Services. NHSBSA recommend that elastic bands are used to secure your prescriptions for submission. If, however, a small number of forms are to be submitted in a red separator then a paper clip may be used to secure the prescriptions and tokens (submitted for SSP claims) to ensure that they do not come loose from the red separator during transit.

The reason NHSBSA ask for certain forms to be placed in the red separator is so that these can be double checked and manually processed for payment by NHSBSA staff. If a form is not placed in the red separator it will still be processed by NHSBSA however any unsorted forms will bypass the additional checking process. 

EPS Prescriptions

Please note there are no virtual red separators for EPS prescriptions. Prescriptions that would ordinarily be placed in a red separator are processed accordingly when submitted electronically. However, PSNC does advise that for the purposes of prescription reconciliation, contractors should keep a log or generate report(s) from their PMR system for the following types of items:

  • Expensive items (items with a net ingredient cost of £100 or over);
  • Unlicensed specials and imported drugs; and
  • Items with Broken Bulk or out of pocket expense claims

This log or report should then be used to reconcile items/values against the pharmacy’s FP34 Schedule of Payment which is sent by NHSBSA after the bundle has been priced. If you are unable to or unsure how to generate a report which incorporates the above, please contact your PMR system supplier for further support.

Other than tokens submitted for payment of SSP claims, pharmacy teams are reminded that other EPS tokens should not be placed in the red separator with the end of month prescription bundle. This is because these tokens are not used for payment of electronic prescriptions (payment is solely based on the information contained in the electronic claim message)

  • Keep the following forms separate from main prescription bundle but submit with your account:
    • repeat authorising forms (RA forms)
    • ETP tokens (note: these are not used for payment and are for only )
    • FP57 forms (relating to refunds of prescription charges)

You may find this diagram useful to help you organise your prescription bundle groups:

Click here for a downloadable version of this diagram

Please note: prescription forms within each group should be sorted into prescriber order. However, any prescribers with fewer than 20 forms can be placed into a ‘miscellaneous’ section at the end of each group.

There are different submission arrangements for private Controlled Drug prescription forms (FP34PCD) and Controlled Drug requisition forms (FP10CDF) (see our Controlled Drugs section for more information).


FAQs

Q. Which tokens should I send with the prescription bundle?

A. The tokens which should be sent to the Pricing Authority are those where:
• the exemption status has been captured (other than were the patient is age exempt i.e. aged under 16 or over 59); or
• if the patient has paid a charge.

These tokens are sent for audit purposes only.
NOTE: pricing is based solely on the exemption category assigned on the electronically submitted Relase 2 message. It is important to ensure that the correct exemption status is assigned to the patient PMR ahead of sending any electronic messages for claim.

Q.How do I put EPS Release 2 Prescriptions into the red separator? What do I do with red separator items on EPS Release 2?
A. There is no virtual red separator for EPS Release 2 prescriptions. The items on paper prescriptions that are eligible to go in the red separator should be priced accordingly on electronic prescriptions. However, PSNC does advise that as part of the pharmacy’s reconciliation process, contractors should keep a log or generate report(s) from their PMR system for the following types of items:

  • Expensive items (items with a net ingredient cost of £100 or over);
  • Specials and unlicensed products; and
  • Items with broken bulk or out of pocket expense claims.

This report or log should then be used to reconcile items/values on the pharmacy’s FP34 Schedule of Payment which is sent by the Pricing Authority after the bundle has been priced. If you are unable or unsure as to how to generate a report which incorporates the above, contact your PMR system supplier for further information.

Pharmacy teams are also reminded that EPS tokens should not be placed in the red separator in the end of month prescription bundle. This is because these tokens are not used for payment of electronic prescriptions (payment is solely based on the information contained in the electronic claim message).


Related resources

Prescription Submission Factsheet

Red separator submission Factsheet

Prescription bundle diagram

Daily Dispensing Checks

Completing Your FP34C Submission Document and Dispatching Your Prescription Bundle

Prescription Returns

Monthly Payments

Prescription Pricing Accuracy



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