Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)


A new range of tools have been released by NHS Digital to support the understanding and usage of electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) by prescribers, dispensers and patients. Please see the links below for the relevant information:

eRD Awareness Webinars registration page – These webinars will be led by Fiona McDonald (Clinical and Patient lead) and are suitable for both prescribers and dispensers: https://digitising-medicines.online-event.co/registration/nhs-digital-4

Phase 4 pilots are happening. Additional Information regarding this and future plans can be found on the link below – exciting times!

http://psnc.org.uk/dispensing-supply/eps/deployment-status-and-future-plans/eps-future-plans/full-eps/

Support with EPSR2:-

NHS Digital (Formally The Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)) has been commissioned by NHS England to deliver the technical implementation of EPSR2.  Gary Mortimer is the HSCIC Implementation Manager for Wessex and can be contacted via E mail gmortimer@hscic.gov.uk Mobile: 07768 302 185

Locally, NHS England South – Wessex have commissioned Dorset CCG to provide the Registration Authority (RA) service – our local contact is Steve Howes, Project Manager IT Development E mail: steve.howes@dorsetccg.nhs.uk Mobile: 07826 900 394

Electronic Prescription Service useful information – http://systems.digital.nhs.uk/eps/dispensing/pharmatraining

NHS Digital Getting Started!

Link to all national information.  Information on this site includes fact sheets and checklists to support pharmacies going live, window stickers, display posters, nomination forms, nominations guide, Help and national FAQs.
Link for local information provided by Dorset CCG

Latest NHS Digital EPS bulletin:-

Available here  or sign up to the bulletin to find EPS deployments, issue resolution and user feedback

Visit the PSNC website for guidance, tips and other advice:-

Available here

Preparation for Pharmacies falls into 4 main categories namely:-

1.  Smartcards:-

Please ensure there is always at least one smart card on the premises at all times.  For all enquiries regarding Smartcards – please contact

Smartcard Support,
Dorset CCG, Canford House,
Discovery Court,
551-553 Wallisdown Road,
Poole
BH12 5AG
Tel: 01202 541 604
E mail: smartcard.support@dorsetccg.nhs.uk (Mon to Fri 8.00 am to 4.00 pm)

Lost, stolen or misused smartcards should be reported immediately to smartcard.support@dorsetccg.nhs.uk

Smartcard access cannot be granted unless a Care Identity Service (CIS) Form  has been completed and sponsored and submitted to smartcard.support@dorsetccg.nhs.uk.   It is essential to have sufficient sponsors within your organisation to ensure access can be granted at short notice if necessary.

If you want to be an RAA (Registration Authority Agent) for your pharmacy read the RAA Briefing Document and then sign and email the RAA Acceptance of Terms to E mail: smartcard.support@dorsetccg.nhs.uk.

If you want to be a Sponsor for your pharmacy read the Sponsor Briefing Document and then sign and email the Sponsor Acceptance of Terms to e mail: smartcard.support@dorsetccg.nhs.uk  The process to become a Sponsor can be found on http://intranet.dorsetccg.nhs.uk/support/it-support/smartcards.htm under the “Community Pharmacist Assistance” Section.

Pharmacy ID checks – The NHS Digital site gives help on what ID information is relevant.

2.  System training

To be able to process EPSR2 scripts effectively you will need to undergo EPS training on your pharmacy system by your system supplier or in the case of multiples by your Head Office training team.  This can be face-to-face or online.   If you are not currently enabled for EPS your system supplier should be able to explain the process for you.

3. Dispensing tokens:-

Ordering dispensing tokens 

Primary Care Support England (PCSE) deliver various stationery for community pharmacies – including EPS dispensing tokens. Use their online portal to request tokens. If required there is an escalation procedure.

Contingencies if dispensing tokens cannot be used

Consider token contingency options.

4. Nominations:-

Don’t wait……… Nominate!  a factsheet covering all the myths and key considerations for nomination in pharmacies. Hopefully this will help to address some of the misconceptions out there and encourage pharmacies to collect and set nominations in plenty of time for GP practices going live.  There is no requirement that the nominations are captured in writing, however the pharmacy must keep a clear audit trail in case evidence needs to be provided in the case of an investigation. Providing consent forms signed by the patient (or their representative) may be the most effective way of recording consent for nomination.  If there are problems relating to nomination please try and resolve these locally without inconveniencing the patients. However, if you have concerns that cannot be resolved locally, you can report them to england.wessexpharmacy@nhs.net.  There is also a NHS Digital Prescription Tracker which allows you to check the status and history of electronic prescriptions, however you must have a legitimate reason to verify that a prescription exists or to identify a prescription status,  the tracker doesn’t make available any clinical or sensitive information about a patient’s prescription and this new web address is only accessible to prescribing and dispensing sites following the transition to Spine 2.   Useful links relating to nomination: NHS Digital Nomination guidance  and PSNC EPS nomination tips. Nominations data:- PSNC has asked NHS Digital to publish EPS nomination data for all pharmacies. This data is available weekly on the NHS Digital website.  The publication of this data will allow pharmacy contractors and LPCs to identify any unusual patterns in EPS nominations and allow contractors to take prompt action to investigate whether this may be as a result of direction of prescriptions.  Find out more about EPS nomination data.

EPS – Benefits Estimator – Click here

Further Guidance:-

EPS Business Change workshops – Before GP practices go live with Electronic Prescription Service Release 2 (EPS R2), local pharmacy teams can attend a Business Change session along with the GP practice so that all involved can get to grips with EPS before the practice ‘goes live’ with the system. PSNC, in collaboration with NHS Digital, has published a fact sheet on EPS R2 Business Change workshops which pharmacy teams may find useful. The fact sheet is available from here.

Prescriptions not arrived as expected? Two guidance sheets which explain the step-by-step process of what Pharmacies and GP Admin should do when prescriptions do not arrive electronically as expected are:- Pharmacy check list for EPS prescriptions and GP Admin checklist for EPS prescriptions.  There is also a NHS Digital Prescription Tracker which allows you to check the status and history of electronic prescriptions, however you must have a legitimate reason to verify that a prescription exists or to identify a prescription status, the tracker doesn’t make available any clinical or sensitive information about a patient’s prescription and this new web address is only accessible to prescribing and dispensing sites following the transition to Spine 2.

Is there anything that can be done by a pharmacy if a large number of patients have stopped coming to the pharmacy, possibly as a consequence of a mailshot by other pharmacies?  A pharmacy that has had a sudden loss of regular patients could write to the patients that have stopped visiting the pharmacy and ask why they have chosen to do so – the pharmacy can then use any responses to help review the quality and range of services it provides.  The PSNC has a template letter for patients who have stopped visiting a pharmacy which can be modified locally.  Please see PSNC prescription page http://psnc.org.uk/contract-it/pharmacy-regulation/direction-of-prescriptions/ for further advice and FAQs.

Live service reports  – NHS Digital has made live service status information available to community pharmacy contractors through their Smartcard. The Service Status pages show the availability of national infrastructure services, such as EPS, Spine, N3 and the Care Identity Service, which manages Smartcard access.  This means that a pharmacy team experiencing problems accessing or processing an electronic prescription can see at a glance if there is a national service issue and, if it is not, users can be confident that they should contact their supplier’s helpdesk for support.  More information about the service reports is available here.

The NHS Business Service Authority also issues a regular bulletin “Hints & Tips” for Dispensing Contractors – if you would like to receive Hints & Tips via e mail, please e mail: nhsbsa.communicationsteam@nhs.net and put “Subscribe to Hints & Tips – Dispensing Contractors” in your subject line and include your name, designation and trading name in the text.