Electronic Prescription Service Release 2 – EPS R2
The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) enables prescribers – such as GPs and practice nurses – to send prescriptions electronically to a pharmacy of the patient’s choice. This makes the prescribing and dispensing process more efficient and convenient for patients and pharmacy staff.
This section of our website explains more about EPS – and how you can reap the full benefit in your pharmacy. This briefing (Apr 2018) includes tools, tips and techniques to help you get the most from EPS.
Following representations made by PSNC to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Ministers in England have agreed to extend the temporary suspension of the requirement for patients (or their representatives) to sign the back of NHS prescription forms and/or EPS tokens until 30 June 2021.
Whilst the suspension of signature requirements remains in place, contractors are not required to submit EPS tokens (other than those used for SSP claims) to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). PSNC has published updated guidance on the changes to the dispensing and end of month submission processes along with a ‘Top Tips‘ chart for pharmacy staff showing how to complete the exempt or paid declarations on paper FP10 prescription forms.
Further details on the extension can be found here.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has stated that it’s no longer necessary for contractors to submit EPS tokens (other than those used for SSP claims) to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) whilst the suspension of signature requirements remains in place. The change to token submission affects prescriptions dispensed from December 2020 onwards.
This follows the temporary suspension of signature requirements on prescriptions forms and EPS tokens which came into effect from 1 November 2020 until 31 March 2021. The temporary suspension will be lifted once it is deemed safe for patients to resume signing of forms at which point pharmacy contractors will be required to submit relevant tokens to the NHSBSA.
The table below shows the changes to EPS token submission from December 2020 until the suspension remains in place:
|Tokens to continue to be submitted||Tokens NOT required to be submitted during the suspension period only||Tokens NOT required to be submitted|
Tokens with an exemption declaration (including where the patient is age exempt)
Tokens with a paid declaration indicating that a patient has paid for their prescription(s)
Tokens which may have a signature of collector of Schedule 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs
Whilst the suspension of signature requirements is in place, it is important that pharmacy teams check and confirm the patient’s current paid or exempt status and ensure the correct declaration is applied to the electronic message before it is submitted for payment to the NHSBSA.
Reminder for paper prescriptions
Ensure that any FP10 paper prescriptions forms (including those submitted using red separators) are sorted into the correct patient charge groups (exempt, paid, or paid at old charge rate), taking extra care that exempt prescriptions are NOT inadvertently submitted with the paid bundle or vice-versa.
Updated guidance on the changes to the dispensing and end of month submission processes can be found here.
EPS Guide & Top Tips
Our guide (updated June 2018) explains the latest tools to help you get the most from EPS in your pharmacy.
EPSR2 – Pharmacy Checklist and supporting documents
EPS Business Continuity – PSNC guide (Dec 2016)
EPS2 go live dates – update 12/05/2017
DR Chiu Practice (P84611) and Dr Ngan (P840005) from Central Manchester CCG both go love with EPS2 on 28th and 29th June respectively. This brings Manchester to 100% EPS2.
borchardt Medical Centre (P84010) has additional training on 21st June to enable the staff on site to use the EPS2 functionality
Useful web links to EPS2 information:
- EPS for GP practice staff www.hscic.gov.uk/epsgp
- Videos of GP staff www.hscic.gov.uk/epslibrary
- Latest statistics www.hscic.gov.uk/epsstats
- EPS Deployment Map www.hscic.gov.uk/epsmap
- FAQs www.hscic.gov.uk/epsfaqs
- Latest news and events www.hscic.gov.uk/epsnews
- Sign up for the bulletin www.hscic.gov.uk/epssignup
- Contact the EPS team email@example.com
Contacts for EPS implementation and business change meeting dates:
- Bolton CCG update: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bury CCG: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Manchester CCG: email@example.com
- Oldham CCG: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Salford CCG: email@example.com
- Stockport CCG: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Tameside and Glossop: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Trafford CCG: firstname.lastname@example.org (John Buttle)
- Wigan CCG: email@example.com (John Buttle)
EPS tracker guide
This EPS tracker guide is a really useful resource.
Getting a smartcard
Contact the Registration Authority with any queries or requests for smartcards:
Roy Blair, Registration Authority Area Manager for Greater Manchester – firstname.lastname@example.org and 0161 290 4966 / 07887210625
Community Pharmacy Smartcard roll-out in support of EPS R2 and Business Continuity Plans for out-of-hours smartcard unlocking. – Out-of-hours smartcard unlocking
EPS/Common dispensing error webinars for CPD
The following business webinars can be viewed on the NPA website:
EPS – 47 mins:
Common dispensing errors – 57 mins:
Both these webinars are available for Contractors to view and do not require a User ID.
Both webinars count towards CPD.