EPS Phase 4

Roll-out of Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) Phase 4 to GP practices enables those GP practices to use electronic prescribing even for those patients that do not have EPS nomination. This helps the move towards greater percentage of EPS dispensing.National Roll-out implementation starts from November 2019From 18th November EPS Phase 4 began rolling out to more GP practices using the TPP SystmOne GP system. All community pharmacy teams should therefore be aware that they may receive EPS Phase 4 tokens to process. Full rollout for TPP SystmOne GP system practices will take place in the coming weeks and months on a location by location basis. Specific dates will be made available on NHS Digital’s EPS Phase 4 deployment schedule webpage. In Northamptonshire’s CCG areas CORBY practices will roll out between 21st January and 1st March 2020. The reamaining practices across the region will go live in a staggered approach between 1/3/20 and 31/10/20.

Under EPS Phase 4, patients can choose to take their token to any pharmacy in England. If you receive a Phase 4 token, simply scan the barcode and dispense it as you would any other electronic prescription. As with all EPS prescriptions, dispense notifications and endorsements need to be added to the electronic prescription using your pharmacy system. Endorsements written or printed onto any type of EPS token will not be processed by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).

Recommended actions

Refresh your EPS Phase 4 knowledge with PSNC’s top tips for processing Phase 4 prescriptions and learn more on this phase 4 webpage below:

What is Phase 4?

What happens if a patient has not set a nomination?

A patient who has not set a nomination or does not wish to do so would be issued with an EPS Phase 4 green prescription token so that they may visit the pharmacy of their choice. Pharmacy teams would scan the bar code on the token to access the EPS script.

The token will be provided in a paper format, but in time tokens may be available in an electronic format (e.g. in an email from the GP practice, via a website or via an app). This approach would generally mean the prescription cannot be prepared before the patient presents in the pharmacy.

Preparations made in association with Phase 4

The Phase 4 pilot

Phase 4 top tips for pharmacy teams

Recommended tips:

  • If you receive a Phase 4 token, you should scan the barcode and dispense it as you would any other electronic prescription.
  • Pharmacy teams can use the green Phase 4 prescription tokens to capture any patient exemption-related or charge-related signatures.
  • Green Phase 4 tokens should be filed with all the other white EPS tokens and not within the main bundle of paper prescriptions before the submission is sent to the NHSBSA.
  • Consider your system and print settings. Many PMR systems have settings to customise which types of EPS prescriptions may automatically have a white EPS dispensing token printed.
  • Some pharmacy teams that process the Phase 4 token used a highlighter pen or a sticker to highlight the ‘Prescriber signature not required’ wording on the token, to highlight that it is a Phase 4 token rather than a barcoded paper prescription.
  • During the earlier stages of the rollout, patients have sometimes filled in the back of the green Phase 4 token before they arrived at the pharmacy. If the pharmacy process involves shredding the green Phase 4 token and replacing it with a newly printed white dispensing token, the patient will have to complete the reverse of the dispensing token. To address this scenario, some pharmacy teams have changed their initial Phase 4 approach so that they use the green Phase 4 token for patient declarations, rather than printing out a new white EPS dispensing token for each Phase 4 script. In order to ensure the whole team are familiar with Phase 4 we recommend reading the following document : EPS+phase+4+dispenser+fact+sheet

Phase 4 materials for GP practice staff

How to report any Phase 4 technical issues which require reporting?

Frequently asked questions

Claire Allen is the GP IT Facilitator  NEL
She can be contacted as follows:

01604 651234/07881327154


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