EPS to be piloted in urgent care settings

EPS to be piloted in urgent care settings

November 27, 2017

NHS Digital and partners will shortly begin trialling use of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) by prescribers in urgent care settings.

A pilot will take place for selected users of the Adastra system, the clinical software used in many urgent care settings. Care settings will include NHS 111, GP out of hours services, Clinical Assessment Services (CAS), Walk-in Centres, Minor Injuries Units and Urgent Care Centres.

Prescribers within the pilot sites will be able to use EPS to prescribe medicines in the same way as EPS prescriptions are currently issued by GP practices. As patients can get their prescriptions dispensed from any NHS community pharmacy in the country, all pharmacy staff (including locums) should familiarise themselves with the details of the pilot.

Assuming a successful pilot, the EPS functionality for urgent care settings will be rolled out nationally.

How will the pilot work?

The pilot will use a new type of ‘one-off nomination’ to send the prescription to the pharmacy that the patient has selected; this will not affect existing nominations for the patient’s ‘regular’ prescriptions.

Prescribers will identify a pharmacy that is open and accessible for the patient using similar processes as used for paper FP10s and, as EPS cannot indicate the urgency of the prescription, prescribers have been asked to ensure that the pharmacy is contacted to alert them that the electronic prescription is available for them to dispense.

The prescriptions will be downloaded by the contractor’s PMR system in the normal way. Pharmacies that are open out of hours and that regularly receive paper prescriptions written by prescribers from urgent care providers may want to consider reviewing how frequently they download prescriptions from the central NHS Spine, so that any prescriptions sent by urgent care services are downloaded promptly. The prescription message will contain the contact details of the prescribing site in case there are any queries for the prescriber. The existing EPS dispense/claim message sending processes are unaffected.

Further information

For more information on the pilot, please visit our EPS in urgent care settings pilot webpage.

If you have any questions or comments on the EPS pilot in urgent care settings, please contact info@psnc.org.uk or PSNC’s Community Pharmacy IT Lead, Daniel Ah-Thion.

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