National rollout for EPS in urgent care settings

National rollout for EPS in urgent care settings

April 4, 2018

Following a successful pilot, NHS Digital is now rolling out access to the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) to all integrated urgent care providers using the Advanced Adastra prescribing system.

This means community pharmacies across the country may start to receive electronic prescriptions from integrated urgent care providers. Integrated urgent care providers include: NHS 111, GP out of hours, Clinical Assessment Services (CAS), Walk-in Centres, Minor Injuries Units and Urgent Care Centres.

Electronic prescriptions from these services should be dispensed and claimed for as normal but, as most urgent care providers operate out of hours, contractors should consider:

  • checking staffing rotas to make sure at least one Smartcard-holding pharmacy team member is always available during opening hours;
  • whether further staff require an EPS Smartcard; and
  • adjusting when and how regularly electronic prescriptions are downloaded during the out of hours period (where pharmacies are open during this period).

Due to the acute nature of prescriptions issued in urgent care, prescribers have been advised to consider whether it is necessary to contact dispensers to notify them they are issuing an EPS prescription to advise it needs to be dispensed promptly.

Prescribers will use the Directory of Services (DoS) to identify an open pharmacy close to the patient, so contractors may want to ensure their the pharmacy’s details are correctly recorded in the DoS; the Quality Payments Scheme will provide an opportunity to update this information.

Other urgent care software providers are developing EPS functionality within their systems, so further pilots using these systems are expected in due course.

Further information

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

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

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