NHS Digital’s COVID-19 EPS work

NHS Digital’s COVID-19 EPS work

April 22, 2020

NHS Digital’s work to support the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic includes work across several EPS-related projects. This news story highlights some of the work that is relevant to community pharmacy teams.

Continuation of Phase 4 roll-out

NHS Digital is continuing to support prescribing system suppliers with their roll-out of EPS Phase 4:

  • TPP SystmOne GP system – their national roll-out continues with many hundreds of GP practices now live, and many more sites due to go-live in the coming weeks and months.
  • EMIS – the pace of the Phase 4 roll-out has been increased across its GP practice users.
  • Microtest and Vision are currently piloting Phase 4 with some of their general practice users.

Around a quarter of GP practices have systems which can send Phase 4 prescriptions.

Refresh your EPS Phase 4 knowledge

EPS in urgent and other care settings

EPS started being used by urgent care prescribers in 2018 and it is available within:

  • Advanced Adastra prescribing system
  • IC24
  • EMIS Web systems
  • TPP systems

NHS Digital is now working with EMIS and TPP so that EPS is an option for prescribers to use in extended access hubs, community, out of hours and urgent care settings.

Due to the nature of prescriptions issued in urgent care, prescribers have been advised to consider whether it is necessary to contact pharmacies to notify them that they are issuing an EPS prescription which needs to be dispensed promptly. This approach will also help manage any risk where a temporary pharmacy closure has occurred during the pandemic.

New ‘one-off nomination’ feature

Following piloting, TPP SystmOne has now rolled out a one-off EPS nomination feature for prescribers using their system. This feature has been requested for use in scenarios such as:

  • during emergencies where a pharmacy is going through a temporary closure; and
  • for those patients who are not ready to commit to a nomination but would like a one-off nomination instead of a Phase 4 prescription.

The EMIS prescribing systems is also developing this functionality for their EMIS Web system.

Reporting feedback or issues about EPS

If you have a technical EPS issue, you should contact your PMR supplier or IT support. Where necessary, they can escalate those issues/questions which are outside of their control to NHS Digital’s National Service Desk so that issues are properly raised, recorded and resolved.

You can also contact PSNC (it@psnc.org.uk) who can support you through the EPS escalation process. Read more in our Reporting EPS issues factsheet.


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