Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)

After EPS Phase 4, Electronic Repeat Dispensing is the next big thing in the EPS world as far as NHS England (NHSE) is concerned.

It is part of the Universal Capability environment within the Local Digital Roadmaps and STPs, as well as being part of the Pharmacy Contractual Framework.

On average, GP practices using the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) are sending over half of their prescriptions electronically, but electronic repeat dispensing makes up less than 12% of this total. NHSE has identified eRD as having the potential for significant savings and reduced wastage in the NHS. They say that 80% of current repeats could be transferred to electronic repeat dispensing, which could save over 2.7 million GP practice hours.

eRD simplifies the repeat prescribing process and offers dispensers a range of benefits including:

  • improved stock control – the issues of an eRD prescription are downloaded seven days before they are due, allowing time to order any items which are out of stock
  • reduced time spent collecting paper prescriptions from prescribing sites
  • no need to retain and store paper repeatable prescriptions and batch issues
  • electronic reimbursement reduces the workload at the end of the month

Each time dispensers are required to dispense an eRD prescription, they must ask patients several questions, including details about their medication and whether they have seen a health professional recently. This enables the dispenser to make a clinical decision to either dispense the medication or refer the patient back to their prescriber.

To help you to start to think about eRD and to plan how to approach it, NHS Digital have developed a variety of tools, including:

  • expert-hosted Webinars (available on-Demand)
  • new eLearning functions
  • an eRD Toolkit, which contains useful documents, case studies and guidance.


Alongside all these various resources, NHS Digital will be looking at local workshops and support over the coming months