EPS or Electronic Prescription Service is a service which allows patients to request their prescription to be sent electronically via a nominated pharmacy of their choice. This means that patients will no longer require a hard copy of a prescription when arriving to collect their medication. EPS is more efficient and convenient than the old-fashioned prescription paper. It also saves time as it means patients will no longer have to visit their GP to collect their prescription and then visit their pharmacy of choice. The electronic paperless prescription is sent directly from the GP surgery to your community pharmacy. It is cost-effective as it reduces the use of paper and it also ensures that the pharmacy can order any outstanding medications they need to have in their stock before it is collected.
During lockdown, patients may be wary of visiting their GP. EPS is designed to allow for repeat prescriptions to be sent to pharmacies electronically, which means fewer people will be visiting their GP. As more people take benefit of EPS, patients will only have to visit their pharmacy of choice.
The Electronic Prescription Service is growing in popularity and uptake has increased dramatically, especially during the COVID pandemic. Currently, the EPS is able to be used for;
- Repeat Prescriptions (repeat prescribing)
- Acute Prescriptions
- Prescriptions (repeat dispensing)
EPS is not able to provide bulk prescriptions for institutions, schools or private prescriptions. Each NHS Electronic Prescription may contain up to 4 items on each prescription. As previously stated, prescriptions will be sent to the pharmacy of the patients’ choice. This is called Pharmacy Nomination, once a patient has nominated a pharmacy, this will then become their preference on their prescription service and all prescriptions will be sent to this pharmacy unless requested to change. This means that patients who receive repeat prescriptions will receive the most benefit from EPS. Patients must consent to nominate their pharmacy of choice, this consent does not have to be in the form of writing as long as it is recorded in the patient’s Pharmacy Medicine Record (PMR) system. Patients can change their nomination at any time, as long as the pharmacy they are changing to is able to make use of EPS. If the patient would like to make a “temporary change” to their nomination, then they can do so. But they must remember to change their nomination back to their original pharmacy or their prescriptions will be sent to the new nomination.
It is important to note that if the patient changes back to their original nomination before their new one has received the electronic prescription, then they may be unable to collect their medication. In cases like this, it may be more beneficial to change their nomination on a “one-off” basis.
If you have any questions or you’re interested in learning more about EPS and Pharmacy Nomination, contact us today or visit the NHS website.