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Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA) Data

Data Provision Notice to provide NHS Digital with prescribing and medicines data from up to 64 NHS hospitals using the Cerner and WellSky EPMA systems, to support COVID-19 analysis, planning and research activity.


The prescribing and medicines data is required by NHS Digital to support vital analysis, linkage and sharing of data including for:

  • COVID-19 surveillance
  • COVID-19 medicines research
  • the monitoring of data prescribed for COVID-19 patients
  • the monitoring of prescribing patterns before, during and after COVID-19.

Scope of the collection

This Notice is served on:

  • the NHS hospitals in England using the Cerner or WellSky EPMA  systems which have agreed to participate in the collection.

Legal basis for provision of data

NHS Digital has been directed by the Secretary of State under section 254 of the Act to establish and operate a system for the collection and analysis of the information specified for this service. 


Phase 1 of the collection will commence from June 2020, with Phase 2 due to begin in November 2020. Dates will be agreed with each participating trust.

In Phase 1, the collection will take data from 1 January 2020, followed by daily submissions (commencing August 2020) for a period of approximately 2 weeks.

In Phase 2, a collection will be made to cover a longer retrospective period, from 1 January 2019, with a daily submission to be continued until further notice.

The period of this collection is indefinite, and subject to an annual review, the next expected to be in December 2022. This is in line with the current legal basis for the collection the COVID-19 Public Health Directions 2020. 

Read the Data Provision Notice (Version 1.2)

Change control

2 June 2021: updated transparency notice published, to provide clarity around the type of personal data being shared with NHS Digital; no change to Data Provision Notice.

Last edited: 22 March 2022 3:33 pm