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From the front line: Pharmacy exemption checking
The Real Time Exemption Checking service automatically tells pharmacy systems when someone is exempt from paying for their prescriptions. Pharmacist Paul Rolfe looks at how it is improving dispensing for patients and pharmacy staff.
5 February 2020
Community pharmacy Birmingham’s is a busy independent pharmacy in Cleethorpes. We receive prescriptions from 14 local GP practices, and we deliver to patients at home in Cleethorpes, Grimsby and the surrounding area.
Our pharmacy counter is also extremely busy, serving patients from the GP practice we share the building with and customers who call in. Many people we serve are exempt from paying for their prescriptions and need to provide evidence and a signature if this is the case.
We are very enthusiastic about using any new advances in technology – we were one of the first community pharmacies to use the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) – and we have a pharmacy robot as well as dispensing terminals.
The new system works effectively, saving time both in the pharmacy and out on the road
We want to serve our customers as efficiently as possible and help ease the workload for our staff. So the chance to work with NHS Digital and system supplier Positive Solutions to pilot the Real Time Exemption Checking was one that we jumped at.
The pilot scheme was restricted to five of the categories which currently entitle patients to free prescriptions:
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