Electronic prescriptions can be cancelled at any point by the prescriber (until they are downloaded by the patient's nominated pharmacy).
Cancelling an electronic prescription
If an electronic prescription needs to be cancelled, this can be done by any prescriber (or GP practice staff) who has the correct authorisation on their smartcard.
Either whole prescriptions or individual items on a prescription can be cancelled.
If something needs to be changed, the prescription or individual item must be cancelled, and a new prescription should be generated. The pharmacy and/or the patient should be informed of any changes to avoid any confusion.
If a prescriber cancels a repeat dispensing (batch) prescription, all outstanding prescription issues that have not been downloaded by the dispenser will be cancelled. It is also possible to cancel individual items on the prescription.
What happens when an electronic prescription is cancelled
When a prescriber attempts to cancel a prescription, they will receive one of 3 possible responses from the system.
A 'prescription cancelled successfully' response confirming that the prescription has been cancelled
In this case, a new electronic prescription can be generated, signed and sent to the patient's nominated pharmacy. The patient does not need to return to their GP practice. The prescriber can add additional notes to the prescription to give the dispenser and/or patient more information.
The EPS Prescription Tracker status will show as 'cancelled' and the pharmacy will not be able to download the prescription.
A 'cancellation unsuccessful with dispenser' response, confirming that the patient's nominated pharmacy has already downloaded the prescription from the NHS Spine
In this case, the prescriber should contact the dispenser (contact details will be displayed on the screen) and discuss the next steps. The dispenser can return the prescription to the Spine, where it will be automatically cancelled, or the dispenser can mark the prescription as 'Not dispensed'.
The EPS Prescription Tracker status will show as 'With dispenser'.
A 'cancellation unsuccessful dispensed' response, confirming that the prescription has already been dispensed to the patient
In this case, the prescriber should contact the patient and discuss the next steps. For example, the patient could be asked to return to their pharmacy to collect a new prescription.