Once you have checked the roll out schedule for your go live date, you should make sure all staff in your practice, including locums, understand what the changes mean for them.
When controlled drugs have been enabled in your practice, EPS will be used for all eligible prescriptions. This change will happen as per your system supplier’s schedule and you do not need to manually enable the feature.
Once enabled, all prescriptions for Schedule 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs (excluding instalment FP10MDAs) will automatically be processed electronically for patients who use EPS for their existing prescriptions.
If you are a GP practice piloting Phase 4, this change will apply to all patients receiving Phase 4 tokens.
Best practice in prescribing CDs
Prescribers are reminded that face-to-face consultations are considered best practice when prescribing controlled drugs. Although the introduction of EPS may result in opportunities for remote consulting and prescribing, particularly in urgent and emergency care, this should be a last resort for controlled drugs, particularly without access to the primary care record or personal knowledge of the patient. Local processes should be updated to reflect the need to consider face-to-face consultations where controlled drugs are requested.
Prescribing CDs using EPS and exclusions
You will prescribe Schedule 2 and 3 CDs electronically via EPS in the same way you prescribe other prescriptions now. However, there are some exceptions.
Oral liquid methadone: Because it isn’t possible for all dispensing systems to endorse electronic prescriptions for oral liquid methadone with a packaged dose endorsement (PDn), a paper FP10 prescription will still need to be generated for this drug to allow the pharmacy to claim the correct fees.
Instalment prescribing: EPS cannot be used for prescribing in instalments (FP10MDA prescribing).
Words and figures
In order to meet legislative requirements requiring quantities of CDs to be expressed in both words and figures, the system will automatically populate this information in both formats in the prescription message. This will display the details for both prescribers and dispensers.
Patients who already have a nomination should be advised that most of their items, including Schedule 2 or 3 CDs, can now be sent via EPS to their nominated pharmacy like their other medication. These patients will not receive a separate paper prescription for Schedule 2 or 3 CDs anymore, except for oral liquid methadone or instalment FP10MDA prescriptions (see exclusions above).
Patients who previously did not have a nomination because they received Schedule 2 or 3 CDs and did not want split prescriptions can be advised to consider setting a nomination.
Informing local pharmacies
You should consider informing your local and frequently used community pharmacies about your controlled drugs go live date. This will help ensure they are prepared for the change. Download an email/letter template.