Electronic Prescription Service in integrated urgent care

The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) allows prescribers in integrated urgent care settings to send electronic prescriptions to community pharmacies, removing the need for paper prescriptions.

The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) allows prescribers in integrated urgent care settings to send electronic prescriptions to community pharmacies, removing the need for paper prescriptions. 

This makes the prescribing and dispensing process more efficient and saves time when medication is required urgently. 

The EPS system available in integrated urgent care is a simplified version of that used in primary care. The following functions are not available: 

  • repeat prescribing and electronic repeat dispensing (eRD)
  • post-dating prescriptions
  • ability to change the patient's nomination
  • prescription token printing
  • item level cancellation

Following a successful pilot, EPS is being rolled out to integrated urgent care providers using the Advanced Adastra system from April 2018. Read more about the roll out.

Integrated urgent care includes NHS 111, GP out of hours, Clinical Assessment Services (CAS), Walk-in Centres, Minor Injuries Units and Urgent Care Centres.

Information for:

Providers (detailed set-up information) 
Prescribers 
Dispensers


How this will work

Prescribers will identify a pharmacy that is open and accessible for the patient using similar processes as they use for paper FP10s. 

The EPS system will use a 'one-off nomination' to direct the prescription to the pharmacy that the patient and prescriber have selected. This will not affect existing nominations for the patient's 'regular' prescriptions.

The prescriptions will be downloaded by the pharmacy's PMR system in the normal way. Pharmacies that are open out of hours may want to review how frequently they download prescriptions from the Spine, so that any prescriptions sent by integrated urgent care services are downloaded promptly. The prescription message will contain the contact details of the prescribing site in case there are any queries for the prescriber. The existing EPS dispensing and claiming processes are unaffected.

If a patient arrives at the pharmacy and their prescription has not automatically downloaded to the PMR system, a manual download may be necessary to obtain the prescription message from the Spine. This could be undertaken using the prescription ID provided by the patient or via a search on the EPS tracker.

It's possible that a patient may present at a different pharmacy to the one originally selected by them and the integrated urgent care prescriber. In this case, the pharmacist at the pharmacy where the patient has presented, should obtain the patient's NHS number through a Personal Demographics Service search and use this with the Prescription ID (which may be obtained from the patient or from EPS Tracker) to manually download the prescription from the Spine, or contact the pharmacy originally selected by the urgent care prescriber.


If there are problems using EPS

In the event of either a prescribing, dispensing or national system failure and the patient is not present to receive an FP10, the integrated urgent care provider will send an FP10 prescription via fax to the patient's chosen pharmacy. This will initiate the emergency supply process, with the FP10 subsequently being posted to the pharmacy. 


Recommended action for pharmacy contractors

Patients can choose to have their prescriptions dispensed at any community pharmacy. Contractors and their teams should be aware that they could receive an electronic prescription from an integrated urgent care prescriber involved in the pilot and that they can dispense it in the same way as any other EPS prescription. It's recommended that contractors ensure all relevant staff, including locums, are made aware of the above information.