Here are some resources to help you get the most out of using the Electronic Prescription Service.
NHS Dictionary of Medicines and Devices and prescribing systems
The NHS Dictionary of Medicines and Devices (dm+d) provides a standardised reference for medicines and medical devices for use by different clinical systems.
Read more about dm+d and prescribing systems to find out about some of the common issues when using EPS.
With electronic prescriptions, patients can choose where their prescriber will electronically send their prescriptions to. This is called nomination.
- patients choose which pharmacy they wish to nominate, and this can be changed or removed at any time at the patient's request
- patients must be fully informed about EPS before their nomination can be set on the system
- changes to a patient's nominated pharmacy can only be made at the patient's request
- nomination is suitable for most patients. Patients on regular repeats and who use the same pharmacy most of the time will see the most benefit
Read more about nomination
Using EPS for patients with both a pharmacy and appliance contractor nomination
Patients who use a Dispensing Appliance Contractor (DAC) for some of their items can set a DAC nomination, as well as their pharmacy nomination.
The contracts for pharmacies and DACs set out which prescription items they are permitted to dispense, nominated prescriptions should only be sent to them for appropriate items. These are as follows:
Community pharmacies and distance selling pharmacies (DSPs), are required to dispense any item, including appliances (if the pharmacy supplies the products in the normal course of their business).
Dispensing Appliance Contractors (DACs) are only permitted to dispense certain items, listed in relevant parts of the Drug Tariff:
- Appliances – as listed in Part IXA
- Incontinence appliances – as listed in Part IXB
- Stoma appliances – as listed in Part IXC
A DAC cannot dispense any medicines, ACBS foods and toilet preparations (as listed in Part XV), or chemical reagents (as listed in Part IXR). These items should not be sent to a DAC nomination.
When sending a nominated EPS prescription, most items would normally be sent to the patient’s pharmacy nomination. Prescribing users should check with the patient to ensure that items are sent to the correct nominated dispenser and make sure that only specific items, as set out above, are sent to a DAC nomination.
Generating and signing electronic prescriptions
Prescribers working in a GP practice can apply electronic signatures to prescriptions. These are unique to individual prescribers and applied using the user's smartcard and passcode.
Read more about generating and signing an electronic prescription.
Electronic repeat dispensing (eRD)
Find out about electronic repeat dispensing and how you could benefit from using it.
Read more about electronic repeat dispensing (eRD)
Cancelling electronic prescriptions
You can cancel the whole electronic prescription or individual item(s) on the prescription at any point until it's dispensed to the patient. A reason for cancellation is requested and then a cancellation message is sent to the Electronic Prescription Service.
It's the responsibility of the person cancelling to ensure the patient is informed. Dispensers are notified of cancellations when they attempt to retrieve the electronic prescription.
Read more about cancelling an electronic prescription as a prescriber.
Prescribing and dispensing tokens
Paper copies of electronic prescriptions will always need to be made available by the GP practice or the pharmacy, where necessary. Paper copies of electronic prescriptions are called 'tokens'. They act as a hard copy of the details contained within the electronic prescription.
There are two types of token; prescription and dispensing. Read more about prescription and dispensing tokens.