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Utilisation workshop toolkit

Access a toolkit developed by NHS Digital to help local Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) leads plan and deliver EPS Utilisation Workshops in your area.

The toolkit has been split into 4 main sections to help you prepare for and deliver your workshop.

Throughout the toolkit you'll find downloadable templates and useful factsheets that you can share with attendees.

Planning your workshop
Delivering your workshop


EPS utilisation workshops are an opportunity for live GP practices and pharmacies to explore EPS further by sharing tips, solving issues and developing their knowledge. This helps to maximise the benefits of EPS for themselves and their patients.

The objectives of the workshops are to:

  • encourage collaborative working between GP practices and pharmacies
  • solve any outstanding issues and problems between GP practices and pharmacies
  • discuss EPS in detail and to consider any functionalities not being used by GP practices and pharmacies in your area
  • increase the use of EPS in your area, so that the maximum benefits are being realised

Anyone who works with EPS in a GP practice or pharmacy can be invited to a workshop. This includes:

  • GP practice manager
  • lead GP (and other prescribers if possible)
  • GP practice reception staff and prescription clerks
  • practice IT lead (if applicable)
  • pharmacists and dispensing technicians
  • pharmacy locums who will be using EPS

Depending on the number of delegates, a workshop is likely to last between 2 to 3 hours.

Ideally, a utilisation workshop should be held when all of the staff from invited GP practices and pharmacies have been using EPS for 3 months or more. This will mean that all participants will have a good level of experience and knowledge and will be ready to explore EPS further.

The agenda should cover:

  • nomination
  • prescription queries
  • split scripts
  • drug mapping
  • electronic repeat dispensing
  • electronic cancellation
  • the prescription tracker

The toolkit includes downloadable templates and factsheets to support your workshop, including:

•    invitation letter/email content (template)
•    agenda (template)
•    presentation (template)
•    tips for increasing EPS utilisation in GP practices
•    tips for increasing EPS utilisation in pharmacies
•    an example of an EPS utilisation progress review report
•    follow-up letter/email (template)
•    workshop evaluation form (template)

Download a full zip file of these tools.

Planning your workshop

This suggested timeline will help you plan and deliver your workshop.

10 weeks before - preparation

Ten weeks before your workshop, you should:

  • analyse GP usage data to identify any local trends at both the practice level and across the area
  • analyse nomination data for your area 
  • gather information about local EPS issues via surveys, or other engagements with users, such as site visits and phone calls
  • visit or speak to several high (over 60%), medium (40% - 60%) and low (0% -40%) performing practices in your area and their surrounding pharmacies. Analyse the findings and try to establish possible reasons why their usage could differ
  • try to identify key barriers preventing EPS from being used more and where possible, resolve any issues
  • engage with your EPS Senior Implementation Manager (SIM)

8 weeks before - planning

Eight weeks before your workshop, you should:

  • determine the date and time of your workshop and book a room or venue
  • think about how to capture feedback and consider how you're going to review the outcomes
  • promote your event by working with:
    • your local NHS team
    • Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) leads
    • medicines management
    • Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC)
    • GP or pharmacy 'champion users'
  • circulate invitations out to all local:
    • pharmacies
    • GPs
    • practice managers
    • administrative staff and CCG/Clinical Support Units (CSUs) medicines management and your local CCG  - consider involving your patient participation representative too

2 weeks before - preparation

Two weeks before your workshop, you should:

  • confirm your agenda for the event - our suggested agenda template may be useful
  • collate the data on local EPS issues
  • prepare your presentation using this template
  • collate details of attendees to ensure there's a good range of prescribers, prescription clerks, pharmacists and technicians - if numbers are low, ask for support from NHS England, LPC and CCG to remind staff to attend

1 week before

With a week to go, you should:

  • email your confirmed agenda and final confirmation to all attendees
  • print out any information/leaflets/documents for the attendees
  • run through the presentation and consider possible questions
  • contact your local SIM if you need any further guidance

Download resources

Example workshop agenda
Presentation template

Download handouts

Workshop questionnaire
Top tips for pharmacies
Top tips for GP practices

Delivering your workshop

Your workshop should be flexible and tailored to the interests of attendees at each session. During introductions, encourage each person to briefly explain their role and what they would like to gain from the session. Make a list to focus on these requirements, and review it at the end to make sure you've covered everything.

On the day

On the day of your workshop, you should:

  • ask for practice and pharmacy representatives to speak about their experiences - discuss any issues and how they can be resolved
  • include a brief overview of local and national utilisation progress
  • talk about future plans - this can help to motivate and promote healthy competition amongst users
  • the latest statistics are available 
  • deliver your presentation
  • demonstrate the EPS Prescription Tracker and talk about the benefits of other useful tools and resources which are available
  • include information about electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) and discuss how it can be implemented
  • circulate evaluation forms and ask all attendees to complete a copy before they leave. Remind them that attendance will count towards their continual professional development (CPD)

Download resources

Utilisation workshop evaluation form


The next day

Email to all attendees thanking them for their attendance. You could use the example in this toolkit, which includes all of the links and information discussed at the event.

3 months after the event

Three months after your event, you should:

  • produce a utilisation progress report to see if the session has had an effect on EPS utilisation figures - this should be done between 3 and 6 months after
  • provide future support to GP practices or pharmacies in your area

Download resources

Follow-up email
Utilisation progress report

Last edited: 4 February 2019 8:59 am