Electronic prescribing

Electronic Prescription Service

The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is an NHS service. It gives you the chance to change how your GP sends your prescription to the place you choose to get your medicines or appliances from.

Most prescriptions are now signed, sent and processed electronically.

You have 2 choices for how this works.

  • You can choose a pharmacy or dispenser to dispense all your prescriptions. When you get a prescription, it will be sent electronically to the dispenser you have chosen. You can collect your medicines or appliances without having to hand in a paper prescription.

  • You can decide each time you are issued a prescription where you would like it to be dispensed. When you are issued a prescription, you will be given a paper copy that you can take to any pharmacy or other dispenser in England. The paper copy will contain a unique barcode that will be scanned to download your prescription from the secure NHS database.

Paper prescriptions will continue to be available in special circumstances, but almost all prescriptions will be processed electronically.

What does this mean for you?

  • If you collect your repeat prescriptions from your GP you will not have to visit your GP practice to pick up your paper prescription. Instead, your GP will send it electronically to the place you choose, saving you time.
  • You will have more choice about where to get your medicines from because they can be collected from a pharmacy near to where you live, work or shop.
  • You may not have to wait as long at the pharmacy as there will be time for your repeat prescriptions to be ready before you arrive.

Choosing a pharmacy or other dispenser

If you get regular prescriptions or are already using a prescription collection service (where a pharmacy collects prescriptions from your GP practice for you) then choosing a pharmacy to dispense all your prescriptions may save you time by avoiding unnecessary trips to your GP.

You need to choose a place for your GP practice to electronically send your prescription to. This is called nomination. You can choose:

  • a pharmacy.
  • a dispensing appliance contractor (if you use one).

You will still order your repeat prescriptions in the same way as you do now, but your prescriptions will be sent electronically to the pharmacy or dispenser of your choice.

You will not have to collect a paper repeat prescription from your GP practice.

Cancelling or changing your choice of pharmacist or dispenser

You can change or cancel your choice of dispenser at any time. Simply speak to your GP or pharmacist before you order your next prescription.

You should allow time for the update to take place to avoid your next prescription being sent to the wrong place.

Ask any pharmacy or dispensing appliance contractor that offers EPS or your GP practice to add your nomination for you. You don’t need a computer to do this.

Can I change my nomination or cancel it and get a paper prescription?

Yes you can. If you don’t want your prescription to be sent electronically tell your GP. If you want to change or cancel your nomination speak to any pharmacist or dispensing appliance contractor that offers EPS, or your GP practice. Tell them before your next prescription is due or your prescription may be sent to the wrong place.

Is EPS reliable, secure and confidential?

Yes. Your electronic prescription will be seen by the same people in GP practices, pharmacies and NHS prescription payment and fraud agencies that see your paper prescription now. Sometimes dispensers may see that you have nominated another dispenser. For example, if you forget who you have nominated and ask them to check or, if you have nominated more than one dispenser. Dispensers will also see all the items on your reorder slip if you are on repeat prescriptions.

For more information visit www.hscic.gov.uk/epspatients, your pharmacy or GP practice.

What can I do if I'm unhappy with the process?

You should be provided with information about electronic prescriptions and give your consent before your choice of dispenser is recorded.

If you're unhappy with your experience, you can complain to the dispenser, your GP practice or your local clinical commissioning group (CCG).

Find out more about the NHS complaints procedure

Who can see my prescription?

Electronic prescriptions are reliable, secure and confidential.

Your electronic prescription will be seen by the same people in GP practices, pharmacies and NHS prescription payment and fraud agencies that used to see your paper prescription.

They'll also be able to see whether you have chosen more than 1 dispenser and can check where your prescriptions will be sent to.

If you're on repeat prescriptions, dispensers will also see all of the items on your re-order slip.

Further information

Zero Tolerance Statement

Our staff come to work to care for others, and it is important for all members of the public and our staff to be treated with respect.
We aim to treat our patients courteously at all times and expect our patients to treat our staff in a similary way.

We take seriously any threatening, abusive or violent behaviour againist any of our staff or patients. if a patient is violent or abusive, they will be asked to stop. if they persist, we may exercise our rights to take action to have them removed, immediately if necessary from our pratice list.

The practice considers thratening behaviour to be:

Attempted or actual aggressive threatening physical actions made towards any member of staff.
The use of aggressive, threatening or abusive language, (including raising of the voice, swearing and cursing, shouting) which threatens or intimidates staff.
In line with the rest of the NHS, and to ensure this is fully observed we have a Zero Tolerance policy in place, whereby any aggressive or violent behaviour towards our staff will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Anyone giving verbal abuse to members of the staff will be sent a letter from the Practice stating that this behaviour will not be tolerated and may result in the removal from the Practice patient list. There will be no appeal process.

We hope that you will understand and welcome this policy which is in place for the best interest of our hard working staff as well as our patients.

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