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Electronic Prescription Service

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Deployment News 30/07/2012

Due to difficulties securing sufficient and suitable project resource during the PCT / CCG transition period, the EPS2 Project Board has recommended that no further GP  deployments should be planned for 2012/13.   It is expected that, subject to CCG approval, deployments will re-start in 2013/14. To date four pilot GP practices in East Sussex have become EPS2 live.  Experience from these pilots has shown that some pharmacies, which are technically live, lack the training, change management and IT support they need to effectively process EPS2 prescriptions.  The postponement of further GP deployments until 2013/14 will allow more time for pharmacies to prepare for EPS2.   During 2012/13 the EPS2 Project will continue to support pharmacies by issuing EPS2 smartcards and operating a Dispensing Token distribution service – see below for further details.

What is the EPS?

The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) allows prescribers working in primary care settings to generate and transmit electronic prescriptions using their computer system. An electronic prescription is sent to the EPS, where it can then be downloaded by a dispenser who has also upgraded their computer system to use EPS.  Patients have the option to choose, or 'nominate' a dispensing contractor to receive their electronic prescription automatically – without the need for any paper.

Pharmacy Support

When a GP practice is due to go live, Pharmacies in the area will be given at least 6 weeks notice.  Those pharmacies which have a significant dispensing share of the GPs prescribing activity will be contacted and offered a visit.  The purpose of the visit is to ensure pharmacies have the minimum number of smartcards they require to process prescriptions from the GP practice(s) concerned and also to undertake smartcard checks for any new staff who require them.

Pharmacy Information Pack

The information below is included in a Pharmacy Information Pack which is left with each pharmacy:

  1. ESP2 golive pharmacy checklist.  Pharmacies may wish to use this checklist to ensure all necessary processes and arrangements are in place prior to going live with EPS2
  2. EPS2 guide for Health Professionals.  This is a brief guide to EPS2 written for Health Professionals.
  3. EPS2 Information sheet for patients.  This is a single sheet of information which could be given to patients considering nomination.
  4. PCT Nomination Policy.  This is the NHS Sussex nomination policy which sets out what pharmacies need to do to comply with legislation, and to ensure patients are made aware of their choices.
  5. Nomination one-page guide.  This one-page guide is a summary of the principles of nomination.
  6. Dispensing Tokens – order process.  This is the NHS Sussex process for ordering Dispensing Tokens.
  7. Dispensing Tokens – order form.  This form is to be used when ordering Dispensing Tokens from PCSS.
  8. Smartcard information sheet.  This sheet gives further information on where to get smartcard support.
  9. IT Troubleshooting form.  Pharmacies may wish to complete this form with key contacts and other useful information, so that it can be used to help guide the actions of staff in the event of an IT failure.
  10. Business continuity guide.  This is an overview of the steps to take in the event of a failure in the EPS2 service or component services.
  11. Validation Process Guidance.  This guidance explains the validation process, which has to be completed as part of a pharmacy’s preparation for EPS Release 2. When this process is complete the site will be officially live with EPS Release 2, able to set nominations and receive and process scripts.