All GP practices in Portsmouth CCG are now live with the latest upgrade as part of the Electronic Prescription Services (EPS).
The latest upgrade, Phase 4, has been piloted by the CCG and now 100% of practices are enabled for prescriptions to be sent electronically.
NHS Digital said once the service is rolled-out across the county it could save the NHS £130m a year by reducing the amount of paper processing required by GPs, pharmacists and the NHS Business Services Authority.
For patients without a nominated pharmacy they will still receive a paper copy of their prescription listing what has been prescribed, but it will also contain a barcode. Pharmacy staff will then scan the barcode to download their electronic prescription from the secure NHS database – the NHS Spine. Patients with a nominated pharmacy will still have their prescriptions sent electronically without needing a paper copy.
The service also means clinicians can keep track of prescriptions and prescriptions can’t be lost.
Simon Cooper, Director of Medicines Optimisation at NHS Portsmouth CCG, said “Implementing EPS Phase 4 across the city has been a very straightforward process for us and we are already beginning to see the benefits.”
“Moving from what was essentially a paper-driven process to an approach which is primarily digitally-focused means much greater efficiency for our GP practices and dispensing pharmacies in terms of time and accuracy, and this can only be positive for patients, too.”
“It’s also helping to create a much more accurate picture for us in terms of assessing prescribing data, which we can now do more quickly and with a greater degree of confidence in the information we are reviewing.”
Richard Ashcroft, Programme Director for Medicines and Pharmacy at NHS Digital, said “This is a major step forward for patients, GPs and pharmacists. Portsmouth CCG have worked hard to introduce EPS Phase 4 and we look forward to other areas of the country following their lead soon.”
“Every single prescription that is sent electronically, rather than via paper, saves money for the NHS as less time and valuable resource is spent processing and storing the paper prescriptions.”