NHS to fully digitise prescriptions under plan to save £300m

Next month will see the full digitisation of medical prescriptions under an NHS plan that could save £300 million over two years, according to Jo Churchill, the primary care minister.

EPS, the electronic prescription service, has been trialled in 60 GP practices and hundreds of pharmacies and will now be extended across England. The first practice to use the system was in Leeds in 2009.

With EPS patients either nominate a pharmacy that will then receive the prescription direct from the GP or they will receive a paper prescription with a digital barcode. All the medical information is held on a secure NHS database called Spine, which will allow a patient’s prescription to be accessed quickly by GPs and pharmacies.

The DHSC expects the £300 million in savings by 2021 to come from increasing efficiencies, and reducing the amount of paper processing and prescribing errors.

Full story in The Guardian, 19 October 2019