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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

Electronic Prescription Service

The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) enables prescriptions to be sent electronically from the GP surgery to the pharmacy and then on to NHS Prescription Services for payment. It is being deployed through two key releases.

Release 1

In EPS release 1 the paper prescription form remains the legal prescription with a parallel electronic message flow linked via a 1D barcode on the prescription which could, optionally, be used to support the processing of the paper prescription. EPS Release 1 was not intended to  deliver significant direct benefits to stakeholders, but rather to provide a safe environment to establish the EPS infrastructure without the risk of disruption to the supply of medicines to patients. Over 90% of pharmacies have deployed EPS Release 1. Click on the link below for more information:

Release 1

Release 2

Release 2 supports the transmission of electronic prescriptions, e-repeat dispensing, patient nomination of their selected pharmacy, the cancellation of e-prescriptions and the electronic submission of reimbursement claims to NHS Prescription Services. Currently, prescribers can only issue an electronic NHS prescription where it is being sent electronically to a patient’s nominated pharmacy. Implementation of Release 2 began in late 2009. Click on the links below for more information on Release 2:


Preparing to deploy R2
(deployment controls, 
system suppliers, training) 

Using R2
(dm+d, nomination, tokens,
endorsing and submission)

Deployment Status and Future Plans


 Smartcards  EPS Funding  EPS & the NHS Re-organisation


EPS On Social Networks

The HSCIC EPS team are sharing information and top-tips on EPS through a number of social networks and electronic channels. Click on the links below for more information:

Email Bulletin / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube


Reporting System Problems

It is essential that all system problems, however minor, are reported to pharmacy system suppliers. In some cases, the problem may be resolved over the phone, for example if it is a training or local system configuration problem. In other cases, the supplier may need to add it on to their work plan as a future development. Where the supplier can’t resolve a problem, for example, if it is an issue with the GP system, the pharmacy supplier can escalate the issue to a national helpdesk to co-ordinate resolution.

Remember to obtain a helpdesk reference number. If the supplier does not resolve the problem in a satisfactory way, having the reference number is essential so that the problem can be escalated via other routes.


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