This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

Electronic prescriptions near one billion per year

Pharmacy News

Electronic prescriptions near one billion per year

Just under a billion prescription items were dispensed electronically in the 2021-22 financial year, NHS England has said.

In a statement yesterday (February 8), NHSE said the Electronic Prescription Service is “now the default method for prescribing and dispensing prescriptions in primary care in England,” with 996 million items issued in 2021-22.

This accounts for 95 per cent of all prescription items that year, compared with less than half (48 per cent) in 2016-17 when 532 million items were dispensed in a paper-free manner. NHSE added that 11,400 pharmacies are now signed up to use EPS.

The NHSE figures also show that the total number of items dispensed per year has grown from 1.02 billion in 2016-17 to 1.04 billion in 2021-22.

NHSE chief pharmacy and medicines information officer Rahul Singal said: “When you look at the number of transactions that are made via the service and how much it’s revolutionised practice in general practice and community pharmacy, we’d be pushed to think of another national system that’s had more success.

“Our next focus is to introduce EPS into more care settings, including more health settings such as hospital outpatient departments, so the benefits can be realised for even more clinicians and patients across the NHS.”

Dr Rabani, a GP at Ling House Medical Centre in West Yorkshire where the first electronic prescription was sent 18 years ago, commented: “The Electronic Prescription Service for us in general practice really has been a game-changer. Gone are the days of spending our lunch breaks signing reams of repeat prescriptions by hand.

“In terms of patient safety, if we change or cancel a prescription we can amend it in the system instead of phoning the pharmacy and making sure the paper slip is destroyed. And it’s been useful for my out-of-hours practice as well. I can look in the system to see the opening hours and addresses of pharmacies to help decide which is the most convenient one for my patient to send their prescription to.”

Copy Link copy link button

Pharmacy News

Stay up to date with all the news, learning and insight in the world of pharmacy.