Coventry LPC

ELECTRONIC PRESCRIPTION SERVICE (EPS) PHASE 4

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PSNC Guidance

PSNC EPS Homepage

PSNC EPS Phase 4

NHS Digital

EPS Phase 4 Overview

National Roll-Out Schedule

Information for dispensers

EPS Tracker

EPS Prescription Tracker

Fact Sheet for Pharmacy

User Guide BC Mode Part 1

User Guide BC Mode Part 2

PSNC Tracker Guidance

Presentations

CCG Presentation

Infographic

Phase 4 of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is the point at which electronic rather than paper prescriptions become the default.

From 18th November 2019, EPS Phase 4 will begin rolling out to more GP practices using the TPP SystmOne GP system. All community pharmacy teams should therefore be aware that they may receive EPS Phase 4 tokens to process.

Full rollout for TPP SystmOne GP system practices will take place in the coming weeks and months on a location by location basis.

Under EPS Phase 4, patients can choose to take their token to any pharmacy in England. If you receive a Phase 4 token, simply scan the barcode and dispense it as you would any other electronic prescription.

Source: PSNC


Frequently Asked Questions and Additional Support


  • What are the benefits of EPS Phase 4?
  • How do I process an EPS Phase 4 token?
  • What are the recommended actions to prepare for dispensing EPS Phase 4 prescriptions?
  • Top tips for processing Phase 4 tokens
  • Can EPS Tracker be used to view information relating to a Phase 4 prescription?
  • Are there any exceptions?
  • What are the consent and nomination requirements for EPS Phase 4 prescriptions?
  • What are the waiting times for patients using EPS Phase 4 prescriptions?
  • How do I report an EPS issue?
What are the benefits of EPS Phase 4?
  • An increase in electronic prescription endorsements will result in fewer reimbursement queries
  • A reduced risk of dispensing duplicate prescriptions because electronic prescriptions cannot be lost, and can be tracked using the EPS prescription tracker
  • EPS Phase 4 reduces the amount of paper processing required across GP practices, pharmacies and the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), with less time/resources spent processing and storing paper prescriptions
  • Implementing one main process will result in a more efficient and secure service
How do I process an EPS Phase 4 token?

As with all EPS prescriptions, dispense notifications and endorsements need to be added to the electronic prescription using your pharmacy system. Endorsements written or printed onto any type of EPS token will not be processed by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).

Patients without an EPS nomination will present to the pharmacy of their choice with an EPS Phase 4 green prescription token which is issued by the prescriber.

Patients may refer to this as a ‘paper copy’ of their prescription.

The token’s unique barcode can be scanned or the 18 digit Prescription ID can be manually entered to download the prescription from the NHS Spine and retrieve details of the medicine or appliance.

What are the recommended actions to prepare for dispensing EPS Phase 4 prescriptions?
  • Ensure relevant staff know how to process electronic prescriptions and have a NHS smartcard
  • Ensure a standard operating procedures (SOPs) are in place and reviewed regularly – a template SOP is available here
  • Ensure all relevant staff are aware of the EPS Prescription tracker and are competent to use it to check the status of a prescription and search for the Prescription ID if the prescription is to be manually downloaded
  • Use a highlighting method (highlighter pen) on the ‘Prescriber signature not required’ printed information on the token, to identify that it is a Phase 4 token, not a barcoded paper prescription
  • Check and customise the PMR system and print settings to avoid automatically printing a white EPS dispensing token
  • Use the green Phase 4 EPS token to capture patient exemption declarations or charge related signatures
  • Encourage appropriate patients (such as those receiving regular medicines from the same pharmacy) to set up a nomination
Top tips for processing Phase 4 tokens

Follow these tips when processing phase 4 tokens:

  • If you receive a Phase 4 token, you should scan the barcode and dispense it as you would any other electronic prescription.
  • Pharmacy teams can use the green Phase 4 prescription tokens to capture any patient exemption-related or charge-related signatures.
  • Some pharmacy teams that process the Phase 4 token used a highlighter pen to highlight the ‘Prescriber signature not required’ wording on the token, to highlight that it is a Phase 4 token rather than a barcoded paper prescription.
  • Green Phase 4 tokens should be filed with all the other white EPS tokens and not within the main bundle of paper prescriptions before the submission is sent to the NHSBSA.
  • Consider your system and print settings. Many PMR systems have settings to customise which types of EPS prescriptions may automatically have a white EPS dispensing token printed.
  • During the pilot, patients have sometimes filled in the back of the green Phase 4 token before they arrived at the pharmacy. If the pharmacy process involves shredding the green Phase 4 token and replacing it with a newly printed white dispensing token, the patient will have to complete the reverse of the dispensing token. To address this scenario, some pharmacy teams have changed their initial Phase 4 approach so that they use the green Phase 4 token for patient declarations, rather than printing out a new white EPS dispensing token for each Phase 4 script.

Source: PSNC

Can EPS Tracker be used to view information relating to a Phase 4 prescription?

Yes, EPS Phase 4 prescriptions can be identified using the EPS Tracker search (by prescription reference or by patient NHS number). EPS Phase 4 prescriptions will not be included within the ‘my prescriptions’ area until after your pharmacy has downloaded the EPS Phase 4 prescription into your PMR system.

Are there any exceptions?
  • Paper prescriptions will only be issued in exceptional circumstances such as when one, or more, of the following criteria are met:
  • The product is not listed in the NHS dictionary of medicines and devices (dm+d)
  • Instalment prescribing
  • The patient usually has their prescriptions dispensed in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales
  • The GP is unable to use EPS because they are experiencing technical or other difficulties
  • The welfare of the patient is at risk
  • The patient specifically requests to receive a paper prescription
What are the consent and nomination requirements for EPS Phase 4 prescriptions?

Patient consent is not needed for EPS Phase 4 prescriptions but remains a requirement for a nomination to be set up. All existing nominations set by patients will remain valid and pharmacy staff do not need to do anything with these. Patients who receive regular medication and frequently get their prescriptions dispensed at the same pharmacy, should continue to have nominations set; the decision of setting up a nomination lies with the patient.

What are the waiting times for patients using EPS Phase 4 prescriptions?

EPS Phase 4 prescriptions will not be included in the scheduled or manual nominated release requests from the NHS Spine. Waiting times for patients using EPS Phase 4 will be similar to those of signed paper prescription ‘walk ins’ as the electronic prescription is not available to download until the patient presents at the pharmacy with the EPS Phase 4 token and the prescription cannot be prepared in advance.

How do I report an EPS issue?

If you have an EPS Phase 4 issue that requires reporting, you can use the usual escalation routes to do this.

Briefing 024.16 Escalating EPS Issues 


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