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Tuesday 12th November 2019

NHS to introduce final stage of electronic prescriptions next month

Part of a plan to save millions

The NHS is set to roll out digital prescriptions from next month after the Department of Health received positive feedback for the scheme.

The plan is part of a sweeping strategy to digitise the health service and save the Government £300million.

As reported by the Mirror, GPs and pharmacies responded positively following a trial run of digital prescriptions across dozens of surgeries and pharmacies.

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The electronic prescription service, or EPS, will roll out across England, according to Primary care minister Jo Churchill.

As many as 70% of all prescriptions are now prescribed and dispensed through the digital system, which was first introduced at a Leeds-based GP surgery and pharmacy in 2009.

Once the final stage of EPS is rolled out, almost all prescriptions will be sent electronically, although paper prescriptions will reportedly still be available for patients who need them.

Patients will be able to choose the pharmacy where their GP can send the prescription (Credit: Pixabay)

EPS will put Brits' medical information on Spine, a secure NHS database allowing GPS and pharmacies to quickly and easily access a patient's prescription.

This will free up vital time for GPs and allow pharmacists to spend more time with their patients.

Patients will be able to get their medication by either choosing a pharmacy to receive the prescription deatils from their GP, or receive a paper version featuring a digital barcode.

Jo Churchill, who is MP for Bury St Edmunds, said in a statement issued via the government's website: "Digitising the entire prescription service is a key part of keeping up the drive to make the NHS fit for the 21st Century. This will free up vital time for GPs and allow pharmacists to spend more time with their patients, and save millions of pounds a year.

MP Jo Churchill said EPS will help make the NHS "fit for the 21st Century" (Credit: CampaignTB / YouTube)

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"It's another important step towards eventually making all prescriptions paperless. We are continuing to improve technology across the NHS, which will ultimately improve care for patients."

And the director of digital medicines and pharmacy at NHS Digital, Dr Ian Lowry, commented: "Every prescription that is sent electronically saves money for the NHS by increasing efficiency. This is a huge milestone to reach, and one which benefits patients, GPs, pharmacists and the NHS as a whole."

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