Explaining the Electronic Prescription Service
30 May 2017
About the Electronic Prescription Service
This new service lets your GP practice send your prescription electronically to the dispenser you nominate to get your medication or appliance from – without the requirement for paper in some cases. This means there is a reduced need for people with repeat prescriptions to contact their GP practice just to collect a prescription form.
How does the Electronic Prescription Service work?
To begin, if you want your GP to send your prescription electronically, you must choose, or ‘nominate’, a dispensary to receive your electronic prescriptions. This could be a pharmacy, dispensing appliance contractor or your GP practice if you are entitled to collect medication from there. Nomination works in a similar way to a prescription collection service where the pharmacy collects your prescription on your behalf, as opposed to you having to collect it from your GP practice. The main difference with nomination is that your prescription will be sent electronically and you don’t have to nominate a place that is close to your GP practice. For example, you could choose to nominate a place that is convenient to where you live, work or shop.
When will I be able to start using the Electronic Prescription Service?
Different GP practices, pharmacies and dispensing appliance contractors will start using the second stage of the Electronic Prescription Service at different times. Your prescriptions cannot be sent electronically until your GP practice starts offering the service. Your GP practice can tell you when this will happen or look for the Electronic Prescription Service sign. Does using nomination mean I will see my GP less often? No, it just means that you may not have to call at your GP practice just to collect a prescription.
My carer usually collects my prescription for me. Can they request for nomination to be recorded on my behalf?
Yes, but they will need to know some of your personal information such as your name, date of birth and address to do this. I use my paper prescription to request my next repeat prescription issue. How can I do this if I don’t receive a paper copy? As electronic prescriptions are used more and more, GP practices may start offering different ways to order repeat prescriptions that will not require a paper copy of the prescription. However, if you do require a paper copy, simply ask for one when you collect your medication or appliance.
Do I need to be able to use a computer to use the Electronic Prescription Service?
No. The people who provide your prescription and medication will be using a computer. Can I nominate a chain of pharmacies or dispensing appliance contractors? You can only nominate a specific location to receive your electronic prescriptions.
Can I choose for my prescription not to be sent using the Electronic Prescription Service?
Yes, but if you decide not to use it, you won’t be able to use nomination. This means you will need to continue to make arrangements to collect your paper prescription from your GP practice. Which places can I nominate to receive my electronic prescriptions? You can have up to three different places nominated at any one time, including: one pharmacy; one dispensing appliance contractor and, if you are eligible; your dispensing GP practice. You can only nominate a place to receive your electronic prescriptions that is using the second stage of the Electronic Prescription Service.
How do I nominate?
There are two ways to nominate a pharmacy or dispensing appliance contractor to receive your electronic prescriptions:
1. You can ask a member of staff at any pharmacy to record your nomination for you
2. If you are eligible to collect medication from your GP practice, your GP practice nomination can only be recorded by a member of staff working at that GP practice.
What happens once I have nominated?
Once your nomination is recorded, your GP will transfer all your future prescriptions electronically to the place you have nominated. You should try to ensure you go to this place to collect your medication or appliance – unless you have made alternative arrangements with your GP practice. If you go elsewhere without making these arrangements you may experience delays in getting your medication or appliance. Using nomination for repeat prescriptions You should continue to re-order your repeat prescriptions from your GP in the same way as normal.
However, instead of having to collect the prescription from the GP practice, it will be sent electronically to the place you have nominated – meaning you don’t have to collect the prescription from your GP practice first. You can then collect/receive your medication or appliance as normal. For ‘one off’ prescriptions You can use your nomination for prescriptions that you only need to collect once, but as most are issued following a face-to-face consultation, it probably won’t save you a trip to the GP practice.
Changing your nomination
Nomination is very flexible and can be changed or cancelled at any time. You can do this by either: asking a member of staff at any pharmacy asking a member of staff at your GP practice. If you have a repeat prescription, your GP or pharmacist can tell you the best time to change your nomination. This will ensure that your next prescription is sent to the right place. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to use nomination on every occasion. If you don’t wish to use nomination for a particular prescription you should let your GP practice know before the prescription is issued.
What happens if I choose not to nominate?
Nothing – you will continue to get paper prescriptions as you do now. In the future, your prescription can be sent electronically, however, you will still be required to make arrangements to collect a paper copy of your electronic prescription. The place providing your medication or appliance will need this paper copy in order to process your prescription.
Is the Electronic Prescription Service secure and confidential?
The Electronic Prescription Service is reliable, secure, and confidential. Only authorised members of staff working in your GP practice, pharmacy and/or dispensing appliance contractor will be able to view your electronic prescription.