The electronic prescription service (EPS) has been launched in a number of urgent care services in London, NHS Digital has said.
Under a new pilot study, EPS will be used by prescribers in integrated urgent care services, including NHS 111, GP out-of-hours services and urgent care centres. Initially, only sites using the Advanced Adastra system will take part.
The pilot will run until early in the New Year, and if it is successful NHS Digital say they will recommend that EPS be expanded across integrated urgent care settings nationwide.
Richard Ashcroft, programme director for digital medicines at NHS Digital, said: “This is an important development which will bring significant benefit to patients in integrated urgent care, building on the time and money that EPS has already saved across primary care.
“Rolling this additional service out will relieve some of the pressures faced by out-of-hours services such as 111, particularly during winter months, and will improve the experience for patients.”
The EPS sends electronic prescriptions directly to pharmacies and could eventually remove the need for paper prescriptions. Using the service patients can nominate a pharmacy to which repeat electronic prescriptions should be sent, reducing the number of GP visits.
The service has been rolled out across GP surgeries since 2009.