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Following a successful trial, NHS Digital has announced that use of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) in integrated urgent care settings is to be rolled out nationally.
This means that patients seeking care out of hours or from urgent care settings will be able to have their prescriptions sent electronically to a pharmacy rather than relying on paper prescriptions, speeding up the prescriptions process and enabling more time to be spent treating patients.
The pilots, which took place in London and the East Midlands across December, involved 73 prescribers and 257 dispensers.
The service will initially be available to settings running the Advanced Adastra system, which accounts for the majority of urgent care settings, but NHS Digital has said it is working with other suppliers to develop this functionality in their systems.
Vishen Ramkisson, senior clinical lead at NHS Digital, said: "Reducing winter pressures on the NHS has become a catalyst for change, resulting in new levels of digital innovation that will have profound benefit to patients, care providers and local pharmacies. This is a significant step in extending the benefits of digital prescribing, providing a faster, better and more efficient system for patients, doctors and pharmacists.
"Faster processing of prescriptions from NHS 111 and out of hours will enable those services to treat more urgent cases or spend more time treating each patient. And a patient who requires nothing more than a short-term supply of an existing medication will no longer need a face-to-face consultation with a clinician."
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