The national roll out of controlled drugs in EPS begins Thursday 28th February and will take approximately two weeks to complete. It will include all practices in England using either SystmOne, or our sister company's Vision prescribing system.
This means the number of controlled drug prescriptions received via EPS will start to increase significantly as more GP practices have the functionality switched on.
As patients can nominate any EPS Release 2 enabled pharmacy in England, you could receive an electronic CD prescription at any time, even if there are no GP practices close to you currently live with CD functionality. GP practices taking part in the EPS Phase 4 pilot will prescribe CDs electronically both for patients with nominations and for those without (on Phase 4 tokens).
If you receive a prescription for a Schedule 2 or 3 CD via EPS, you should dispense it as you would any other electronic prescription. Processing Schedule 2 & 3 CDs electronically using EPS will make the process safer and more secure.
Benefits of prescribing controlled drugs through EPS
Processing prescriptions for Schedule 2 & 3 Controlled Drugs (CDs) electronically using EPS will make the process safer and more secure, with benefits meaning
- fewer patients with both paper and electronic prescriptions, making it easier for them as all their prescriptions can be sent electronically to their nominated pharmacy
- sending more prescriptions electronically will reduce the administrative burden on both GP practice and pharmacy staff
- prescriptions will be sent securely and electronically, and so can’t be lost or misplaced
- being able to see everything that has been prescribed helps pharmacists make the right decisions to safely and effectively dispense the right drugs for patients
- patients who had chosen not to use EPS because they still had paper prescriptions for controlled drugs can now benefit
- patient safety is increased as errors are less likely
It is important that all staff working in your pharmacy, including locums, are aware of the roll out and understand what the changes mean for you. NHS Digital has published advice on how these changes affect community pharmacies.