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GP Systems Go Live with EPS for Controlled Drugs (CDs)

Written by Jenny Cocking on 28-Feb-2019 17:06:35

In England, the national rollout of controlled drugs (CDs) in EPS started today for TPP SystmOne GP practices and will commence on Tuesday 5 March for GP practices using Vision. 


Today, 93.1 per cent of practices and 98.7 per cent of pharmacies in England are live with Electronic Prescription Service (EPS). Until now however, controlled drugs (CDs) such as morphine or pethidine have been beyond the scope of EPS. As a result, patients, prescribers and dispensers have had to manually correlate two types of prescriptions: traditional paper based formats and electronic. However, in order to safely and effectively dispense the right drugs for patients at the right time, full and easy visibility of each individual’s prescriptions is vital. The need for and benefits of a fully electronic system have now been recognised by the NHS, and Vision has helped lead the way for GPs to send Schedule 2 and 3 CDs via EPS.

Russell Blackmore, Commercial Director for Vision, comments: “As a technology partner to the NHS, we are continuously looking for ways to improve workflows, increase efficiencies and support better patient outcomes. The electronic management of CDs is a milestone in the roll out of EPS and we are honoured to be a trusted partner in the scheme.”

Vision was one of the first GP systems to pass through testing and assurance with NHS Digital and to go live with EPS for CDs, beginning from the 2nd of October 2018. The piloting began in Yorkshire, the north west and London, and following the success of this pilot, the system is now being rolled out to all Vision customers in England.

Information for GP practices 

Processing prescriptions for Schedule 2 & 3 CDs electronically using EPS will make the process safer and more secure.

It is important that you check when your GP practice will go live so you can prepare for the change and inform your team and local pharmacies.

It is important that all staff working in your practice, including locums, are aware of the roll out and understand what the changes mean for them.

When controlled drugs have been enabled in your practice, EPS will be used for all eligible prescriptions. This change will happen as per your system supplier’s schedule and you do not need to manually enable the feature.

Once enabled, all prescriptions for Schedule 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs (excluding instalment FP10MDAs) will automatically be processed electronically for patients who use EPS for their existing prescriptions.

If you are a GP practice piloting Phase 4, this change will apply to all patients receiving Phase 4 tokens.

Click here for more information from NHS Digital and best practice guidance. 

Click here for details of the changes with Vision.





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