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Implementing an Electronic Repeat Dispensing System in GP practice


Uptake of Electonic Prescription Services and Electronic Repeat Dispensing was increased during a pilot project we carried out in Halton and St Helens.


MLCSU Medicines Management and Optimisation services were approached to support with the implementation of NHS England’s Electronic Repeat Dispensing service across Halton CCG and St Helens CCG. The aim was to increase the uptake and understanding of Electronic Prescription Services (EPS) and Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) to assist with the implementation of NHS England’s project in this specific area.


In conjunction with the two CCGs’ Medicines Management Teams (MMT) and with support from St Helens and Halton and Knowlsey Local Prescribing Committee, we developed a pilot project with an experienced MLCSU Senior Pharmacy Technician over a six-month period.

A standardised implementation process was devised to support four GP practices within each locality, supporting the non-contractual targets for EPS/eRD as detailed in the 2017/18 General Medical Services digital guidance. Guidance was produced by MLCSU to promote best practices in regards to the management of repeat medication.

A collaborative working approach was encouraged between GP practices and community pharmacies to enhance working relationships to benefit patient care.

The MLCSU Senior Pharmacy Technician reviewed current repeat prescribing ordering processes in conjunction with GP practice staff, members of the locality MMT and community pharmacies. Training was delivered to over 30 members of staff in both CCG locality MMTs to initiate and implement the use of EPS and eRD. An evening engagement event was arranged which also supported wider promotion of the project.


The pilot was conducted over six months with the MLCSU Senior Pharmacy Technician working on average one day per week to devise the implementation plan.

The April 2017 EPS utilisation figure reported on average 57% of EPS items were claimed for each Halton CCG practice and 67% for each St Helens CCG practice.

The latest statistics received from NHSBSA estimate for June 2017 EPS utilisation was 67% for Halton CCG practices (7% increase) and 77% for St Helens CCG practices (10% increase).

Since the completion of the project, GP practices are proactively engaging with the eRD workstreams and offering the service to suitable patients as identified by the pilot. The CCG MMTs have received relevant training to enable them to facilitate further eRD implementations in other GP practice sites, and to support pilot sites in future expansion of the scheme.


Rachel supported the CCG in the roll out of EPS RDS. She delivered training to medicines management colleagues and GP staff, and also communicated with local community pharmacists. Rachel delivered the project to a high standard, within agreed timescales and kept me informed of progress and any problems so that they could be resolved quickly and efficiently. The quality of the training and information received…has enabled us to now look at rolling this project out to additional practices. Without this support and resource from the CSU the project would have taken much longer to initiate.
Nicola Cartwright, Head of Medicines Management at St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group

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