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Pharmacy bulletin for community pharmacy, dispensing doctors and dispensing appliance contractors

4 April 2017

New SCR registration process

From 1 April 2017, a new process for pharmacies and pharmacy staff to register for access to Summary Care Records (SCR) was introduced. Details of the new process are outlined on the NHS Digital SCR web pages. The process to apply for SCR access will now be through the website and there will be no requirement to attend face to face training.

SCR provides pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with quick access to patient information, such as medication, allergies and adverse reactions, meaning there is less need to contact GPs, especially out-of-hours or during busy periods. Information is available for more than 55 million patients. Over 93% of community pharmacies now have access to SCR and over 24,000 pharmacy professionals have completed the SCR eLearning.

From April 2017, having access to SCR will also become an NHS England measure under the Quality Payments Scheme for community pharmacy, helping to drive up quality of care.

There is eLearning on the website for community pharmacy SCR Governance Persons (SGPs) (formerly known as Privacy Officers). 

If you have any enquiries about accessing SCR, please email NHS Digital at scrpharmacy@nhs.net


One billion EPS prescriptions

In the latest of a series of milestones in its seven year history, more than one billion prescription items have now been dispensed and claimed through EPS. What began in July 2009 with the first patient nominating a pharmacy in Leeds has grown to more than one in every three patients now being registered for EPS.

The chart below shows how EPS has progressed. More statistics are available on the website.

CIS Identity Agent – urgent action

The Care Identity Service (CIS) will be undertaking several system tests on the service during 2017. 

To prevent any potential impact, pharmacists are asked to talk to their PMR suppliers to ensure you are using a supported version of the Identity Agent client - NHS Digital v1 as a minimum, but v2 is recommended. 


Use the EPS tracker

Dispensers can search the EPS Prescription Tracker by NHS number or date range to check the status of a prescription. If you can’t find a prescription, use the tracker before calling the GP surgery. The tracker can save time and means you can advise patients with confidence. Dispensers can ‘copy and paste’ a Prescription ID (barcode) into their dispensing system to retrieve a prescription and can also use it to check that a claim has been submitted.

Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)

On average, GP practices using EPS are now sending over half of their prescriptions electronically, but electronic repeat dispensing makes up less than 12% of this total. NHS England says that 80% of current repeats could be transferred to electronic repeat dispensing, which could save over 2.7 million GP practice hours. 

NHS England has recently issued guidance about the Outcome of 2017/18 GMS Contract Negotiations. The letter refers to the need for:

  • an increased uptake of electronic repeat prescriptions with reference to co-ordination with community pharmacy 
  • continued uptake of electronic repeat dispensing to a target of 25 per cent with reference to CCG use of medicines management and co-ordination with community pharmacy
Find out more about how you could use eRD.