Trusts receive £26m for electronic prescription service

25 trusts will receive a share of the funding to aid hospitals in upgrading paper prescription systems, health bosses have announced

Minister for health, Edward Argar said the successful 25 trusts, which include acute, mental health and community services, have been allocated the funding is part of the government’s mission to upgrade NHS hospitals with modern technology so ‘patients get the best and safest care possible’. He said:

‘Electronic prescriptions in our hospitals will not only do away with old fashioned paper prescriptions but can help prevent avoidable and potentially catastrophic medication errors.

‘As part of our long term plan for the NHS we’re committed to giving our hardworking staff access to modern systems which save them valuable time and make every penny of taxpayers’ money count.

‘Following the previous funding announcement, I’m delighted to confirm the funding allocations for these 25 trusts as part of our mission to upgrade NHS hospitals with modern technology so patients get the best and safest care possible.’

Last month health bosses announced plans to digitise all prescription orders in England, starting this month (November). The spokesman said almost 70% of all prescriptions are already being prescribed and dispensed through EPS and, following positive feedback from GPs and pharmacies, health bosses had decided to roll EPS out nationally.

The system sees each patient presented with a unique prescription barcode which can be scanned at any pharmacy to retrieve medication details. This information is held on the secure NHS database and will allow a patient’s prescription to be accessed quickly by GPs and pharmacies.
However, chief executive of The Patients Association, Rachel Power, has raised concerns over the lack of feedback from patients. She said:

‘The government’s announcement of its new electronic prescription service is alarmingly light on detail about what it will mean for patients. Will patients still be given the name of the medicine they are being prescribed in writing, for instance?

‘The pilot scheme apparently received positive feedback from pharmacies and GPs, but what about patients – were they even asked for their views? We can’t identify any evaluation of the pilot scheme from the patient’s perspective.

‘Until we have more detail, we are concerned that this is another change that has been designed to suit the system and those who work in it, with no consideration for patients, who should be the top priority.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay


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