EPS Release 2
Maintaining patient choice and safety is paramount to the implementation of the Electronic Prescription Service. As with Release 1, system suppliers must upgrade their systems in order for them to be compatible with Release 2.
See supplier status for more information.
Following a period of development, each system goes through a rigorous testing process to ensure it is operating correctly. This is then followed by initial implementations at a small number of sites within an initial implementer PCT.
Once the system has been demonstrated to be of the necessary standard, the supplier is permitted to start wider national roll-out.
The implementation of Release 2 is being managed in a controlled way. Initially, only electronic prescriptions that are being sent to a patient's nominated dispensary will be capable of being signed and sent electronically.
This means that hand-signed paper prescriptions featuring a barcode will continue to be issued for prescriptions not being sent to a nominated dispensing contractor (as they were in Release 1). This approach ensures that a patient with an electronic prescription will not turn up at a pharmacy that cannot access Release 2 of the EPS.
Only a GP that is in a PCT that is listed in the Secretary of State Directions is authorised to issue electronic prescriptions. There is no such limit on dispensing contractors who can deploy a Release 2 compliant system once available.