All NHS prescriptions to be digitised
Electronic prescriptions will be implemented across England from next month
Credit: Julien Behal/PA
All prescriptions issued across England are to be digitised.
Seven in ten prescriptions are already fulfilled via the NHS’s electronic prescription service, according to the government. Next month, the service will be extended to cover all GPs and pharmacists across England.
Under the electronic system, patients will be issued with a unique barcode which can then be scanned at any pharmacy. Doing so will automatically retrieve from a secure NHS database details of the medication required.
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The government said that the electronic system will reduce the need for citizens to visit their GP and will eliminate administrative duties. It will also lessen the number of prescriptions that need to be stored.
These efficiencies are expected to facilitate cumulative savings of £300m by 2021, the government said.
Primary care minister Jo Churchill said: “Digitising the entire prescription service is a key part of keeping up the drive to make the NHS fit for the 21st century. This will free up vital time for GPs and allow pharmacists to spend more time with their patients, and save millions of pounds a year. It’s another important step towards eventually making all prescriptions paperless. We are continuing to improve technology across the NHS, which will ultimately improve care for patients.”
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