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EPS Phase 4 Posted or Updated on 21 Feb 2024

The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) enables prescriptions to be sent electronically from a GP practice to pharmacy of the patient’s choice. This innovative service enables a more productive and convenient method of prescribing and dispensing for both patients and staff.

Previously, it was only possible to issue an EPS prescription where the patient had actually nominated a pharmacy. Therefore, it is proven that the EPS had been most advantageous for patients who received regular medication and who tend to get their prescriptions dispensed at the same pharmacy each time.

However, under Phase 4 of EPS, prescriptions are now sent via EPS by default, whether a patient has an EPS nomination in place or not. Patients without an EPS nomination will be given a token, otherwise known as a paper copy of a prescription, to present at a community pharmacy to obtain their medication. This token will contain a unique barcode which can be scanned at any community pharmacy in England to download the prescription from the NHS Spine and retrieve the medication details.

The benefits of the EPS Phase 4:

  • Almost all prescriptions will be processed and signed electronically - in most cases, over 95% of your prescriptions will be processed this way and only a small proportion will be hand-signed
  • One main process for prescriptions will lead to a more efficient, faster and secure service
  • If a patient without a nomination loses their token, it can be easily reprinted - there is no need to re-issue the electronic prescription
  • End-of-month processing will be quicker due to fewer paper prescriptions
  • The risk of dispensing duplicate prescriptions will reduce as electronic prescriptions can’t be lost
  • It will be possible to track more prescriptions on the EPS Prescription Tracker

*Paper prescriptions will continue to be available in special circumstances, but almost all prescriptions will be processed electronically


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