Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)

The AHSN NENC is supporting a regional initiative coordinated by NHS England and Improvement Regional Office and The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) to increase the use of Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) in suitable patients as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response. GP Practices have been offered practical assistance to support implementation including a series of webinars and a dedicated email.

As part of the Primary Care response to COVID-19, NHS England have stated:

“General practices have been asked to consider putting all suitable patients on electronic repeat dispensing as their next repeat prescriptions are issued. The whole repeatable prescription can be valid for a year, but each repeat should be for no longer than the patient has now. For example, if the patient has prescriptions for a month’s supply now, then the repeat dispensing should be set up as 13 x 28 day’s supply.”

Increasing eRD will have the following benefits in the current situation:

  • Reducing footfall to GP practices and to the community pharmacy, supporting social distancing.
  • Reducing workload for prescribers, allowing better prioritisation of resources.
  • Controlled management of the supply chain

Implementation of eRD

The NHSBSA is working with GP practices, using dispensing data to identify patients who have received the same medications in at least 10 of the last 12 months (up to January 2020) and provide NHS Numbers for patients who are potentially suitable for eRD. The initial practice list will identify patients receiving 1,2 or 3 medications allowing practices to start the process of moving patients to eRD where considered appropriate and where the move is likely to be straight forward.

Further information is available on the NHSBSA website at: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/pharmacies-gp-practices-and-appliance-contractors/prescribing-and-dispensing/electronic/electronic-repeat-dispensing-erd

A range of resources to support implementation of eRD are available at https://wessexahsn.org.uk/projects/120/electronic-repeat-dispensing

For further information please contact janette.stephenson@ahsn-nenc.org.uk