Electronic Repeat Dispensing
How does eRD work?
Under the current electronic repeat prescription system, your doctor must sign off each and every instalment of medicines meaning that you have to remember to order them each month and then chase up the GP if they are slow signing them off.
Under eRD you only need to visit your GP once. They will then prescribe a course of medicine over a period of time (6 months, for example) and pre-approve all of the prescriptions. Each prescription will be set up to be sent to your nominated pharmacist at a set time (usually every month). The pharmacist will automatically receive the prescription and will contact you (by phone or email) to ask you the following questions:
- Have you seen any health professionals since your last repeat was supplied?
- Have you recently started taking any new medicines either on prescription or that you have bought over the counter?
- Have you been having any problems with your medication or experiencing any side effects?
- Are there any items on your repeat prescription that you don’t need this time?
Based on these answers, the pharmacist can then dispense your medicines. Now Patient would, of course, do this by sending them to you from our free delivery service.
Who can use eRD?
Any patient on NHS repeat prescriptions can be suitable for eRD. This generally includes patients:
- On stable therapy
- With long term conditions
- On multiple therapies
- That can appropriately self-manage seasonal conditions
What are the benefits of eRD?
- You don’t need to make monthly appointments or requests from your GP; Now Patient will help you manage all prescriptions.
- If appropriate, you can request the next instalment early or obtain more than one prescription, for example when you are going on holiday.
- The NHS saves money – GPs time is expensive and eRD reduces the number of consultations they have to take. Over 2.7 million hours of GP and practice time could be saved if eRD is successfully taken up by patients.
How do I register for eRD?
Your GP will need to sign you up for the service. This will usually involve a face to face meeting to agree on your medicines and the prescription schedule. We have a handy template letter here that you can download and send to your surgery to get the ball rolling.
How can I find out more?
The NHS has produced this useful video to explain how the process works for GPs and pharmacists.