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Electronic payment schedules

NHS Prescription Services produces electronic payment schedule data (called 'electronic FP34 data') which contractors can use instead of receiving a paper copy.

It's not a like for like replacement of the paper version and you will need to develop your own IT solution to allow you to read and manipulate the data as it is not readily exported to Microsoft Excel.

Read our 'Introduction to Eschedules' for more information and to help you decide if you and your company can receive electronic FP34 data.

ESchedules is moving

ESchedules files will soon be available from our Information Services Portal. This existing website will continue to operate in parallel with the portal for two months before being turned off.

The table below shows which schedules will be available and from where during the transition period:

Payment Date

Prescription Month

Current Website

Information Services Portal

29-SEP-2017

201707

Y

N

01-NOV-2017

201708

Y

Y

01-DEC-2017

201709

Y

Y

29-DEC-2017

201710

N

Y

There are two slight differences in the file provided on the portal:

  • The Main branch bank account number (record type 200, start position 438, end position 447) in the new file will show **** in place of the first four numbers.
  • The filename convention will change from "MnnnnnPHName of pharmacy.dat" to "Eschedul_DD-MON-2_MnnnnnPH.dat", you should take this into account when saving/naming the file as you download it.

While the the portal will begin to build up a history of ESchedule files, you will lose access to the existing history of files when the current site is switched off so please take the opportunity now to download any historic data you might want to keep.

Log in to the Electronic FP34 via the Information Services Portal (You will need to ensure that you are registered for access to the portal and that your access rights include ESchedules. To do this please contact nhsbsa.contractorpayments@nhs.net with your company details.)

Log in to the Electronic FP34 (current website)

 Introduction to electronic schedules (eschedules)

Eschedules were devised as a way to deliver schedule data in a format that could be downloaded to a database and manipulated. The Eschedule is an electronic file that contains all of the data on the paper FP34 schedule of payments.

Eschedules can be received alongside the paper FP34 and if you are satisfied with the data, at an agreed time, NHS Prescription Services will stop sending paper FP34s.

Receiving the data in the Eschedules format will allow your company to extract the data to a database and manipulate the data to meet the needs of your organisation.

Eschedule data is available in the form of a 'fixed format' file which is available online, from a secure web server, at around the same time as the printed schedule. A 12-month history is maintained on the server.

What does it look like?

The format of the data is based on ‘Eschedule Map.xls,’ which describes the layout of the file and the positioning of the data. You will need this file to help you develop an IT solution to use the data to its full potential.

The data is not in a format that is readily exported to Microsoft Excel.

Sample Eschedule File.dat’ shows a sample of the data. You can use this file see what the data will look like and to test your IT solution.

Local Payments.txt’ is a list of local payments, which are entered by the Primary Care Organisations. Not all local payments will be listed in the eschedule file, only those that have a payment attached.

If you’d like to receive electronic FP34 data, please contact nhsbsa.contractorpayments@nhs.net with your company details.

Changes

Occasionally, it is necessary to make changes to the ‘Eschedule Map.xls’ or the ‘Local Payments.txt’. New versions of the files with the changes will be available for you make amendments.

A new version of the ‘Sample Eschedule File.dat’ will also be available to aid testing.