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eRD information for GP practices


Our GP assurance team is working in collaboration with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to help prescribers and dispensers realise the benefits of increased electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) use.

To help increase eRD use, we can send CCGs, AHSNs and GP practices NHS Numbers of patients potentially suitable for eRD. 

If you’re looking for eRD resources, including 'how to' guides and templates to contact your patients, visit the eRD resources page.

GPs can request NHS Number data from us. As a temporary measure during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, CCGs and AHSNs can also request data from us on behalf of practices in their area. These regulations are currently due to expire on Thursday 30 September 2021.

We can send you a data file that includes patients who have received the same medicines, of up to 9 drugs, dispensed for 10 or more months in the last 12 months.

These patients could have received other medicines for a smaller number of months too. For example, a patient receiving atorvastatin for 12 months and amoxicillin in one month will be included in the list. 

In addition, the data includes patients who have received the same medicines for between 5 and 9 months in the last 12 months, and also in either of the last 2 months. This will include patients who might be on a 56-day regime.

We’re only able to send NHS Numbers to ‘’ email addresses.

1.    We’ll contact GP practices to confirm whether they have an active ‘’ email address.
2.    Once confirmed, we’ll send the practice an email that will include a password-protected ZIP file. This will contain the NHS Number and the name of the items prescribed for every patient that is potentially eligible for eRD.
3.    A clinician should then review the patient records of the patients identified to make sure that they’re appropriate for eRD.
4.    Before transferring patients to eRD, it’s really important the practice work with their local pharmacy. Communicating with your local pharmacy is very important to the successful use of eRD. 
5.    The practice should then arrange for verified patients to be moved to eRD.

We've also created a library of resources to help you increase your eRD uptake.

If you have any questions, you can contact us by email

You can currently request NHS Numbers for GP practices if you’re a:

•    GP practice
•    Primary Care Network clinical pharmacist who is working on behalf of GP practices
•    Medicines optimisation team from a CCG

Primary Care Network clinical pharmacists and CCGs will only be able to request this information under the coronavirus emergency regulations. These regulations are currently due to expire in September 2021.

All requests for NHS Numbers as part of the coronavirus response should be made to

For NHS Numbers to be supplied, the requester must have an ‘’ email address, as these are encrypted and secure. ‘’ email addresses are not acceptable.

You must specify which type of report you wish to receive.

This can be either a:

  1. Full month report

This report will identify patients who are potentially suitable for eRD prescribing based on data from February 2020 up to the most recent data available in ePACT2 . This data can requested for any month between February 2020 and the current available month in ePACT2.  This report may include patients who have been included on eRD NHS Number reports that you have previously requested.

  1. New NHS Numbers report

This report will identify patients who are potentially suitable for eRD prescribing based on a specified time frame. The earliest start date available is February 2020.

If you want to receive a new NHS Numbers report, you must specify a start and end date. The earliest start date you can request is February 2020. The end date must be at least two months behind the month you are requesting data in.  If you want to receive the most up to date data from ePACT2, specify current available month as the end date.

Where possible, specify your start and end date as MM/YYYY.

You need to provide the practice name and practice code of each practice you’re supporting and would like the NHS Numbers for. 

You’ll also need to specify which email address you would like the NHS Number data to be sent to. This has to be an ‘’ email address. You’ll receive 2 emails for each practice you’ve requested (one containing password and one containing the data).

The ability to request data as a Primary Care Network or CCG is a temporary emergency measure. Once the coronavirus regulations have lapsed, only GP practices will be able to request NHS Numbers.

It’s really important to work with your Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) before utilising eRD in your area. Communicating with your LPC is very important to the successful use of eRD. 

Each request will be reviewed to make sure that it has come from a genuine ‘’ email address. If there are any concerns, we’ll contact the requester to discuss.

When using this data, make sure you follow the information governance guidelines.

Only share with individuals who are engaging in the care of these patients.

Make sure you safeguard the data once you have it. You must also securely delete the details once they’ve been acted upon or are deemed inappropriate.

The file should be downloaded by the recipient using a desktop PC or official laptop. If the email is forwarded, or it’s opened via a mobile phone or tablet, the data attachment may be lost.

If you need help opening the data, see our guidance document (Word: 569KB)

Explanatory notes on NHS Number data

For explanatory notes on NHS Number data, read our guidance document (PDF: 141KB)

Data definitions

To see our data definitions, read our guidance document (PDF: 141KB)

Filtering the data

For information about filtering the data, read our guidance document (PDF: 131KB)