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Electronic repeat dispensing (eRD)

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, NHS England and NHS Improvement are advising practices should consider putting all suitable patients on electronic repeat dispensing as soon as possible 

This is part of the preparations to prioritise work and help manage an increased pressure on the health service. Go to 'eRD advice following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak' for more information and guidance. 

What is eRD?

Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) was introduced in July 2009 as a non-compulsory method of dispensing prescriptions electronically. From April 2019, as stated in the GP contract, eRD became a contractual obligation for all patients where it is clinically appropriate and the patient consents.

Our GP Assurance team are working in collaboration with CCGs to help prescribers and dispensers realise the benefits of increased eRD use.

This video was produced in collaboration with NHS Digital. It was created primarily for pharmacies to explain the high level process behind eRD.

Download the video transcript (Word: 249KB)

As part of the preparations to prioritise work and help manage an increased pressure on the health service, NHS England and NHS Improvement are advising that practices should consider putting all suitable patients on electronic repeat dispensing as soon as possible. 

It has always been the case that patients need to individually consent to receiving their medication through eRD. Now, using the powers granted by the National Health Service (Amendments Relating to the Provision of Primary Care Services During a Pandemic etc.) Regulations 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement has agreed with the Secretary of State that in certain circumstances this requirement can be temporarily suspended. 

Practices in England may transfer any clinically suitable patient onto eRD if they are already receiving, or have agreed to receive, electronic prescriptions. This means any patient that meets any of the following criteria: 

  • They have previously had medication dispensed by means of the electronic prescription service (EPS).
  • They have recorded a nominated pharmacy either via the practice, pharmacy or NHS App.
  • They have a practice that is live with EPS Phase 4. 

The requirement for patient consent is suspended until 30 September 2020 at which time the suspension will either be extended or revoked.

You can find more information about consent on NHS England and NHS Improvement's website.

If you need support with eRD, we can provide:

  • GP practices with NHS Numbers for patients who might potentially be suitable for eRD.
  • support and guidance for GPs on how to increase their levels of eRD use.

You can find out more information about the support we can offer in our electronic Repeat Dispensing in response to COVID-19 slideshow (PDF:1.52MB). You can find information about GDPR roles and responsibilities in our guidance document (Word: 260KB).

You can also email nhsbsa.epssupport@nhs.net to request more information about this service.

If you're a GP practice, find out more about eRD on our eRD information for GP practices page

If you are a CCG find out more information about eRD on our eRD information for CCGs page.

If you're a patient, find out more about eRD on our information for patients page.

If you're a pharmacy, find out more about eRD on our information for pharmacies page.