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Electronic repeat dispensing (eRD)

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

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.

eRD advice following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

As you are aware, the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing on a daily basis. COVID-19’s effects are being strongly felt and placing new and increasing pressures on already busy primary care providers. 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. 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 days’ supply.”

We can provide GP practices with data and guidance on how to increase their levels of eRD use. We will soon launch a new service to provide NHS Numbers for patients who potentially might be suitable for eRD.

What is eRD?

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.

NHS Numbers for patients potentially suitable for eRD

To help support the response to COVID-19, NHSBSA has introduced a new streamlined service for GP practices to receive NHS Numbers for patients who may be eligible for eRD. Patients will be identified through the following metrics:

Metric Description
Patients on single medication for the last 12 months

Use as a metric for priority 1 cohort.
Identify patients on a single unchanged medication for the last 12 months on EPS.

Patients on two medications for the last 12 months

Patients have been included on the basis that they have received at least 12 prescriptions for the same two medications, in the 12 month period specified.

Patients may have received more than one prescription in any given month, so there may be gaps in any individual patient's prescribing history.

Patients on three medications for the last 12 months

Patients have been included on the basis that they have received at least 12 prescriptions for the same three medications, in the 12 month period specified.

Patients may have received more than one prescription in any given month, so there may be gaps in any individual patient's prescribing history.

We’re only able to send NHS numbers to nhs.net email addresses. Collaboration is key to the successful implementation of eRD. Therefore, CCGs embarking on moving patients to eRD must discuss plans with their local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) prior to switching.

  1. We’ll contact GP practices to confirm whether they have an active nhs.net email address.
  2. Once confirmed, we’ll send the practice an email with a password-protected ZIP file. This will contain the NHS Number and the name of item prescribed for every patient that is potentially eligible for eRD.
  3. A clinician should then review the patient records of those patients to ensure that they are appropriate for eRD.
  4. The practice should then arrange for verified patients to be moved to eRD.

We've also created a library of resources to help you increased your eRD uptake. Visit our eRD resources page to see the materials available. 

If you have any queries about this process please contact us at nhsbsa.epssupport@nhs.net.