The 10 projects at the heart of NHS IT reveals which are on time - and which are running late

The Electronic Prescription Service

The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) allows GPs to generate electronic prescriptions that will replace paper orders, improving accuracy and safety by ensuring prescription information need only be typed in once.

Find out more about the 10 key NHS IT projects

♦&nbsp NHS Care Records Service

♦&nbsp Choose and Book

♦&nbsp The Electronic Prescription Service

♦&nbsp N3 national broadband network

♦&nbspPicture Archiving and Communications System (Pacs)

♦&nbsp The Spine

♦&nbspThe Quality Management and Analysis System

♦&nbspGP2GP record transfer

♦&nbspNHSmail- a central email and directory service for the NHS

♦&nbsp Secondary Uses Service

EPS will also be integrated with the NHS Care Records Service, recording what medicines have been prescribed and actually dispensed to patients.

It is being rolled out in two releases: the first adds barcodes to paper prescriptions to speed up repeat prescriptions. The second release, meanwhile, will add electronic signatures to authorise electronic prescriptions.

Patients with regular prescriptions are able to nominate a pharmacy to receive the prescription electronically and prepare the their medicine in advance.

The project will involve "an enormous logistical challenge", the NHS said, because it involves upgrading prescribing and dispensing systems, as well as issuing smart cards to control staff access to the service.

What progress so far?

The service is widely available across the UK, used in 6,746 surgeries and 9,038 pharmacies.

More than 111 million prescription messages have now been transmitted electronically and EPS is being used for more than 24 per cent of daily prescription messages.

The first release is working well for pharmacies and is saving time in the processing of batches of repeat prescriptions.

The second release is being tested before being deployed nationally to ensure it works well on local systems, with download times expected to vary depending on network speeds and other factors.

Topics: Tech Industry


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.