Department of Health written question – answered on 8th September 2017.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to encourage choice of pharmacy at the point of an electronic prescription being issued.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

At the moment, only patients who have nominated a dispenser (community pharmacy or dispensing appliance contractor) of their choice are able to use the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS). Patients are informed about EPS, its benefits and are encouraged to use the service by both their general practitioner practices and dispensers. Patients are free to change their mind and nominate a different pharmacy or remove their nomination at any point. The next phase (Phase 4) of EPS will provide patients with a barcode that they can present to any pharmacy of their choice without needing to nominate in advance – thereby giving the patient complete choice of pharmacy. NHS Digital plans to pilot Phase 4 in April next year subject to the agreement of changes to prescribing and dispensing legislation.

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