Practice dispensaries are the only dispensers to lie outside the Electronic Prescription Service, an interim evaluation of the EPS has found.
Since June, dispensing appliance contractors have been included in the EPS; DACs have now adopted a dispensing computer system developed for community pharmacy, which is linked to the DAC script management systems. Plans to develop an integrated DAC EPS2 system were abandoned as "challenging and potentially expensive".
The report speculates that an EPS R2 GP dispensing module is still yet to enter development, but suggests that this may not be the best solution anyway; researchers suggest that potentially it poses the problem of managing the identity of the dispensing practice, which would need to be identified by two site, or ODS codes - one as prescriber and one as dispenser.
Dr Allan Tennant adds:
The DDA has been pointing out to Connecting for Health since EPS started that they had forgotten about dispensing practices. Despite our efforts the situation has never improved.
Was the decision to exclude us made at CfH or the Department of Health?
It is difficult to accept that CfH is unable to find a solution that affects 16% of GP practices in England; so one must presume that CfH exclusion of dispensing doctors is wilful.