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Independents' Day

Digital repeat prescribing saves GP time and over £200m, says DH

Digital dispensing of repeat prescriptions has saved the NHS more than £212 million since 2011, according to figures released by ministers.

The dramatic savings are due to the amount of GP administrative time saved compared with physically repeating prescriptions, as well as a reduction in the volume of paper and signing time.

Cash saved by the scheme climbed from £290,100 in 2011/2012 to £122.9 million in 2015.

Volumes of digitally issued repeat prescriptions have increased by more than 50% from 2012-2015, from 54,061.6 issued in 2012 to 85,949.9 issued in 2015.

A health minister said that NHS England was utilising every opportunity to promote and support the increased growth of the use of electronic repeat dispensing, including increasing patient awareness of the service through communications and webinars.

Responding to a written question from another MP, health minister David Mowat said: 'A team of implementation managers [are] supporting the roll out of electronic repeat dispensing across the country by providing support at clinical commissioning group and GP practice level and engaging local community pharmacies in the process.'

Readers' comments (1)

  • Electronic prescriptions do not save doctor time, but they increase Accountability and save administration time. This may change later, but currently many prescriptions have to be duplicated and countless extra consultation time is spent asking patients whether they want their prescription sent to chemists or printed. The default is to go electronic, but patients normally want a printed script which will be dispensed faster. System has potential in future??? (hopefully)

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