EPS, eRD, Smartcards and SCR

Electronic Prescriptions – EPS 

The majority of prescriptions are sent via EPS across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and EPS Phase 4 has now been rolled out.

For support with EPS and queries relating to dispensing, including split prescriptions, please go to  Dispensing (EPS) – Community Pharmacy England (cpe.org.uk)

Support for submission of EPS can be found at Submission (EPS) – Community Pharmacy England (cpe.org.uk)

To access the EPS tracker, please go to https://portal2.national.ncrs.nhs.uk/prescriptionsadmin you will need a Smartcard and N3/HSCN connection. For more information on the tracker, please go to EPS Prescription Tracker – Community Pharmacy England (cpe.org.uk)


Electronic Repeat dispensing (eRD)

eRD is a process that allows a patient to obtain repeat supplies of their medication or appliances without the need for the prescriber to issue repeat prescriptions each time.

When issuing a repeatable prescription using eRD, the prescriber will authorise a prescription with a specified number of ‘issues’; each issue contains the same prescribed items. eRD allows the prescriber to electronically authorise and issue a batch of repeat prescription issues for use for up to 12 months.

When a prescriber issues an eRD prescription series using their EPS Release 2 prescribing system, in addition to the information found on a standard EPS prescription, the eRD message contains:

  • the intended interval between each issue; and
  • how many batch issues there are.

The prescription issues are then made available electronically for dispensing at the specified interval by the patient’s nominated pharmacy.

When issuing an eRD repeatable prescription batch, prescribers can issue a Repeatable Prescription Authorising Token to the patient, but the patient does not need one to be able to collect their eRD prescription from their nominated pharmacy.

The Spine manages the release of each individual batch issue. The first batch issue is available as soon as it is received by the Spine; subsequent issues will be created on the Spine ready to be pulled down later.

To allow pharmacy team to prepare items for dispensing in advance of a patient visiting the pharmacy, the Spine will automatically send the nominated pharmacy a repeat dispensing batch issue seven days before the expected end date of the previous batch issue.

It is possible for a pharmacy to pull down issues in advance of them being sent automatically from the Spine, for example where the instalment dispensing interval is flexible and the pharmacist believes that an instalment should be dispensed at an earlier time because the patient is going on holiday. Pharmacy IT system suppliers also have flexibility to implement more advanced scheduling functionality in their systems to support workflow in pharmacies.

Pharmacy teams should advise patients of the need to contact their prescriber when dispensing the last issue of a repeatable prescription series.

For any further information needs, please visit Repeat Dispensing and eRD – Community Pharmacy England (cpe.org.uk)



All members of the pharmacy team who will download EPS R2 prescriptions as part of their role MUST have their own RA01 Smartcard – it is PROHIBITED under the terms of issue to use another person’s Smartcard or allow such use of your own Smartcard in order to access EPS R2 prescriptions or any other process.

CPE have published lots of helpful information on Smartcards here

To access SCR you will need to get your smart card updated, more information is available on CPE here.  Please be aware that the SCR access can be added remotely.  Please contact the service desk (details below) for advice on how to proceed with the update.


Smartcard Authority for our area is NHS Midlands and Lancashire CSU

Smartcard Service Desk

In the first instance, Staff can continue to log jobs regarding Smartcards related matters via email to mlcsu.servicedesk@nhs.net as per the standard process but if you need to speak to a member of the Registration Authority team  you will need to call the MLCSU IT Service Desk on 0300 555 0212.


For all other IT issues, pharmacy staff should continue to contact their local IT supplier.

If you have any queries about this change, please email the MLCSU IT Service Desk and a member of the Project Team will respond as promptly as possible.

For further support on EPS, please see the PSNC and NHS Digital websites; NHS Digital have regular bulletins which you can sign up for by clicking HERE.


Further Information

EPS home – Community Pharmacy England (cpe.org.uk)

NHS Digital Website – https://digital.nhs.uk/services/electronic-prescription-service/phase-4/dispenser-information

Document from Wessex which you may find useful  https://wessexahsn.org.uk/projects/120/electronic-repeat-dispensing

You may also be interested in the following information which is aimed at GP practices but may be useful for reference:

 Training pack for GP practices 

How to set up repeat dispensing in EMIS web 

How to set up repeat dispensing in SystemOne