Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) Engagement Meeting

Monday, 10 July, 2017 6.30pm Light Refreshments, 6.45pm Start
Pomona House, Oakview Close, Torquay TQ2 7FF


We are hosting an evening dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of the Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) system. The event will take place at Pomona House from 18.30 to 21.00 on Monday 10th July 2017. The evening is aimed at anyone who has a hand in the repeat prescription process within GP practices and community pharmacies. We would like to concentrate on the Torquay locality in order to build expertise locally and encourage prescribers, practice managers, prescribing clerks, community pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and dispensers to attend. Stephen O’Reilly from NHS Digital will lead the evening and will be on-hand to answer all your questions.

Light refreshments will be available from 18.30 with the aim of starting the presentation at 18.45, parking is available on site.

If you are interested in attending please email medicinesoptimisation.sdtccg@nhs.net by Wednesday 5th July stating your name, contact details and any dietary requirements you may have. Please share this information with colleagues who may be interested in attending.

Further information regarding eRD and a link to the benefits calculator are below.

Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) Engagement Meeting

Why eRD?It is estimated that two thirds of prescriptions issued in primary care are repeat prescriptions and that these repeat prescriptions account for nearly 80 per cent of NHS medicine costs for primary care. The management of these prescriptions and the time involved in processing them is significant. In order to provide a more efficient way to manage repeat prescriptions in 2005 the government introduced Repeat Dispensing Services. Initially repeat dispensing was only available using paper based prescriptions but since July 2009 it has been possible to use repeat dispensing via Release 2 of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS). This is called electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) to differentiate it from paper based Repeat Dispensing.

What is eRD? eRD is the process that allows a patient to obtain repeated supplies of their medication or appliances without the need for the prescriber to hand sign authorised repeat prescriptions each time. This allows the prescriber to authorise and issue a batch of repeat prescriptions until the patient needs to be reviewed. The prescriptions are then available for dispensing at the specified interval by the patient’s nominated dispenser.

When a prescriber issues an electronic prescription for repeat dispensing using their EPS Release 2 prescribing system, in addition to the information found on a standard EPS Release 2 prescription, this electronic repeatable prescription contains:

  • the intended interval between each issue of the repeatable prescription
  • how many times the repeatable prescription can be issued


For example, the electronic repeatable prescription may say that the prescription interval is every 28 days and it can be repeated six times. This would give a patient approximately six months’ supply of medication, dispensed every 28 days with the prescriber only needing to authorise and electronically sign once. EPS Release 2 prescribing systems use a default interval of 28 days, but this can be changed by the prescriber to the required interval at the start of electronic repeat dispensing, to support the clinical needs of the patient. 

What are the benefits of eRD?

GP Practice

  • Reduction in workload in re-signing requested repeat prescriptions.
  • Reduction in the amount of requests/queries coming into the practice.
  • Prescriptions cannot be lost
  • Cancellation at any point during the regime at item or at prescription level.
  • New medication can be added to the regime.
  • Possible reduction in medicines waste.


  • Improved stock control.
  • Increased efficiency.
  • Effective time management.
  • Reduction in managed repeat workload.


  • Reduction in unnecessary visits to the GP practice.
  • Ability to request multiple issues of medication when necessary e.g. holidays, Christmas, Easter
  • Potential reduction in out of hours requests for routine medication.
  • Patient doesn’t need to remember to order their prescription.
  • Patient cannot lose their prescription.
  • Pharmacy nomination can be changed in the middle of a repeat dispensing regime.

Benefits Estimator  A useful tools which calculates the estimated benefits of EPS and eRD for prescribers and dispensers financially and in hours is available here: https://epsestimator.digital.nhs.uk/#!/prescriber


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