Electronic Prescribing Service

Electronic prescriptions

Most prescriptions for medicines and essential supplies are now signed, sent and processed electronically. Essential supplies include things like catheters and colostomy bags.

You have 2 choices for how this works.

  1. You can choose a pharmacy or dispenser to dispense all your prescriptions.  When you get a prescription, it will be sent electronically to the pharmacy or dispenser you have chosen. You can collect your medicines or essential supplies without having to hand in a paper prescription.
  2. You can decide each time you are issued a prescription where you would like it to be dispensed.  When you are issued a prescription, you will be given a paper copy that you can take to any pharmacy or other dispenser in England. The paper copy will contain a unique barcode that will be scanned to download your prescription from the secure NHS database.


Paper prescriptions will continue to be available in special circumstances, but almost all prescriptions will be processed electronically.


Choosing a pharmacy or other dispenser

If you get regular prescriptions or are already using a prescription collection service (where a pharmacy collects prescriptions from your GP practice for you) then choosing a pharmacy to dispense all your prescriptions may save you time by avoiding unnecessary trips to your GP.

You will still order your repeat prescriptions in the same way as you do now, but your prescriptions will be sent electronically to the pharmacy or dispenser of your choice.

You will not have to collect a paper repeat prescription from your GP practice.

You can find out more on the NHS website