After the Government announced their multi – year plan for the NHS, the Independent reported that by 2021, a move to scrap paper prescriptions under an NHS digital shakeup could save the NHS £300m and would allow more electronic authorising of medicines.
The Health and Social Care Secretary, Mr Hancock stated that “as a part of our long-term plan, I want the NHS to become the most advanced healthcare system in the world”, adding that “electronic prescribing both saves GPs’ time and helps to give patients a better, more seamless experience and ensures every pound of taxpayers money is spent effectively.”
Current regulations only allow an electronic prescription to be used where a patient has a nominated pharmacy but Ministers expect the restriction to be removed later this year. Certain controlled medication will be excluded from the proposal.
The scheme has already been tested in six NHS hospitals and found that it allowed accurate recording of which treatment had been given by which staff. The switch to electronic prescribing could result in:
- less time spent waiting in pharmacies and GP practices;
- repeat prescriptions being collected from the pharmacy instead of having to visit the GP first; and
- prevention of prescription loss and fraud.
The Independent reports that Doctors may no longer have to manually sign prescriptions and pharmacists could be spared from having to struggle with reading a doctor’s handwriting.
Mr Hancock has said, “We need to harness technology across the NHS to improve care, save time for patients and make lives of hardworking staff easier.”
Moosa-Duke Solicitors are specialists in clinical negligence law. If you believe that you or a family member have been a victim of negligence, due to private or NHS treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 254 7456 to discuss your concerns.