Support to maximise use of electronic repeat dispensing (eRD)


Practices are being asked to increase the use of eRD, in suitable patients, as part of the pandemic response. 

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is supporting practices to identify patients who may be suitable to transfer to eRD by creating individual practice lists of NHS patient numbers identified from their dispensing information.

This will allow practices to identify patients who have received the same medications in the last 12 months of dispensing data (up to January 2020). This list will also identify patients receiving 1, 2 or 3 medications and allow practices to start the process of moving patients to eRD, where appropriate and the transfer is likely to be straight forward. 

Increasing eRD will have the following benefits in the current situation:

  • Reducing footfall to practices and community pharmacies, supporting social distancing.
  • Reducing workload for prescribers, allowing better prioritisation of resources.
  • Controlled management of the supply chain.

Where eRD has been previously actively encouraged, GP practices have successfully achieved 70% of patients receiving their medications in this way. Practices should have a robust process in place for eRD before implementing transfers of large numbers of patients.

Collaboration is key to the successful implementation of eRD:

  • Practices moving large numbers of patients to eRD should work jointly with their local community pharmacies.

To comply with GDPR the patient list can only be sent to a practice NHS.NET address.

The practice can then decide who it should be shared with to implement the change to eRD.

If you require any assistance, please email