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The Department of Health and Social Care has said that it will support the hundreds of GPs and pharmacies still to make the move to electronic prescribing.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said that, alongside financial savings for the NHS of up to £300 million by 2021, switching to electronic prescribing has benefits for patients as well, meaning they will spend less time waiting in pharmacies and GP practices, not have to worry about losing paper prescriptions and collect repeat prescriptions from the pharmacy instead of having to visit the GP first.
More than 6,000 GPs are already able to upload prescriptions electronically, which can be downloaded by a pharmacist, saving time for staff and patients, with the availability of electronic prescribing by a majority of GP surgeries growing, from less than one per cent in June 2010 to 63 per cent in June 2018.
Hancock said: “We need to harness technology across the NHS to improve care, save time for patients and make the lives of hardworking staff easier. In an NHS where thousands of GP surgeries already enjoy the benefits of electronic prescriptions, it can’t be right that there are occasions when archaic paper prescriptions still have to be used.
“As part of our long-term plan, I want the NHS to become the most advanced healthcare system in the world. 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.”
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