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Prescriptions: ICT

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects Release 2 of the Electronic Prescription Service to be implemented; and if he will make a statement; (277078)

(2) how many (a) GP and (b) pharmacy information systems he plans to accredit for use with the Electronic Prescription Service in the next 12 months.

All pharmacy and general practitioner (GP) system suppliers have to follow a rigorous assurance process prior to being given authority from Connecting for Health to nationally deploy their Release 2 services. This is made up of a number of key stages including clinical safety testing and initial implementation in a limited number of GP and pharmacy sites.

Currently, one GP system and one pharmacy system are completing the final stages of clinical safety testing prior to deploying to the first GP and pharmacy sites. The exact start date of initial implementation is dependant on how quickly these systems progress through the final stages of testing. Based on current supplier plans, it is hoped that initial implementation will begin in the summer. The outcomes of the initial implementation stage will be used to finalise plans for wider rollout of Release 2 across the country.

System suppliers are responsible for providing information on when they expect their systems to be available. Based on recent supplier plans, seven pharmacy and six GP systems are expected to complete the assurance process in the next 12 months.