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NHS: Prescriptions

Volume 707: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what records are kept of the number of free prescriptions dispensed; where those records are held; how many records exist; what details are held on the records; and for how long the records are kept. [HL1115]

The National Health Service (NHS) Prescription Services division of the NHS Business Services Authority holds data on dispensed prescriptions for 60 months. The original prescriptions and scanned prescription images are normally kept for 14 months, then destroyed in line with the retention and destruction policy.

NHS Prescription Services captures dispenser details, payment claim form details, prescriber details and the prescription charge status at point of dispensing. It also captures information on the product and quantity ordered for reimbursement as well as additional information requirements to apply reimbursement and remuneration policy. It does not capture patient details. This information is used as source data for prescribing and pharmaceutical statistics.

The number of records currently held is shown in the following table:

Month

Total prescription items reimbursed (millions)

Prescription items where charges not paid at point of dispensing (millions)1

2003 (December only)

58.5

53.4

2004

679.8

621.2

2005

718.7

661.8

2006

752.0

695.7

2007

796.3

739.2

2008 (January-November)

765.6

712.9

Source: NHS Prescription Services Information Systems

1 Includes items dispensed to patients holding a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC).