Sue Sharpe gives her views on issues across pharmacy...
The costs of EPS dispensing
This year we’ve seen a massive roll out of EPS by GP practices. While this has some benefits for contractors, there is universal reporting that EPS dispensing adds time the process. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, and the theoretical time savings that HSCIC calculate are just not borne out in practice, partly because of the burden of printing paper is largely transferred from GPs to pharmacies. There may be some aspects that can be sorted by addressing the process requirements, but as we are seeing a massive ramp up for use of the system we do need to see that we capture and get agreed costs, and see that these are recognised in future funding. When I’ve talked to LPCs, groups of contractors and individual large chains, all have been adamant that there is a significant additional cost.’
The EPS study process
‘We plan to get the costs by the end of the year, and I expect that this will feed into the negotiations for 16/17. We already have a model from a study undertaken by two of the large multiples as a starting point, and the next step will be to agree the methodology with NHS England.’