Confused old women in need of more cataract cream and hardcore painkillers to make the days bearable are going to have to learn something new next month, as the UK's NHS prescription service for England is kicking over to an entirely digital way of working that will save millions of pounds' worth of little bits of paper.
The fully electronic prescription service, or EPS, has been tested in a few spots around the country covering the patients of around 60 GPs already, and bosses are ready to switch it on for everyone in England from November 19. This means patients will be given a barcode to be read by their lovely and understanding local pharmacist, with the data being held on a "secure NHS database" in the meantime. We're sure that will always be working and really fast to access, particularly at lunch times.
NHS bosses say this reduces admin, saves paper waste, makes it impossible to lose things, and makes it easier to manage repeat prescriptions, with Primary Care Minister Jo Churchill saying: "Digitising the entire prescription service is a key part of keeping up the drive to make the NHS fit for the 21st century. This will free up vital time for GPs and allow pharmacists to spend more time with their patients, and save millions of pounds a year." [GOV via Techradar]