Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)

What is Electronic Repeat Dispensing eRD?

If you or someone you care for uses the same medicines regularly, you may be able to benefit from electronic repeat dispensing. This means you won't have to re-order or collect your repeat prescriptions from your GP practice every time you need more medicine.

You simply collect your regular medication from your usual pharmacy each month without actually having to order it.

To enable electronic dispensing you need to have a nominated pharmacy and we will set this with you. Your regular medication will then be available at that pharmacy.

When your pharmacy supplies your last electronic repeat prescription, they will inform you. You will then have to contact your GP practice to ask for another set of electronic repeat prescriptions. You may need to be seen for a review before another batch of electronic repeat dispensing prescription is authorised.

How does eRD Work?

  • eRD allows the surgery to authorise and issue a batch of repeatable prescriptions for up to 12 months with just one digital signature.
  • eRD stores all issues of the eRD prescriptions securely on the NHS Spine and automatically downloads them to your nominated community pharmacy at intervals set by the surgery. 
  • You are required to give your consent for us to set up repeat dispensing. This can be verbal (formal written consent is not required).



Benefits of eRD

Benefits for you or the person you care for include:

  • Less worrying about ordering medication
    • No need to remember to reorder your medicines at regular intervals 
    • Less steps in the process means faster turnaround of your medicines 
  • Greater flexibility for you and your nominated community pharmacy
    • Your community pharmacist will check that your circumstances haven't changed since your last prescription was collected
    • You can change your nominated pharmacy at any time during the duration of the eRD prescription to have your medicines dispensed elsewhere from then on - no need to cancel and send new prescriptions. 
    • You can request the next issue early or obtain more than one prescription, for example when going on holiday, if your pharmacist deems this appropriate, without needing to contact the surgery for additional prescriptions, saving your time and effort. 

How can eRD be set up?

Step 1

Ask to speak to one of the pharmacy technicians at the surgery about whether you would be suitable for electronic repeat dispensing. You can do this by calling reception, who will leave a message for one of the technicians to call you back. Alternative you could ask during one of your routine reviews, for example, a medication review, blood pressure check or long term condition review such as for diabetes and asthma. 

The pharmacy technicians will contact you to set this up, and will ask you for permission to share information about your medication with your communicty pharmacist ("chemist"). This will help your community pharmacist to give the surgery feedback about your treatment and provide you with useful advice.

The surgery will then authorise a number of electronic repeat prescriptions. This will be based on your circumstances and clinical need. These electronic repeat prescriptions will then be supplied to you by your pharmacy at regular intervals.


Step 2

Collect your first electronic repeat prescription from your pharmacy.


Step 3

When you need more medicines, go back to your pharmacy. Before dispensing the next issue of your prescription, your pharmacy will ask:

  • have you seen any health professionals (GP, nurse or hospital doctor), since your last repeat prescription was supplied?
  • have you recently started taking any new medicines - either on prescription or that you have bought over the counter?
  • have you been having any problems with your medication or experiencing any side effects?
  • are there any items on your repeat prescription that you don't need this month?

If you don't need all of the medicines on your prescription, let the pharmacy staff know, so that they only supply the medicines you need. This will help to reduce waste and save the NHS money.


Step 4

When your pharmacy supplies your final electronic repeat prescription in the series that your GP has authorised, they will advise you to contact your GP practice. In many cases, a review is required before authorising the next batch of electronic repeat prescriptions. The review does not necessarily mean a GP appointment, and may include, for example, a blood pressure check, blood test, check up with the practice nurse, or medication review with the practice pharmacist.