Here's why paper prescriptions could become a thing of the past in Blackpool
Patients used to being handed a paper prescription by a doctor could soon be in for a surprise after Blackpool's NHS was awarded more than £1m to shake up the service.
The resort is one of two places in Lancashire to get funding to shift to new digital prescriptions, aimed at saving both time and money.
Health minister Edward Argar today confirmed £1.9m would be split between Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust to scrap paper prescriptions in hospitals.
He said: “Electronic prescriptions in our hospitals will not only do away with old fashioned paper prescriptions but can help prevent avoidable and potentially catastrophic medication errors.
“As part of our long-term plan for the NHS, we’re committed to giving our hardworking staff access to modern systems which save them valuable time and makes every penny of taxpayers’ money count.”
Blackpool's share of the funding will be £1.25m, the Department of Health and Social Care said. The changes will reduce duplication by building up a single, complete record of a patient's history.
Matthew Gould, chief executive of NHSX, the unit driving a "digital transformation" in the NHS, said: “Switching from paper prescriptions to digital in our hospitals will make mistakes less likely, free up staff time and ultimately improve patients’ care and health.”
In total, 25, trusts will receive a share of £26m as part of the project,
The news follows the recent announcement that, following testing involving 60 GP practices and hundreds of pharmacies, phase four of the Electronic Prescription Service will be rolled out nationally to create a faster and more secure process for GPs to prescribe and dispense prescriptions.
Patients will see little change to the way they are prescribed medicines by their GP, or how they request and collect them from pharmacies. However, by increasing efficiencies, reducing the amount of paper processing required and reducing prescribing errors, this latest development will save the NHS a reported £300m a year by 2021.