Patients receiving end of life care will have easier access to controlled drugs via urgent care services after Integrated Care 24 (IC24) introduced controlled drugs prescribing to its electronic prescription service (EPS).

In April 2019 IC24 introduced an electronic prescribing service (EPS) into its urgent care services across Kent, Sussex, Essex and Norfolk.

EPS makes prescribing faster, safer and more efficient, and removes the need for paper prescriptions, as the prescription is sent electronically to a pharmacy of the patient’s choice.

As part of the development of its electronic prescription service, IC24 has started a trial of electronically prescribing controlled drugs within its urgent care services. As a result, any clinician who is authorised to prescribe drugs will be able to use the new system to electronically prescribe controlled drugs.

Prescribing controlled drugs electronically offers a streamlined and improved service for patients, in particular those receiving end of life care who need controlled drugs to manage pain. Previously a face to face appointment would be needed to collect the prescription, but the EPS means that a clinician can now send the prescription electronically to the most convenient pharmacy for collection.

The electronic process is also more secure, as prescriptions can’t be lost or misplaced.

IC24 developed in conjunction with its clinicians the first EPS for Urgent Care module, which is currently used within its own clinical system, Clinical Excellence Online (CLEO). In October 2019 IC24 was named as an approved supplier to primary care services via the GP IT Futures Framework for its Electronic Prescription Service module.

David Brown, Director of Digital Technology and Performance at IC24 said: 'This is another important step in the development of our electronic prescription service, and the benefits are seen by everyone involved in the process. The system is more efficient for prescribers and dispensers of medicines, but most importantly it offers a better service for our patients.'

Fran Abrokwa-Frempong Head of Quality, Assurance and Improvement at IC24 said: 'Enhancing our patient journey and ensuring safer prescribing in the Urgent care setting is a business priority. We are excited about how this new feature will impact the quality of care we deliver to ensure that we continually provide our patients with the best and safest care possible.'