Daily dispensing checks

Published on: 15th July 2013 | Updated on: 15th March 2022

Below is a checklist of actions recommended to take before submitting your bundle to the Pricing Authority at the end of the month, which could help to improve the accuracy of pricing.

Contractors should familiarise themselves with the prescription submission requirements and red separator inclusion criteria. For information on the changes to the end of month prescription sorting requirements and the red red separator inclusion criteria see the following pages:

Prescription submission requirements

Red Separators – end of month submission



tick Double-check all endorsements — particularly for expensive items and unlicensed specials/imports.
tick Stick to the required endorsements only* — don’t over endorse
tick Keep all endorsements within the left-hand side margin of the prescription form.
tick Check your endorsements are legible — e.g. price, pack size, supplier, BB, OOP, SP etc.
tick Check if your PMR system endorses automatically, that it is doing so correctly and legibly — if not check if your printer ink cartridge needs replacing.
tick Ensure the pharmacy stamp does not obscure the patient’s age or date of birth, or any endorsements.
tick Ensure items ‘not dispensed’ on paper prescriptions are endorsed ‘ND’ in the endorsement column and that the product name is clearly crossed out by a horizontal line (see picture).ND endorsement (cropped)tickEnsure items ‘not dispensed’ on EPS are set to a status of ‘Not Dispense’ rather than endorse a quantity of zero dispensed.
tick Check exemption declarations on the backs of prescriptions (and in the electronic claim message for EPS release 2 prescriptions) are completed in full where necessary, and signed to avoid prescriptions being switched.Please note: declarations are required unless the patient is age exempt and the DOB/ age is computer-generated on the front of either the electronic or paper prescription, in receipt of a FOC item or where Real Time Exemption Check (RTEC) confirms a patient’s exemption .
tick Check if the prescription includes supplementary product information — for example, a brand or manufacturer’s name or an indication that a sugar free or preservative free prescription is required, as part of the dosage instructions rather than as part of the name of the prescribed product (see picture). As reimbursement of electronic prescriptions is based on the product code of the prescribed product, supplementary product information included in the prescriber’s dosage instructions will not be considered when calculating payment; therefore, prescribers should be encouraged to select the correct product to prescribe in the first place.

Additional detail in dosage instructions (cropped)

tick Highlight and remove all red separator prescriptions during the day’s dispensing, only prescription forms meeting the red separator criteria should be included in the relevant red separators .

*For instance, Drug Tariff listed lines only require endorsement if they are a Category C item that comes in more than one pack size. Please see our endorsing guidance for more information.


cross Do not put labels or sticky notes on prescriptions during the dispensing process—the residual glue can affect the scanning process.
cross Do not mark the prescribing area of the prescription form with ticks or other marks during the dispensing/ checking process as these could affect how the prescription is priced (see picture).Tick obscuring drugcross Do not put any information regarding quantities owing in the endorsement column as these could be interpreted as quantity dispensed—you could record owing information on your Patient Medication Record system or attach a removable owings slip instead.
cross Do not make endorsements (printed or handwritten) on any other part of the prescription form other than the designated left hand column only as there is a chance that these may not be seen during pricing. Also, if endorsements encroach onto an item on the prescription form, it can affect pricing of that item.


Q. How do I put EPS Release 2 Prescriptions into the red separator? What do I do with red separator items on EPS Release 2?

A. There is no virtual red separator for EPS Release 2 prescriptions. The items on paper prescriptions that are eligible to go in the red separator should be priced accordingly on electronic prescriptions. However, Community Pharmacy England does advise that as part of the pharmacy’s reconciliation process, contractors should keep a log or generate report(s) from their PMR system for the following types of items:

  • Expensive items (items with a net ingredient cost of £100 or over);
  • Specials and unlicensed products; and
  • Items with broken bulk or out of pocket expense claims.

This report or log should then be used to reconcile items/values on the pharmacy’s FP34 Schedule of Payment which is sent by the Pricing Authority after the bundle has been priced. If you are unable or unsure as to how to generate a report which incorporates the above, contact your PMR system supplier for further information.

Pharmacy teams are also reminded that EPS tokens should not be placed in the red separator in the end of month prescription bundle. This is because these tokens are not used for payment of electronic prescriptions (payment is solely based on the information contained in the electronic claim message).[/showhide]

Q. Where I have sorted broken bulk items, items with a NIC of £100 or more and ‘Specials’ into the red separators for submission to the Pricing Authority, do I need to sort these in prescriber order?

A. No, there is no need to sort the broken bulk, items with a NIC of £100 or more and ‘Specials’ prescriptions in prescriber order.

However, broken bulk, items with a NIC of £100 or more and ‘Specials’ prescriptions must be sorted into the correct ‘charge paid’ and ‘exempt’ red separator and included on the top of the ‘charge paid’ or ‘exempt bundles’, as appropriate. There is no need to further separate out the broken bulk prescriptions from the ‘Specials’ prescriptions and ‘Items with a NIC of £100’.

Q. When preparing my prescriptions for submission to the Pricing Authority, do I have to sort my forms in to prescriber order?

A. No. Following representations made by Community Pharmacy England, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have agreed to relax the end of month prescription sorting requirements by removing the need for contractors to sort FP10 forms by prescriber surname/type or by form type (FP10SS PN/SP/HP and FP10D).

Pharmacy staff involved in end of month submission process will continue to be required to sort prescription forms into relevant exempt or paid groups (current rate and old charge rates) and use red separators for forms which include specified items before the prescription bundle is submitted for payment to the NHSBSA.

The recommended order for sorting of prescriptions is outlined below.

The image below shows the correct prescription bundle sorting requirements:

1. Unless an automatic exemption applies, it is a condition of entitlement to exemption from prescription charges that the patient or their representative claiming exemption must make and duly complete a declaration of entitlement on the EPS token. Each month, contractors must submit tokens for electronic prescriptions (except those for age exempt patients, prescriptions where only free-of-charge (FOC) items are prescribed and where Real Time Exemption Checking (RTEC) confirms an exemption). Tokens must be sorted separately from FP10 paper prescriptions and dispatched with the prescription bundle no later than the 5th of the month following that in which supply was made. Where submitted, the EPS tokens must relate to the same the dispensing month in which the associated electronic prescriptions are submitted for payment to the NHSBSA

2. See Community Pharmacy England’s Red Separator factsheet for guidance on which forms are required to be placed in the red separators

3. Contractors are no longer required to sort FP10 prescriptions by form type (FP10SS PN/SP/HP and FP10D) or by prescriber name/type

Note: There are different submission arrangements for private Controlled Drug prescription forms (FP34PCD) and Controlled Drug requisition forms (FP10CDF) (see our Controlled Drugs section for more information).

Q.I have received a prescription for a product but the patient has requested less than the prescribed quantity. Do I need to sort this prescription differently for submission to the Pricing Authority?

A. No. The only prescriptions that have to be sorted differently are prescriptions containing broken bulk claims, items with a NIC of £100 or more and ‘Specials’.

In this scenario, to guard against any suggestion of fraud, the prescription should be clearly endorsed in the endorsement column to indicate the dispensed quantity. Although information in the endorsement column may not be picked up in the pricing process, the Pricing Authority has not asked contractors to separate out prescriptions where the dispensed quantity is less than the prescribed quantity.


Related resources

Claiming for EPS prescriptions on time factsheet

Prescription submission requirements

Red Separators – end of month submission

Dispensing Factsheet: Expensive items

Prescription Returns

Monthly Payments

Community Pharmacy England Briefing 032/21: New payment arrangements for ALL contractors following end to Pharmacy Earlier Payment Scheme (PEPS)

Prescription Pricing Accuracy

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