DOCTORS and patients in Ludlow and south Shropshire are being encouraged to move to digital prescribing.

It is the latest change in the way that medicines are prescribed.

At one time doctors would hand write their prescriptions, but things have moved on again.

Now prescribing is going digital.

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust will receive £790,000 to move away from paper prescriptions to safer, more efficient digital systems.

This is part of a government drive to give healthcare professionals access to modern systems to save them valuable time in delivering care.

Digital prescriptions can improve patient safety and treatment by reducing potentially dangerous medication errors by 30 per cent it is claimed.

The funding is part of the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to introduce digital prescribing to all NHS providers.

It is a move that has been welcomed by Ludlow MP and former health minister Philip Dunne.

“This further investment of £790,000 in our NHS in Shropshire is good news for staff and patients.

“Evidence shows digital prescribing is safer and more effective.

“So, this funding will help staff at Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust deliver the best quality care in the timeliest manner.”

The system allows the medical professional, normally a doctor, to send the prescription electronically to the dispenser, usually a pharmacy.

Apart from reducing paper, it is claimed that the system allows prescriptions to be issued without the patient always having to visit the doctor and also makes stock control easier for chemists.

The digitalisation of prescriptions is the latest way that technology is changing the way that medical care is delivered. Recent years have seen an increase in telephone appointments and machines have now been devised to read breast scans.