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UPDATE: Cegedim to roll out new system following EPS crash

Users have been told there is a "major incident" with their system supplier Cegedim

Cegedim users have been informed of another EPS system failure

UPDATE - June 24

Cegedim will be rolling out its new EPS service by the end of November, sales and marketing manager Clive Eckett has told C+D. 

Mr Eckett said Cegedim had invested a "significant" amount of money in the new system and said it will be "more resilient" and have "increased capability with scripts and NHS demands". 

Mr Eckett added that "all customers are now up and running" after yesterday's system outage, but acknowledged there are a "handful" of prescriptions yet to be downloaded.


Cegedim users are experiencing further EPS disruption, following a "major incident" reported by the provider this afternoon (June 23). 

Earlier this month, Cegedim users reported a 24-hour EPS outage, which left many with a back-log of prescriptions they were unable to download.

Doncaster contractor David Sharp told C+D he is concerned about the "knock-on" effect of the latest outage.

It could result in his pharmacy's delivery driver "thrown out [of sync]", and patients left "without their medicines for the weekend", he said.

Cegedim suspects flooding

Cegedim confirmed that the service is currently down. Sales and marketing manager Clive Eckett said the company believes this could be a result of flooding in the London area – where its data centre is based.

"We are now working with our production supplier to get the N3 connections working and we will continue to give our customers updates," Mr Eckett told C+D. 

The Health and Social Care Information Centre is on standby and the recovery process is "a lot quicker" than it has been in the past, he added.

Are you experiencing a Cegedim outage this afternoon?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


Carli Harwood, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Lets hope the updated version will allow u to select more than1 item each time completing not dispensed, editing and or deleting items instead of going around the houses like we now ...The ability to see clearly a difference between repeats & acute rxs before entering Or printing would be good ​

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I spoke to a network admin about Cegedim and how can a system be so unreliable, slow and generally ineffective. You can imagine his answer.

C A, Community pharmacist

And just for fun Cegedim had more EPS problems on Friday... though only for a few hours.

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

And today, more problems with cegedim. Clowns!

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I've been saying for years that the EPS system wouldn't work properly with any kind of stress on the system. Sad to have been proved correct once again, but pleased to have retired.

janet maynard, Community pharmacist

Congratulations on your retirement- wish I could!

John Urwin, Community pharmacist

No need to be sad. You're simply wrong. Pharmacies using systems other than Cegedim's are happily working away uninterrupted by the problems generated by Cegedim's EPS implementation choices. Enjoy your retirement.

Honest Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

It was well over a week to get it sorted and back to business the last time! 24 hours is far from the truth! Cegedim are useless, i had to call them last month with an issue, only to be told it was going to be too late to get anyone to call me back that day (it was 1.15pm!) - but they would try and get someone to call me back the next day! I just wonder if it was the GP's having problems - would it really take over a week to fix?! I doubt it!



Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

The GP side of EPS has an SLA in place.  That's why any issues they have are sorted very quickly.  Our PSNC are not even in the room with HSCIC and pharmacy system suppliers when they have been discussing for over 2 years an SLA on the pharmacy side.  Go figure why our system suppliers are happy for no meaningful progress on an SLA to actually happen.  Why would turkeys vote for Christmas?

Mark Ashmore, Superintendent Pharmacist

Not quite true, my understanding is the DfH pays for GPs but wont pay for pharmacy SLA

SHABBIR.J ABDULHUSSEIN., Community pharmacist

I dont think Cegedim  will ever sort out this problem.once they sort this we shall all wait for

the next dose of disruption chaos and incovenience to patients.COME ON SIMON DRIVER SORT OUT QUICK .........

Bipin Patel, Community pharmacist

Everytime something goes wrong, something else is to blame. Feedback is + we know the root cause and are working on it. How about sharing with us if you know the problem or is  the issue so avaoidable that sharing it would not reflet 
Cegedim in good light. It is always "co-operate speak " feedback . Give  us the whole truth and nothin but the truth. . What about back up servers and systems etc. our business continuty plan has a plan B. Where is your plan B Cegedim. What is the point of having state of the art PCs, 3g connection , upgraded routers etc if a bit of rain bring everything to a halt. come Cegedim - !!!!

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

I like Anil's suggestion.  If that's not possible perhaps it would be possible to not pay the monthly EPS bill to Cegedim, who then don't have to pay Redcentric etc etc until somewhere down the line a more robust system is in place.  NASA had triple redundacy systems in place and that sometimes failed.  Cegedim and Redcentric don't even have a plan B every time EPS falls down.  Amateurs all!  But we as contractors are expected to complete an IG toolkit every year where we have some sort of business continuity plan in place.  How is it possible to hand-on-heart complete that part with any hope your plan will work when it relies on system suppliers and their 3rd party providers to actually fulfil their part.  They've never managed it so far in all the years that EPS has been up and running, and I don't imagine they ever will - unless some sort of financial penalty can be imposed on them when things go wrong.

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

well obviously(!) your business continuity plan is a pre-written letter just requiring a date to your local practice, asking them to go back to FP10s for a while - simple! - I'm sure they are awaiting your communication eagerly and will comply without hesitation without telling their patients to simply go to a different pharmacy because its easier for them.......

isnt it?


Suketu Patel, Community pharmacist

I guarantee that after another failed updated message at 5.30pm there will be no update until 10am tomorrow. Cegedim don't even work full days let alone 7 day NHS!

Suketu Patel, Community pharmacist

I'm in shock. Service desk to remain open until 8pm tonight after feedback from customers. No Euro footy so maybe they've got a volunteer to stay late!

Bob Dunkley, Locum pharmacist

I said in an article in the C andD some  time ago that EPS would never work, as its a sophisticated system that has to be operated by unsophisticated people. None of my experiences since that article have forced me to change my mind.

Matthew Edwards, Community pharmacist

But it does work and work well with the competent software provided by some system providers

Philip Levy, Community pharmacist

They apologise for any inconvenience - maybe when they start to realise the gross understatement that "inconvenience" represents, then they will do more in the future to make their EPS system robust and fit for purpose.

Ebers Papyrus, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Too many players involved in ETP, it was always going to be more problematic...........HSCIC, N3 Spine, System supplier servers, BT phone line, GP IT, Pharmacy IT. In the old FP10 days, it was just GP and Pharmacy. Cegedim have had a nightmare recently but in fairness they all suffer from issues and we are constantly hearing terms such as 'outage'. That is a term used when nobody has a clue what went wrong or they want to pass the buck. HSCIC blame system supplier and vice versa, and the patient is left in limbo forcing the pharmacy to issue emergency supplies. Big problem this as ETP cannot be relied on.

It's NOT ETP or N3 or the Spine or HSCIC at fault here.... ETP is actually VERY resilient and useful. Unfortunately the majority of pharmacies use PMR suppliers which link to the N3 via servers (e.g. Cegedim) and when the link from pharmacy to server fails, the pharmacy wrongly assumes it's the N3. Cegedim should admit they are at fault here instead of giving ETP a bad image

Matthew Edwards, Community pharmacist

EPS is robust. The surgeries and spine are not having problems. Some pharmacies which use alternative reliable supppliers are running smoothly therefore the issue must be system supplier.  We have been EPS2 for the last 6 years and have only had one period of downtime. Not with cegedim needless to say 

Farm Assistant, Community pharmacist

They are useless.

Anil Patel, Community pharmacist

How come it's only Cegedim that has this problem?  And it was not just 24 hours it was out last time - it was more like a week!!

Is there a possibility of a Class Action brought against Cegedim? 

Or can we apply for early termination of contract and move to a more reliable service provider?


P M, Community pharmacist

wheres burt when u need him ... whats his phone number again?

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