Electronic Palliative Care Summary (ePCS)

ePCS is a significant development which allows GPs and District Nurses to record information on the palliative and end of life needs of their patients onto their GP software system, and for this to be available to those providing care in the Out of Hours period.

What is ePCS?

The ePCS builds on the Emergency Care Summary (ECS) and the Gold Standards Framework Scotland (GSFS) projects. The ePCS will, with patient/carer consent, allow automatic twice-daily updates of information from GP records to a central store, from where they will be available to Out of Hours (OOH) services, NHS 24, Acute Receiving Units, Accident and Emergency Departments and, shortly, to the Scottish Ambulance Service. This will allow vital, structured information to support these patients and their families to be available in hours and OOH.
Pilot phase complete – now starting rollout.

Following positive pilots in NHS Grampian, Lothian and Ayrshire & Arran, the ePCS is being rolled
out Board-wide in Lothian starting September 2009 and will be rolled out nationally from late 2009
on a Board by Board basis.


Using ePCS in the practice

Practices will notice new software on their GP system which allows information on patients with palliative care needs to be recorded in one place, prompts to record patient’s wishes, prompts for Anticipatory Care and review dates. The system also produces patient lists for team meetings and helps fulfil the Palliative Care DES. Prior to Board wide roll out, practices can use the ePCS locally i.e. without transmitting to ECS, as it gives prompts and helps document, plan and review care. A paper Palliative Care Summary can be printed off and sent to OOH. Ultimately, ePCS will replace information currently faxed/emailed to OOH providers for palliative patients. Once your practice is “switched on” for ePCS, and patient consent is obtained and recorded on the GP system, all
information will be available to end users in OOH, NHS24 and A+E Departments.