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The electronic Palliative Care Summary (epcs) – Update October 2010 National rollout underway

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The electronic Palliative Care Summary (ePCS) – Update October 2010
National rollout underway

The ePCS is now in use in over 23% of practices across 11 Health Boards in Scotland. Most Boards have set up implementation teams with representatives from Primary Care, Palliative Care, eHealth, Out of Hours and Long Tem Conditions and plan awareness-raising sessions, and training for practices which link with other aspects of Living & Dying Well e.g. DNA CPR and ACP.

All three GP IT systems have software for recording ePCS information which is updated automatically to ECS when any changes are made. ePCS is then made available to all OOH and Unscheduled Care users who already have access to ECS. Managers and clinicians in Boards are positive about the concept of ePCS, especially the aspect of Care Planning, linking with Long Term Conditions. The chart below shows uptake of ePCS up to mid September.

Specific Board updates
The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) are now piloting the use of ECS and ePCS in Lothian. Initial reports are positive and the pilot will report in October. SAS have advised that if GP’s are requesting Ambulances, it would be helpful to include the CHI number
Boards are aligning the rollout of ePCS with their plans for moving GP IT Systems from GPASS to either InPs Vision or EMIS and local champions in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Dumfries and Galloway have encouraged uptake of ePCS.
Borders, Forth Valley and Tayside are now recruiting practices for ePCS following the completion of testing for the Taycare OOH system.
Orkney and Shetland will start the rollout shortly, and Highland will start once the new InPS Vision version of ePCS is available for use in their area.
Grampian has completed connection for all EMIS Practices and InPS Vision practices will start shortly.
Lothian has been using ePCS for a year, and is now planning how to maintain usage and encourage the remaining practices.
Lanarkshire have a good uptake in Gpass practices and are awaiting the completion of the Gpass to Inps Vision migrations before wider rollout is commenced.
Latest Vision version of ePCS –“Ve Forms”
InPS have developed a new version of the ePCS user interface which is based on the “VeForms” templates as part of Vision. “VeForms” is expected to be the basis for many future InPS Vision developments and ePCS is the first national system to utilise this. “VeForms” requires InfoPath 2007 to be installed prior to use. Some Boards have raised concerns regarding the additional costs of this. This issue has been raised at a high level and a national solution has been requested.
Training documentation for ePCS is available on the websites for information. IT Facilitators are also trained and there should be no need for GP Practices or Boards to purchase extra training from system suppliers. A national resource is being developed which allows users to see the screen including mouse and keyboard movements and hear a demo of the IT software. This should be available from November.
GP System Migration
Practices need to be aware that when changing system e.g. from Gpass to Vision, practices should check that data has migrated correctly particularly any prescribing information. Practices are also advised that in some cases data may need to be re-entered into the new system.
Palliative Care DES
The same DES as last year applies until April 2011, when the revised version starts. It is hoped that practices will be able to use a new improved reporting process, rather than the cumbersome Excel spreadsheet and details will be finalised shortly. 
A workshop will take place from 4-5.30pm on Nov 2nd during the SCIMP Conference where Board leads for ePCS can share lessons learned, see a hands-on demonstration of ePCS in all computer systems, and have the opportunity to network with one another and system suppliers.
For more general information, including ePCS Patient Information Leaflets & training materials see or
Dr Peter Kiehlmann, GP, Aberdeen and National Clinical Lead Palliative Care eHealth SGHD


Dr Libby Morris GP, Edinburgh and National Clinical Lead Primary Care eHealth SGHD


Jonathan Cameron ECS Programme Manager, NSS NISG, Edinburgh Email:

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