A fifth of pharmacists rate electronic prescription services as “poor” or “very poor”, a survey held by Pharmacy Voice found.

The community pharmacy association found pharmacists still continue to have issues with the electronic prescription service (EPS) that was first rolled out to pharmacies and GP practices in July 2009.

The poll found the introduction of an upgrade to Spine, the system responsible for the storage of information for 80 million patients as well as facilitating messaging between healthcare professionals, has also caused widespread disruption among pharmacists.

Split prescriptions also remain a source of frustration for more than half of the survey respondents.

IT lead at Pharmacy Voice, John Palmer, said: “As of December 2014, the EPS in England is processing around 16% of prescription items.

“There have been significant problems with the service and we need action to rectify them.

“As things stand, the increase in EPS prescriptions wanted by HSCIC will just equal more problems for pharmacists.”

More than 95% of pharmacies are using the EPS, however, only 41% of GP practices are on board with the system, HSCIC data shows.