The government has admitted that the roll-out of its Capacity Improvement Programme for processing NHS prescriptions has been delayed.
The system is designed to automate the distribution and processing of prescriptions.
The government’s Business Services Authority Prescription Pricing Divison, formerly the Prescriptions Services Authority, has admitted the delay.
The body has confirmed that the October roll-out date has been put back to later in the current financial year, which means the system could be as much as six months late.
The delay has been blamed on complicated data processing rules that have yet to be finalised.
By 2009, it is expected that NHS prescription volumes will reach one billion items, so the government wants to cut the distribution costs.
BSA is planning to reduce the current nine processing sites to just three, leading to the workforce being slashed from 1,800 to around 700.