Ashtons new FP10PCD ordering and management guide for private CD prescriptions

Ashtons FP10PCD Guide

This FP10PCD guide was created to support prescribers with the ordering of Schedule 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs (CD) on private prescriptions. It gives details on how to prescribe for outpatients and how to obtain urgent supplies for patients from local sources.

Having this form should be an essential part of every healthcare facility’s medicine contingency arrangements for urgent admissions during weekends and bank holidays. It also helps to support regulatory compliance, including with the CQC’s medication standards.

The guide includes a range of commonly asked questions and guidance,  as well as guidance on security and governance around the usage of FP10PCD forms.

To access the guide, please contact our Customer Service Team.

Flu Vaccine pre-orders for winter 2023-2024

Flu vaccine

The 2023/2024 flu vaccine from Ashtons is available to pre-order.

Advance Planning for flu vaccination clinics has become an important part of patient care. The flu vaccination delivered in the following year provides vulnerable patients with protection against the strands of flu that are going to be the most prevalent over the next year. This is even more important this year, as healthcare facilities deal with both the threat of flu and COVID-19.

Current situation and updated list of who should have the vaccine

There is currently a national drive to increase the uptake of flu vaccinations, to reduce pressure on the NHS across the winter, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare staff and people with certain health risk factors are the current focus for flu vaccination and this list has been recently expanded to include other people at risk. These include:

  • Anyone living in a long-term care facility
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • The main carer for a dependent elderly or disabled person
  • Anyone aged 50 or over
  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with someone whos’ at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • Anyone with a long-term medical condition, such as cardiac or respiratory disease, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, neurological conditions, learning disability or those who are seriously overweight

Please refer to the online ‘Green Book of Immunisation’ – chapter 19 – for more guidance or updates from the NHS.

Order your Flu Vaccines for NEXT WINTER 2023/24 now to ensure supply

The flu vaccine for the 2023/2024 season is available to pre-order from Ashtons now, for both your patients and your staff.

The vaccines are made to order so ordering now allows us to pre-book your stock with the manufacturer when we place our order, as there may be limited allocation from the suppliers.

All orders will be supplied on a first come, first served basis and the vaccines will be dispatched and invoiced in Autumn 2023. Our Customer Services team will contact you upon receipt of the vaccines to confirm your requirements and make arrangements for delivery.

Please contact our Customer Service Team on 0345 222 3550 or email  to pre-order your flu vaccines.

Introducing our new CEO!

Ashtons are delighted to announce the appointment of Stephen TuddenhamStephen Tuddenham CEO Ashtons as Chief Executive Officer, following an extensive selection process.

Stephen is a business leader with 24 years of experience within the healthcare sector, having previously held the role of Managing Director of Hospital Laboratories at Medical Diagnostics business, SYNLAB. Prior to this Stephen spent 13 years at Althea, the leading independent Medical Technology Management business as UK Commercial Director, Strategic Development Director and Managing Director of Althea Australia.

Stephen succeeds Yachna Tak, who after 27 years with Ashtons, announced her decision to step down in January. Ashtons would like to thank Yachna for her dedication and tremendous contribution to the company, and wish her the very best with all her future endeavours.

Ashtons Chairman, Graham Ridgway said:

“We are delighted to welcome Stephen as our new CEO. He brings a wealth of industry expertise, and excellent strategic and leaderships skills to Ashtons. Following our rebrand last year, we have placed healthtech at the centre of our business ecosystem. With Stephen’s successful track record the Board firmly believe he can drive us towards our goals and an exciting future.”

Stephen added:

“It certainly is an exciting time as we look to the next phase of Ashtons and drive forward our vision to improve clinical outcomes with a digital first philosophy in medicines management, underpinned with deep expertise and experience. Our focus on healthtech is certainly gathering pace following the recent launch of eXpert, our live medicines management auditing, reporting and benchmarking system for care homes and domiciliary care providers. This follows on from the launch of our e-Works EPMA system in 2021, which is continuing to gain great traction in all our markets.”

Ashtons are committed to helping ensure patients receive the very best treatment, and around this ethos have evolved over the last 30 years into the only provider to offer a fully integrated, people oriented, healthtech enabled medicines management, training and supply service.

While predominantly serving specialist communities, such as mental health, Ashtons have a long held view that software is the answer to delivering effective and innovative pharmacy services to all healthcare facilities.

Following the success of Live View, e-Works and, most recently, eXpert, Ashtons now stands at forefront of healthtech enabled medicines management. With significant further investment in software and technology planned, Ashtons’ vision is to be the leading provider of digital first medicines management solutions.


Ashtons commits to ESG

Recycling symbol ECG sustainability

With the rise of global sustainability challenges such as climate risk, privacy and data security, along with regulatory pressures, companies in recent years have been looking increasingly at sustainability and the impact their business has on the environment around them. ESG is a way for companies to evaluate their sustainability status, and it is commonly used by investors to screen potential investments and help determine their future financial performance.

What is ESG?

ESG stands for environmental, social and governance and is a set of standards for a company’s operations in each of these areas.


This could include a company’s energy use or efficiency, waste management, pollution and natural resource conservation.


This concerns people and the company’s business relationships, and showing how they positively impact their employees, customers and the communities around them. It could include employee health and safety, customer satisfaction, data protection and privacy, and diversity. Do they also work with suppliers that have similar standards and values?


This examines how the company is governed, and how it responds and interacts with shareholders. It involves transparent decision making, accurate accounting methods and avoiding conflicts of interest in the choice of Board members.

Ashtons has been working towards sustainable practice for many years, in particular with reduction of paper use and wastage via our suite of electronic systems; Live View electronic reporting, e-Works e-prescribing and e-learning modules; and undertaking an ESG assessment will allow us to fully evaluate our current standing against ESG metrics and implement strategies for any necessary improvements.

To help us do this, Ashtons have recently engaged Sustainable Advantage, a leading independent ESG consultant in the UK, to complete a sustainability impact report, which will soon be shared with stakeholders. We are very excited about this next step and are committed becoming a leader in ethical and sustainable business practice.

Ashtons e-Works wins at the HTN Now Awards 2022!

HTN Now awards choose Ashtons e-Works as the winner in the 'Making an Impact' category.

We’re absolutely delighted to announce that our Ashtons e-Works electronic prescribing and medicines administration (EPMA) system has received the ‘Making an Impact’ award for 2022 at the HTN Now Awards.

These prestigious awards aim to recognise health tech suppliers that have made a genuine difference for their clients. So, to win at the HTN Now Awards, especially in the ‘Making an Impact’ category, really underlines the outstanding improvements Ashtons e-Works has helped to bring about during the last 12 months.

Since its launch in 2021, e-Works has had a significant impact on prescribing and administration errors wherever it has been implemented.

Most notably, e-Works is proven to reduce prescribing errors by up to 88% and medicines administration errors by up to 94%. The system has also helped reduce patient details errors by up to 92%.

However, what does such a significant reduction in errors mean in real terms?

In short, this improves treatment outcomes and saves lives.

Data suggests that a serious error occurs around 42.5 times per 1,000,000 doses administered, with around half of these being preventable. Based on the patient profiles in our services, we estimate that using Ashtons e-Works would reduce the incidence of a serious error by 45% from once every 8.1 patient years to once every 14.8 patient years.

Based on the number of users currently using the system, we estimate e-Works to have prevented 49 serious errors during 2021; this is around 1.25 per site.

These fantastic results follow a lot of hard work. Our e-Works system may have only recently been launched in full, but that followed a seven year period of development, testing and piloting. Yet still this is just the start. Like Ashtons as a whole, e-Works will never stand still. It will be continually refined, leading to constant evolution and improvement on an ongoing basis.

We’ve also received some fantastic feedback from our e-Works, so don’t just take our word for it:

Director of Operations and Support, Hospice

“In hindsight, have we made the right decision? Absolutely 100% yes! By using the Ashtons e-Works ePMA system, the staff are more efficient, there is far less paper floating around the Hospice, prescribers are able to prescribe more securely, especially compared to our previous out-of-hours processes and our staff are becoming far more comfortable using IT. Our only regret is that we didn’t come across this system earlier!”

Doctor, Mental Health Hospital.

“I have been using e-Works for a few months now. Ashtons were very helpful in tutoring me through how to use it and their support throughout has been excellent. I find e-Works an easy to use interface that has streamlined our workload and improved patient care in the care home I look after.”

Medical Director, Hospital

“There has been a huge reduction in the number of prescribing and administration errors since the introduction of e-Works to our centre. The system is intuitive to use and has made it possible to be more responsive as prescribers. A huge thanks to our pharmacist for supporting us to be used as a pilot site. Also, for supporting us to set up the system across the hospital including training for all the staff.”

If you would like to know more about Ashtons e-Works and the many benefits this system could bring to your organisation, please call us on 01273 224604 or email at .

Client Hospice rates e-Works electronic prescribing as ‘an absolute dream’…

Ashtons e-Works EPMA on tablet screen

Ashtons e-Works Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA) system is a simple, easy to use system that is specifically designed for hospices and independent healthcare providers.

It is well established in a number of the hospices we support – read on to discover how e-Works transformed one of our hospice clients prescribing and administration…


“I can also confirm that in my experience it is one of the most simple and intuitive systems I have used. The ability to prescribe syringe pumps so easily is an absolute dream especially when compared to the 5-page walkthrough our local trust have had to create to ensure syringe pumps are prescribed correctly on their EPMA system. Prescribing of other medications, e.g. regulars, variable dose and defined length
regimes, one off doses and when needed meds is equally straightforward.

Our prescribers are finding the system easy to manage and the ‘discretionary list’ template which we have used to standardise prescribing of anticipatory medications makes it easy to just select the medications your area uses, here we have midazolam, levomepromazine, glycopyrronium, hyoscine butylbromide, as well as the general homely remedies also. This is brilliant in terms of sticking to individualised care as per the NICE Guideline as your prescribers can just select those drugs that are appropriate for that individual patient rather than the whole suite of discretionary medicines.

We are also using the system to prescribe monitoring, for example blood sugars in patients with diabetes or on corticosteroids, syringe pump monitoring, SC site monitoring, patch monitoring etc – we do this using the patient’s own remedy tab and it is brilliant as it is easily audited.

The reporting functions are equally good and you can easily see what PRNs have been used overnight. In terms of the monitoring aspects you can see the notes entries for it, which from my personal perspective will make audit so much easier than our previous notes trawling.

It is honestly a system that I have no hesitation in recommending, it is absolutely fit for purpose, help is easy to come by and quick to be delivered.

Specialist Palliative Care Pharmacist Prescriber, Client Hospice


Contact us now to find out more about e-Works and book your free demo!

Ashtons e-Works EPMA system – A review from one of our client Hospices

Ashtons e-Works EPMA on tablet screen

Ashtons e-Works Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA) system is a simple, easy to use system that is specifically designed for independent healthcare providers.

It is well established in a number of the healthcare facilities we support – find out about how one of our hospice clients got on with transitioning to e-Works…


“For many years our Hospice has known that we needed to move forward with our prescribing methods in order to make the data more secure, give staff more confidence and provide a greater degree of governance. This has not been easy due to many factors, one of which has definitely been financial.

We then came across the Ashtons e-Works EPMA system and started discussions to see if this system could be a solution for us. After various meetings with the Ashtons team, having been given a good demonstration of the system and looked at alternatives, we felt that this would be a good fit for our Hospice. With all new systems the proof is in the pudding when the staff start to use it.

We then started on the journey of introducing the system into the Hospice which involved carrying out a full Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), arranging staff training and asking for small tweaks which were relevant to our processes. At every stage we found the Ashtons team to be extremely prompt and reactive to every single one of our requests. We then had a member of their team come to the Hospice to train super-users, prescribers and relevant nursing staff. The training was extremely good and was delivered in such a simple way that it persuaded even the least technically minded of our team that it would benefit both staff and patients. We were initially given access to a dummy data set to enable everyone to ‘play’ on the system before we went live.

On the big day, we went live and stood back waiting for the inevitable moans and groans. The silence was almost deafening! Yes, there were some minor teething problems, most of which were simple, and the super-users were able to resolve them. Those that we did need to report to Ashtons were corrected extremely quickly. We have now been using the system for a few weeks and are already seeing many advantages.

So, in hindsight, have we made the right decision?  Absolutely 100% yes! By using the Ashtons e-Works EPMA system, the staff are more efficient, there is far less paper floating around the Hospice, prescribers are able to prescribe more securely, especially compared to our previous out-of-hours processes and our staff are becoming far more comfortable using IT. Our only regret is that we didn’t come across this system earlier!

To summarise Ashtons e-Works in a few short words: Simple but Effective.”

Hospice Director at one of our client hospices

Celebrating ‘Growth and Innovation’ at the annual Pharmacists’ Conference

Ashtons clinical team at the Annual Pharmacists Conference 2021

At Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront on 16-17 September 2021

On 16-17 September 2021, the Ashtons pharmacists and team gathered for our eleventh annual Pharmacists’ Conference. It was exciting to be back and meeting together in person, as the 2020 conference was postponed due to the pandemic. Our pharmacists are spread across the UK to help support our clients nationwide, and so it is important for them to be able to meet and share their knowledge and experience through a series of lectures and discussions.

Growth and Innovation

This year’s theme was ‘Growth and Innovation’. In a difficult year that has brought about some unique challenges for us all, Ashtons has continued to grow and develop, launching new services and products aimed at supporting our clients to provide outstanding care, including our electronic prescribing and administration system, Ashtons e-Works; our new accredited e-learning system; and the installation of our new robot, Zelda, which has significantly increased our dispensing capacity.

Ashtons clinical team at the Annual Pharmacists Conference 2021

Keynote speakers

The conference provides an opportunity to hear from expert speakers across different areas of healthcare and this year we were delighted to welcome three fantastic speakers. John Donoghue is an award-winning author and mental health pharmacist, and a founding member of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy, who has written widely on mental health issues and has over 80 peer-reviewed publications. John delivered a fascinating insight into the long-term outcomes and acute treatment of schizophrenia.

We were also honoured receive Professor David Taylor, Director of Pharmacy and Pathology at the Maudsley Hospital and Professor of Psychopharmacology at King’s College London. Professor Taylor has formerly contributed to NICE guidelines, is a lead author for the Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines and in 2014 was ranked in the top 100 clinical leaders in the NHS by the Health Service Journal. He presented an engaging lecture on ‘Pharmacogenetic Testing – The Future for Clozapine’.

Also joining our group of external presenters was Adrian Munday, the Director of The First Aid Training College, our cherished partner for first aid training. Adrian was previously on the board of directors at Cygnet Health Care and also runs a management consulting company – Essential Management Consultants. He delivered an insightful and practical session on immediate life support and basic life support.

Sharing experience

Our annual conference is also a chance for our pharmacists to present on their own topics and expertise, in specialist areas important to them. This included a variety of topics including ‘Motor Neurone Disease – A Case Study’ by Karen Higlett; ‘STOMP’ (Stopping Over Medication of People with a learning disability, autism or both) by Priyanka Patel and Matthew Roberts; ‘The Role of the Hospice’ by Lesley Spencer and ‘Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder’ by Nabila Ditta. These compelling and thought-provoking seminars provided a great deal of information and helped solidify our team’s understanding of important topics, so that they can continue to excel at supporting our clients to provide the very best patient care.

A big thank you to all of our speakers for creating a fantastic couple of days of learning and development!

Ashtons Live View reduces medication errors by 56%

Ashtons Live View on tablet screen

The Ashtons Live View system facilitates the electronic reporting of pharmacist audits and communication between the pharmacist and clinical staff in the hospital. The pharmacists report any clinical interventions, audits and compliance issues following their ward visits and this information is emailed to the relevant staff and managers. The hospital staff can communicate back with the pharmacist and this ensures that any issues are dealt with promptly. We continuously monitor and analyse the data we receive from the Ashtons Live View system to identify areas of concern, discover any trends and focus on improvements.

Live View helps improve quality

It has been three years since the launch of Ashtons Live View in our hospitals, and we have analysed recent data that demonstrates the significant improvements in quality that this system produces with the involvement of clinical staff.

We investigated the difference that Ashtons Live View can make between the first five visits of the pharmacist using Live View and the results from the 96th to the 100th visit. This was averaged for all our hospitals and so the results represent an average two-year cycle using Live View and demonstrate the level of improvement that it can make to patient safety and compliance with medicine management requirements.

A 56% overall reduction in medication errors

Administration errors, MHA errors, patient detail errors and prescribing errors were analysed. On average, hospitals had a reduction of 63% in administration errors; 59% in prescribing errors; 51% in MHA errors and 52% in patient detail errors.

There was an average overall reduction of 56% in medication errors, during the hospital’s first two years using Ashtons Live View! These findings clearly demonstrate the impact that the Live View system has in our hospitals within the independent healthcare sector. Nationally, electronic reporting by pharmacists is not yet widely used but Ashtons has continuously demonstrated that it is a key factor in ensuring safer patient care.

The electronic reporting provides a database of information which increases over time following the pharmacists’ visits. The database enables a high level of trend analysis and can provide comparisons between the performance of hospitals, wards and individuals.

Delivering better patient care through continuous improvement

  • Real-time reporting which provides instant access to pharmacist audit data and a suite of pre-defined reports
  • Increased transparency thanks to the ability to view and respond to pharmacist comments and concerns, benchmark performance and reduce error rates by sharing best practice
  • Better performance monitoring, providing early warning of issues by monitoring trends and highlighting common problems or training concerns
  • Making improvements by identifying deficiencies in performance against required standards and providing a foundation for changes to facilitate improvements, leading to better patient care

Access a wealth of online clinical information

Ashtons Live View is also an important resource for clinical information. This includes the new Ashtons Formulary, an information resource for making evidence-based choices for medicines, as well as NICEMHRA, and NHS England clinical guidelines. A large number of guidelines are released on a regular, so we take the hard work out of it for our clients, by highlighting the most relevant guidelines.

The platform also provides two particularly important tools to provide help with patient involvement: A Medication and Patient Profile Summary (MaPPs) which is suitable for all medication and Choice and Medication which provides specific mental health information.

For further information about the many benefits Ashtons can deliver, please see our range of services.