Within this section you will find a summary of the national arrangements for NHS Smartcards, and information about how to administer them.
Your local Registration Authority (RA) will manage card issues in your area e.g. providing new ones, adjusting roles etc. Contact details for your local RA are listed here.
- Assign someone an Admin role: PSNC recommends a pharmacy team member has the Administrator (LSA) or Sponsor role so they may assist team members with all card matters.
- Favourite the online Care Identity Service (CIS): This is the online administration software related to card management. Ensure that your system can access it.
- Print Smartcard factsheets: These summarise how to manage cards effectively.
- Release 1 (R1)/upgrade
- Identity checks
- Role adjustment
- SCR roles
- Locum/multi-site arrangements
- Use admin software (CIS)
- Temporary Access Cards
- Passcode / contact detail updating
- Change site or cancel
- Future / feedback
Q. How can I obtain a smartcard?
A. To obtain smartcards you will need to contact your Registration Authority (or if unknown your local NHS England team, who are responsible for commissioning the RA to provide cards and deal with card issues. RA contact information may be available on your LPC site. Read more on obtaining smartcards here.
Q. If the pharmacy ODS code changes, do I need to update my smartcard? (i.e. will the smartcard stop working at that premises)
A. Yes, all pharmacy staff will be registered linked to ODS codes of the pharmacy sites where they operate the service on a regular basis. The exception to this model is the case of community pharmacists/dispensing technician locums who may need to work within many community pharmacies at short notice. In such cases, they will also have a user role profile registered against a generic organisation ODS code for a “locum pharmacy” that allows them to operate the system from any pharmacy.
If the pharmacy ODS code changes all users need to have the new ODS code added to their profile. Historically RA Managers had been able to add on the new ODS code before the removal of the old ODS code to aide transition.
To minimise the disruption caused by changes in ODS codes, a new ODS code should only be requested when a change of ownership occurs and the contractor buys out a business on a non debts and liabilities basis (i.e. the outgoing contractor requires payment for all items dispensed up to the date of sale). Further information: Allocation of ODS Codes.
Q. My RA has told me that they will not be issuing cards at present. Who should I contact to resolve this?
A. If an RA is refusing to issue cards or not issuing cards in a timely manner, we would recommend contacting your LPC in the first instance who will be able to take this up with the local NHS England team.
Q. What arrangements are there for Welsh Smartcards?
A. Welsh pharmacy teams should not need or use Smartcards. If you have further queries then Community Pharmacy Wales may be able to assist.
- NHS Smartcard model
- Escalating Smartcard issues briefing: if you are unsatisfied with the local RA Smartcard service, then in the first instance, email the RA and cc the LPC, and further escalate to the LPC. Your LPC may have a relationship with the local RA, and may also escalate further to PSNC where required.
- Factsheets: Managing Smartcards
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