Gateway criteria


The Quality Payments scheme for 2017/18 has now ended. We will update this section when we receive information about the final outcome and plans for any future Quality Payments.

Note: The information on this page is a summary of the requirements. We strongly advise pharmacies to read the full NHS England guidance as well – there are links at the end of this page.

Meeting the Gateway Criteria

Pharmacies must meet four essential ‘gateway’ criteria on the review date before you can claim any Quality Payments. The next review date is Friday 24th November.

Criteria 1: Provision of Advanced Services

Your pharmacy must offer MUR, NMS or be registered to provide NUMSAS; other advanced services don’t count:

  • If you provide MUR or NMS, make sure your NHS Choices profile mentions this.
  • Make sure you have claimed for some MUR/NMS activity in the last 12 months.
  • That’s because your NHS Choices profile and MUR/NMS claim history may be checked in the validation process for Quality Payments claims to verify you are actually providing the service.

Criteria 2: Up-to-date NHS Choices profile

Your pharmacy’s NHS Choices profile must be accurate and up-to-date on the review date. There are different requirements for ‘bricks and mortar’ pharmacies and distance-selling pharmacies.

Bricks-and-mortar pharmacies:

  • You need to have checked, amended if necessary, and validated all three sections of your profile: opening times; services provided; and facilities available. If you don’t check and validate all three sections, you will not be eligible for Quality Payments.
  • For the 24th November review date, you must have done this between 00.00 on 11th September and 23.59 on 24th November, i.e. if you last checked it on 10th September or earlier, you have to do it again.

What to do in the following cases:

  • No NHS Choices profile: Contact england.gmtop@nhs.net immediately or call 0113 825 5182/5162/5139 if your pharmacy isn’t on NHS Choices.
  • Forgotten password: You can reset your password here.
  • No editing rights: You can apply for editing rights for your pharmacy’s profile.
  • Help editing/validating your profile: This user guide helps you understand how to check, edit and validate your profile.
  • Multiples: Contractors with multiple pharmacies can use the Application Programming Interface to update their profiles. Contact nhschoicesservicedesk@nhs.net if you don’t have access to it.

Distance-selling pharmacies:

Distance-selling pharmacies (DSPs) must complete an online survey to meet the NHS Choices gateway. For the November 2017 review date, this survey was emailed out to DSPs in the week commencing 2nd October 2017. You must complete it by 23.59 on 24th November 2017.

  • If you claimed April 2017 Quality Payments, the survey was emailed to the email address you provided then. If any of the information in your NHS Choices profile needs updating, email the details to nhschoicesservicedesk@nhs.net by 24th November – you need to put “distance selling pharmacy” in the email subject header.
  • If you didn’t claim in April but were operating before 11th September, you had to send detailed information to nhschoicesservicedesk@nhs.net by 11th September.
  • If you only began operating after 11th September, you need to email nhschoicesservicedesk@nhs.net now with your pharmacy’s: ODS code; pharmacy trading name; website address (URL); phone number; premises address; pharmacy email address; provision of EPS; and a contact name, email and phone number that NHS Choices can use to liaise with you on your pharmacy entry.

Criteria 3: Ability to send and receive NHSmail

You must have an active NHSmail address on 24th November. Pharmacies can have a shared NHSmail account (e.g. blahpharmacy@nhs.net), with up to three linked personal NHSmail accounts so staff can access the pharmacy email.

Using personal NHSmail accounts:

Log in to check your account is active, especially if you don’t access it very often. Be warned: If you don’t use NHSmail at least every 90 days, your account gets suspended and won’t count as active.

Process for getting shared NHSmail accounts for your pharmacy:

  • If you’ve not applied for a shared NHSmail account, do so here. (Note: Pharmacy staff in multiples should check with head office first, as some are doing this centrally.)
  • NHS Digital then send you details of how to set up your account and complete the process by providing some additional information here. Do that as soon as possible to make sure it’s active by 24th November. Don’t risk delays as NHS Digital may receive large volumes of applications.
  • Once you’ve completed registration via the portal, NHS Digital will send you log-in details for the associated personal NHSmail accounts. Activate these as soon as possible to make sure they’re active by 24th November.
  • If you have any problems applying, registering or setting up NHSmail (e.g. you can’t see your pharmacy on the portal), contact pharmacyadmin@nhs.net. The PSNC briefing is also very helpful.

Criteria 4: Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)

Pharmacies must demonstrate that you use EPS on an ongoing basis. NHS England will seek evidence of this to validate Quality Payments claims, so make sure you:

  • Have EPS Release 2 enabled (read more about this)
  • Continue to nominate suitable patients for EPS (i.e. patients suitable for EPS and who have nominated your pharmacy)
  • Endorse and claim for EPS Release 2 prescriptions, as appropriate each month.

Full guidance from NHS England

Read the full NHS England guidance to make sure you meet the Quality Payments criteria. We strongly advise bookmarking this NHS England webpage and checking it regularly in case of any changes to the guidance or documents. If you download/print documents, you should revisit the webpage regularly to make sure you are still using the latest version.

This page was last updated on 27th December 2017.