Quality Payments – FAQs

Quality Payments – FAQs

This page contains Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Quality Payments Scheme (last updated on 2nd October 2017).


Click on a heading below for more information.

Background and general

Q. Why has the Quality Payments Scheme been introduced and what is PSNC’s view on it?
During discussions with the Department of Health and NHS England in 2016, PSNC proposed the introduction of Quality Payments, as part of a wider package with appropriate funding being made available to contractors. PSNC therefore supports in principle the move to recognise and reward quality within the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework; however; the Committee is concerned that the way the scheme has being implemented, as part of the imposition of funding reductions on contractors, means that it has put additional demands on contractors without additional funding being made available.

Q. Do I have to engage with the Quality Payments Scheme?
No. The scheme is voluntary – contractors do not need to engage with it – but PSNC recommends that all contractors should seek to meet as many of the quality criteria as possible (as well as meeting the four gateway criteria). Contractors that successfully meet the requirements will receive Quality Payments which will be funded from a £75 million budget that is part of the overall community pharmacy funding budget of £2.592 billion.

Q. Which pharmacies are eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme?
All pharmacies on the pharmaceutical list in England (i.e. excluding Local Pharmaceutical Services (LPS) contracts) are eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme, including pharmacies that are part of the Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) and distance selling pharmacies.

Q. Has NHS England issued guidance on the Quality Payments Scheme?
NHS England has published guidance ahead of the November review point of the Quality Payments Scheme:

  • NHS England – Pharmacy Quality Payments Guidance for the November 2017 declaration (published 2nd October 2017)

The November guidance, should be read in conjunction with NHS England’s gateway criteria guidance and the quality criteria guidance which was issued ahead of the April review point:

  • NHS England – Pharmacy Quality Payments Gateway Criteria Guidance (published 23rd December 2016); and
  • NHS England – Pharmacy Quality Payments Quality Criteria Guidance (published 27th February 2017).

All three documents are available on the NHS England website.

PSNC strongly encourages all contractors to read the new NHS England guidance, as well as the previous guidance, to ensure they are fully briefed on the requirements of the Quality Payments Scheme ahead of the November review point.

Q. Is the Quality Payments Scheme going to continue after 2017/18?
No decisions have been made by the Department of Health and NHS England on the future of Quality Payments beyond 2017/18.

Q. When does the Quality Payments Scheme start?
Payments under the scheme do not start until April 2017, but contractors should start to prepare for the scheme in 2016.

Q. Are pharmacies that hold local pharmaceutical services (LPS) contracts with NHS England eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme?
No. Pharmacies that hold LPS contracts with NHS England are not eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme. However, where LPS contracts mirror the contractual arrangements of those of the national contractual framework, NHS England may make local payments that are equivalent to the Quality Payments Scheme. These payments would also need to be claimed via the NHS BSA Quality Payments declaration. Contractors who are unsure if they would be eligible for such a local payment should contact their local NHS England team for advice.

Q. Are distance selling pharmacies eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme?
Yes. Distance selling pharmacies are eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme.

Q. Are pharmacies that qualify for the Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme?
Yes. Pharmacies that qualify for the PhAS are eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme.

Q. How should I get going with the Quality Payments Scheme?
Once a contractor has made the decision to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme, we recommend that they start to work towards achieving the points as quickly as possible:

  1. Decide which Quality Payments criteria you plan to meet and by which review point
    Consider the costs you are likely to incur to achieve each criterion; some will take more time to achieve and staff resource (e.g. Health Living Pharmacy (HLP) level 1), and some are much more complex than others.
  2. Develop a timed plan for achieving the gateway and quality criteria
    Developing a timed plan will help contractors and their teams to ensure they have plenty of time to achieve all the criteria that they intend to meet. Consider which criteria you will find easiest to achieve and which can be claimed at both review points – these should probably be your early priorities.

Q. I am in the process of buying a pharmacy; who is responsible for completing the declaration on the NHS BSA website?
When a pharmacy has changed ownership during the data submission period, the contract holder on the day of the review is responsible for completing the declaration.

Q. My pharmacy has only recently opened – will I be eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme?
As long as the pharmacy is on the pharmaceutical list in England on the day of the review period (24th November 2017) then the pharmacy will be eligible to take part in the scheme.

However, the contractor will only be able to claim the quality points for the criteria that it is able to provide evidence of meeting at that review point. A pharmacy that has recently opened would need to consider how it would be able to provide evidence of meeting each of the gateway criteria to be eligible for a payment; and for each of the quality criteria it would wish to claim a payment for.

If the pharmacy has opened at a time which is close to the next review date it may then not have had the opportunity to gather the evidence that would be required to demonstrate meeting a particular criterion.

Q. My pharmacy had an LPS contract but we were informed that we could not receive a local payment on the same basis as the Quality Payments Scheme by our local NHS England team. If the pharmacy reverts to the pharmaceutical list in England, will I be eligible take part in the Quality Payments Scheme?
As long as the pharmacy is on the pharmaceutical list in England on the day of the review period (24th November 2017) then the pharmacy will be eligible to take part in the scheme.

However, the contractor will only be able to claim the quality points for the criteria that it is able to provide evidence of meeting at that review point. A pharmacy that has recently reverted would need to consider how it would be able to provide evidence of meeting each of the gateway criteria to be eligible for a payment; and for each of the quality criteria it would wish to claim a payment for.

If the pharmacy has reverted at a time which is close to the next review date it may then not have had the opportunity to gather the evidence that would be required to demonstrate meeting a particular criterion.

Q. My pharmacy has an LPS contract and has been informed it will receive a local payment on the same basis as the Quality Payments Scheme. If the pharmacy reverts to the pharmaceutical list in England will it still be eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme?
Yes, as long as the pharmacy is on the pharmaceutical list in England on the day of the review period (24th November 2017) then the pharmacy will be eligible to take part in the scheme.

However, if an LPS pharmacy receives a local payment on the same basis as the Quality Payments Scheme in April via the NHS BSA Declaration portal, but then returns to the pharmaceutical list in England before the November review point it will still be eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme. As the pharmacy will retain its ODS (F) code, it will only be eligible for one set of Quality Payments throughout the course of the year. In such situations, the Quality Payments will apply across the year; and quality criterion that can only be paid once – the safety report, the community pharmacy patient questionnaire and Healthy Living Pharmacy criteria – will only be paid at one review point.

Q. If a pharmacy changes ownership between the two review points (28th April 2017 and 24th November 2017) how will it be treated for the Quality Payments Scheme?
Where a contractor changes ownership and the assets and liabilities transfer from one contractor to another, then the ODS (F) code of the original contractor is retained by the new one. In such situations, the Quality Payments will apply across the year; and quality criteria that can only be paid once – the safety report, the community pharmacy patient questionnaire and Healthy Living Pharmacy – will only be paid at one review point.

In other situations where the assets and liabilities do not transfer from one contractor to another then the ODS (F) code of the original contractor is cancelled and a new one is issued. In these situations, if the original contractor had received a Quality Payment in the first review period these can then be claimed again at the second review period by the “new” contractor. In these situations, the new contractor would be able to claim the full Quality Payment. However, this contractor would need to consider how it could provide the evidence that it, the new contractor, has met the gateway and quality criteria. In these cases, the new contractor would not be able to use the evidence that had been collated by the previous contractor as, in effect, new contractual arrangements have come into place as and when the ownership of the pharmacy changed. For example, the new contractor could not use a patient safety report generated by the previous owner to claim the safety report criterion.

If the pharmacy has changed ownership at a time which is close to the next review date it may then not have had the opportunity to gather the evidence that would be required to demonstrate meeting a particular criterion.

Q. If a pharmacy who claims for a Quality Payment at the first review point closes before the second review point will it still be eligible for a Quality Payment at the second review point?
No, the pharmacy must be on the pharmaceutical list in England on the day of the review period, 24th November 2017.

Gateway criteria

Q. What are the gateway criteria?
To qualify for payments related to successfully meeting the elements of the Quality Payments, contractors must first meet four gateway criteria:

  1. the contractor must be offering at the pharmacy Medicines Use Reviews (MUR) or the New Medicine Service (NMS) or must be registered to provide the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service;
  2. the NHS Choices entry for the pharmacy must be up to date;
  3. pharmacy staff at the pharmacy must be able to send and receive NHS mail; and
  4. the contractor must be able to demonstrate ongoing utilisation of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) at the pharmacy premises.

Q. Will I get a Quality Payment for passing the gateway criteria?
No. Passing the gateway criteria will not itself earn a Quality Payment for the contractor.

Q. I did not meet the gateway criteria for the April 2017 review point. Am I still eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme if I meet the gateway criteria by the November 2017 review point?
Yes. If you meet the gateway criteria for the November 2017 review point, then you are eligible to take part in the Quality Payments Scheme.

NHS Choices entry up to date

Q. I have viewed my NHS Choices profile and my opening times, the facilities the pharmacy provides and the services the pharmacy provides are all correct. Do I therefore meet the gateway criterion?
No. To meet the gateway criterion, contractors need to have logged in to their NHS Choices profile and either have edited or validated the opening times, the facilities the pharmacy provides and the services the pharmacy provides during the required time period.

Contractors must validate their profile even if their NHS Choices profile is correct otherwise they will not meet the gateway criterion and will therefore not be entitled to claim for a Quality Payment.

Q. The NHS England guidance states that I need to edit or validate my opening times, the facilities the pharmacy provides and the services the pharmacy provides on my NHS Choices profile. What if I don’t edit or validate all three parts of the NHS Choices profile?
The NHS England guidance clearly states that all three parts of the NHS Choices profile need to be edited or validated to meet the gateway criterion (the opening times, the facilities the pharmacy provides and the services the pharmacy provides) during the required time period. Therefore, if all three sections are not edited or validated, contractors will not meet the requirements of the gateway criterion and will not be entitled to claim for a Quality Payment.

Q. I edited and validated my NHS Choices profile a few days before 11th September as I received a letter from the NHS Business Services Authority advising me that I had not updated all three sections of my NHS Choices profile for the April review point of the Quality Payments Scheme. Do I need to edit or validate the three sections again?
Yes. In order to meet the gateway criterion for the November review point you must edit or validate the information again between 00:00 on 11th September 2017 and 11:59pm on 24th November 2017. If you do not edit or validate your NHS Choices profile during this period, you will not meet the gateway criterion.

Even if the information is correct on your NHS Choices profile, you will need to log into your profile and validate the information in the three sections.

Q. I am having problems accessing my NHS Choices profile and can therefore not update my profile. What should I do?
If a contractor has experienced any difficulty with accessing and editing their NHS Choices profile, please urgently send an email describing the problem you are having to nhschoicesservicedesk@nhs.net with ‘Issues with pharmacy profiles – Quality Payments Scheme’ in the subject line of the email; the NHS Choices service desk team will prioritise these emails for action and will contact the pharmacy to try to solve the problem.

Q. NHS England’s Quality Criteria Guidance published in February 2017 stated that Essential services provided at the pharmacy will be included on pharmacies’ NHS Choices profiles for the November 2017 review point. Will that still be going ahead?
NHS England has advised PSNC that they still intend to have Essential services included on contractors’ NHS Choices profiles but not before the November 2017 review point. Contractors will not need to do anything as the Essential services will be auto-populated onto each provider profile. This does not affect the NHS Choices gateway criterion for the Quality Payments Scheme.

Ability for staff to send and receive NHSmail

Q. A regular member of staff in my pharmacy has an individual NHSmail account; does this mean my pharmacy will meet the gateway criterion for NHSmail?
Yes, if a regular member of staff in your pharmacy has an individual NHSmail account, which allows them to send and receive NHSmail, then your pharmacy will meet the NHSmail gateway criterion. However, PSNC strongly recommends that contractors should still apply for a premises specific shared NHSmail account. Using individual NHSmail accounts could mean that contractors face information governance (IG) challenges, for example, if a pharmacy manager resigned from working at a contractor’s pharmacy, the contractor would not be able to access any of the emails in the pharmacist manager’s personal NHSmail account, relating to their pharmacy.

Q. My pharmacy has an NHSmail account previously set up by the NHS Local Organisation Administrator, but it was not created as a shared mailbox. Is this sufficient to meet the gateway criterion of pharmacy staff being able to send and receive NHS mail?
NHS England and NHS Digital want all pharmacies to have shared mailboxes which can only be accessed by authorised users who log in using their personal NHSmail account. Since NHSmail accounts are likely to contain patient sensitive information, sharing log-in information (such as passwords) for NHSmail accounts with pharmacy team members would constitute a breach of NHS Information Governance requirements. Any pharmacies with such an account should request a new shared mailbox.

Q. Does the pharmacy shared mailbox owner need to work in the pharmacy?
No. The pharmacy shared mailbox owner can be someone who works in the pharmacy, someone who is field-based or it can be someone who works at the pharmacy’s head office. It would be up to the individual contractor to decide who should take on this role.

Q. Can I be a pharmacy shared mailbox owner for more than one pharmacy?
Yes. An individual can be appointed as the pharmacy shared mailbox owner for all the pharmacies that a contractor owns or a pharmacy shared mailbox owner can be appointed for each individual pharmacy. It would be up to the individual contractor to decide on the approach to take.

Q. What is the role of the pharmacy shared mailbox owner?
The pharmacy shared mailbox owner will have the responsibility of managing the shared pharmacy NHSmail account, authenticating personal NHSmail accounts and linking or deleting NHSmail accounts to the shared pharmacy NHSmail account.

Ongoing utilisation of the Electronic Prescription Service

Q. My pharmacy is enabled to provide EPS; however, we have not received any EPS prescriptions from any GP practices. Will this satisfy the gateway criterion of demonstrating ongoing use of EPS at the pharmacy?
Yes. If you are enabled for EPS (are EPS release 2 enabled, are setting nominations and can appropriately endorse EPS release 2 prescriptions), but your local GP practices do not currently use EPS, you will still meet the gateway criterion.

Quality criteria

Q. Do I have to achieve all the criteria listed in the Quality Payments Scheme to claim payment?
No. Contractors do not have to achieve all the criteria listed in the Quality Payments Scheme to claim payment; they can claim for whichever of the criteria they achieve.

Q. Is it possible to achieve some of the points for a quality criterion at a review point if you partially meet the criterion, for example, if only 40% of pharmacy staff working in patient facing roles are trained ‘Dementia Friends’ instead of 80% can I claim half the points (2.5 points instead of 5) at the review point?
No. A contractor will either meet the criterion or not; it is not possible to achieve only some of the points in this way.

Q. If a quality criterion, which can be claimed twice, was not claimed at the April 2017 review point can it be claimed twice at the November 2017 review point?
No. The quality criterion cannot be claimed twice at one review point.

Q. Will the quality criteria or number of points for each criterion change?
The quality criteria are not expected to change during 2017/18. No decisions have been made by the Department of Health and NHS England on the future of the Quality Payments Scheme beyond 2017/18.

Q. For the quality criteria that can only be claimed for once, is there a specific review point at which they should claimed?
No. If they can be claimed for only once, they can be claimed at either the April or November review point.

Patient safety report

Q. Does completion of the patient safety report replace the need to report patient safety incidents to the National Reporting and Learning System?
No. Reporting patient safety incidents to the National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS) is a professional responsibility and pharmacy teams should continue to do this.

Q. What duration of time should my pharmacy’s written safety report cover?
While NHS England has not defined a time period, it is expected that the written safety report should cover the previous 12 months if possible. Contractors should have records of incidents, near misses and responses to medicines recalls and national patient safety alerts that would allow contractors to complete an annual patient safety report retrospectively and reflect on learning from these.

Q. Is there a template patient safety report that must be used to meet this quality criterion?
A template patient safety report is available on the Quality Payments – Patient safety report page; however, contractors do not have to use this template to meet this quality criterion. If contractors choose to create their own report, they should ensure it includes all the information required by NHS England. Details on the requirements can be found on the Quality Payments – Patient safety report page.

Q. Does the written patient safety report need to be submitted to NHS England?
No. The report does not need to be submitted routinely to NHS England but contractors should ensure that a copy of the report is kept in the pharmacy.

Q. The quality payment criterion states that a ‘written’ safety report at premises level needs to be available for inspection; does this need to be handwritten or can it be computer generated (typed)?
The report can be either hand written or computer generated (typed).

Safeguarding

Q. Who is a registered pharmacy professional?
Registered pharmacy professionals are pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Q. Are part-time staff included in the safeguarding quality criterion?
Yes. This quality criterion applies to all pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy. The number of hours a member of staff is employed for is not relevant for this quality criterion.

Q. The safeguarding quality criterion states that 80% of registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy have achieved level 2 safeguarding status for children and vulnerable adults in the last two years; does this include locums?
Yes. This includes locums, so contractors should encourage temporary staff, such as locum pharmacists, to undertake the training and assessment.

Q. Are pre-registration students covered by the description ‘registered pharmacy professional’, in regards to the level 2 safeguarding requirement?
No. It is, however, sensible for pre-registration students to undertake safeguarding training.

Q. I have completed the previous version of the CPPE Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults e-learning and e-assessment. Do I also need to complete the new CPPE e-learning and e-assessment?
The quality criterion states that ‘On the day of the review 80% of registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy have achieved level 2 safeguarding status for children and vulnerable adults in the last two years.’ Therefore, if pharmacy professionals have completed the previous version of the CPPE e-learning and e-assessment in the last two years this is acceptable to meet the quality criterion.

However, pharmacy professionals may wish to complete the new e-learning programme to update their knowledge in areas not covered by the old programme, such as the Care Act 2014, child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation and radicalisation.

Completion of the e-assessment will also allow pharmacy professionals to prove their ongoing competence in this important area of practice and provide them with the self-assurance that their knowledge is up to date and in line with current legislation.

Q. Is it necessary to complete and pass the associated e-assessment for CPPE’s Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults programme to become Level 2 accredited through CPPE?
Completing and passing the e-assessment is the only way that CPPE can provide pharmacy professionals with evidence of completion of the Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults programme and therefore confirm that they are Level 2 accredited.

The CPPE system records access to the e-learning programme, not completion and even if it did record completion this would still not necessarily show that there had been any learning.

Therefore, it is recommended to complete and pass the e-assessment so pharmacy professionals have evidence to show they have achieved safeguarding children and vulnerable adults level 2.

Q. Is attendance at face-to-face level 2 safeguarding for vulnerable adults and children training required to meet the quality criterion or is e-learning sufficient, for example, is the CPPE e-learning level 2 e-course and e-assessment sufficient to meet the quality criterion?
The requirements to achieve level 2 safeguarding for vulnerable adults and children will depend on the training provider that the pharmacy professional has decided to use and how their course has been designed to meet the level 2 requirements. Therefore, depending on the course provider, face-to-face training may be required as part of their course. However, it is not a requirement for pharmacy professionals to attend face-to-face training to meet the quality criterion and completion of the CPPE course and e-assessment would therefore be sufficient to meet the quality criterion.

Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire (CPPQ) results

Q. How do I upload the CPPQ results to the pharmacy’s NHS Choices page?
A User Guide on the process to follow to upload the CPPQ onto a NHS Choices profile is available on the NHS Choiceswebsite. Please note that if the naming conventions are not followed as outlined in the guidance, the pharmacy will not appear on the report, provided by NHS Choices to NHS England, validating that the pharmacy meets this quality criterion.

Q. Am I required to upload the results of the 2015/16 CPPQ to my NHS Choices page to meet the quality criterion?
No. Only the CPPQ results of the last 12 months (covering 2016/17) must be uploaded to the pharmacy’s NHS Choices page to meet the quality criterion.

Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) self-assessment

Other frequently asked questions on HLP can be found on the RSPH website.

Q. What are the criteria for becoming a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Level 1?
The Healthy Living Pharmacy: Level 1 quality criteria set out the criteria that pharmacies must achieve to gain HLP Level 1 status.

Q. My pharmacy achieved HLP status before the self-accreditation process was announced. Does this mean my pharmacy meets the HLP Level 1 status?
It will depend on when the pharmacy achieved their HLP status:

  • Pharmacies that were accredited as an HLP locally between 1st December 2014 and 24th November 2017 and have a copy of the signed and dated documentation that demonstrates this, will not need to go through the profession-led self-assessment process led by PHE to qualify for the quality criterion.
  • Pharmacies that were accredited prior to 1st December 2014 as an HLP and have a copy of the signed and dated documentation that demonstrates this, will need to complete the profession led self-assessment to show they are meeting the requirements of a HLP Level 1 as defined by PHE on the day of the review. The contractor will not need to register their pharmacy by completing the assessment of compliance on the RSPH website as this is just for pharmacies who are registering as an HLP for the first time.

Q. Do I need to complete a form or any paperwork prior to registering as a HLP to notify RSPH that my pharmacy intends to become a HLP Level 1?
No. Contractors do not need to notify RSPH that they intend to become an HLP Level 1. Contractors only need to notify RSPH once they are ready to register as a HLP Level 1 by completing the assessment of compliance on the RSPH website.

Q. How often (if at all) will the leadership and RSPH training need to be repeated?
There is no reference to the need for repeated training in the HLP quality requirements, so as long as a contractor has staff in post that have undertaken the relevant training, that will meet the requirements.

Q. Is there any clarification regarding grandparenting from existing HLPs available yet?
Yes. Pharmacies that were accredited as an HLP locally between 1st December 2014 and 24th November 2017 and have a copy of the signed and dated documentation that demonstrates this, will not need to go through the profession-led self-assessment process led by PHE to qualify for the quality criterion.

Pharmacies that were accredited prior to 1st December 2014 as an HLP and have a copy of the signed and dated documentation that demonstrates this, will need to complete the profession led self-assessment to show they are meeting the requirements of a HLP Level 1 as defined by PHE on the day of the review. The contractor will not need to complete the assessment of compliance on the RSPH website as this is just for pharmacies who are registering as an HLP for the first time.

Q. The HLP quality criteria framework has a criterion which states that the pharmacy team actively works in collaboration with other community organisations to deliver pharmacy outreach and/or services. Can this be done in the pharmacy, as part of the health promotion event that is required to be held every 4 months or do the pharmacy staff have to deliver an event/service away from the pharmacy premises?
The outreach work needs to be carried out off the pharmacy premises, so while it would be good to have collaborative working on the premises, collaborative working off the premises would satisfy that requirement. HLPs have previously done that via attendance at local roadshows for the public, stands in shopping centres, visits to schools and care homes to take part in health promotion work.

Q. I have completed the assessment of compliance on the RSPH website; does that mean my pharmacy is now a HLP Level 1?
No. A pharmacy is not a HLP Level 1 until RSPH has confirmed registration and provided the HLP logo and certificate. RSPH will endeavour to contact contractors by email within 10 working days after they have received the submitted online assessment of compliance.

Contractors are therefore advised to consider this time frame when planning how long it will take to achieve HLP Level 1 to ensure this ‘processing time’ does not prevent contractors from achieving the quality criterion at the April 2017 or November 2017 review point.

Q. Can a Distance Selling Pharmacy (DSP) become a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Level 1 and therefore meet the quality criterion?
Any pharmacy that wishes to be an HLP must fully meet the requirements set out by Public Health England (PHE). These requirements were developed for bricks and mortar pharmacies, not pharmacies that operate via a distance selling model. DSPs are also prohibited from providing Essential Services, including the Public Health (Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles service), on the pharmacy premises. NHS England or PHE have not issued any guidance on this matter, but for the reasons set out above, PSNC believes it is unlikely that a DSP could fully meet the requirements for being an HLP.

Q. What constitutes a full time equivalent (FTE) member of staff?
A FTE is the hours worked by one employee on a full-time basis. The GOV.UK website states there is no specific number of hours that makes someone full or part-time, but a full-time worker will usually work 35 hours or more a week.

To read about the Working Time Regulations, please visit the GOV.UK website.

Q. My pharmacy is accredited as a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Level 2 rather than a Level 1. Does this mean my pharmacy meets the HLP quality criterion?
NHS England has confirmed that if a pharmacy became a HLP Level 2 between 1st December 2014 and 28th April 2017 it will meet the HLP quality criterion.

Contractors do not need to complete the profession led self-assessment process led by PHE to meet the quality criterion if their pharmacy was accredited as a HLP Level 2; however, contractors will need a copy of the signed and dated documentation that demonstrates that the pharmacy was accredited as a HLP Level 2 locally within the above time frame.

Q. Is attendance at face-to-face RSPH training a requirement to qualify for HLP Health Champion training?
The requirements to qualify for HLP Health Champion training will depend on the training provider that the contractor has chosen to use and how their course has been designed to meet the RSPH Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement (the course that needs to be completed for someone to become a Health Champion). Therefore, depending on the course provider, face-to-face training may be required as part of their course. However, it is not stipulated that training must be provided face-to-face in the HLP Level 1 quality criteria guidance published by Public Health England.

Q. What signed and dated documentation is required to demonstrate that a pharmacy was accredited locally as an HLP before 24th November 2017?
This could be the HLP certificate issued by the commissioner; however, other documentation which proves that the pharmacy was accredited as an HLP locally before 24th November 2017 will also be acceptable.

Q. Does the signed and dated documentation to prove the pharmacy was accredited as an HLP need to cover the entire 2014-2017 period?
No. The documentation does not need to cover the entire 2014-2017 period; the latest issued documentation to prove the pharmacy was accredited as an HLP before 24th November 2017 is sufficient to provide confirmation.

Q. Is it possible for contractors who use PharmOutcomes to record their HLP Level 1 progress, to complete the assessment of compliance on PharmOutcomes and then submit this to RPSH, rather than also having to also complete the RSPH’s online registration?
Currently, the information recorded on the PharmOutcomes assessment of compliance cannot be set to pre-populate the RSPH’s assessment.

It is possible for PharmOutcomes to be set up so that the data entered onto the assessment of compliance on PharmOutcomes can be pre-populated on to the RPSH’s assessment of compliance. However, at this moment in time, the RSPH is not willing to explore this option.

Q.Will the RSPH HLP Level 1 register be publicly available to view?
Yes. The RSPH HLP Level 1 register is avaailble to view on the RSPH website.

Summary Care Record

Q. Do I need to access the SCR 100 times or more in period 1 and period 2 or just 100 times over the two periods to meet the quality criterion without increasing SCR usage?
Contractors would need to access the SCR 100 times or more in both period 1 and period 2, for example, 108 times in period 1 and 104 times in period 2 to meet the quality criterion without increasing SCR usage.

Q. How often is the SCR calculator updated?
The SCR calculator is updated weekly on Thursdays (with the previous week’s viewing figures).

Q. How can I practice using SCR so that I can learn how to use it quickly for patients under my care?
You can practice using SCR by using the test patient NHS numbers that NHS Digital has provided; this will allow you to access example records and help you become more familiar with the process. Details of the test NHS numbers plus further information on this process can be found on the Using the SCR application on the PSNC website.

Q. Does the SCR usage calculator tool include test patients when it calculates the number of times a pharmacy has viewed the SCR in period 1 and period 2?
Yes. The SCR usage calculator tool is not able to differentiate between test patients and real patients therefore both are included in the calculation of how many times a pharmacy has accessed the SCR.

Directory of Services

Q. I’ve just realised that I made a mistake when I edited my pharmacy’s information on the DoS profile updater. Can I access the DoS profile updater again and edit this information?
It is intended that the DoS profile updater is updated once by each contractor claiming for this criterion. However, if a contractor realises that the details that have been submitted are incorrect, or the details change before 24th November 2017, then the DoS profile updater can be accessed again and the details updated.

Q. The information on the DoS profile updater is correct for my pharmacy. Do I need to complete the whole process on the DoS profile updater?
You will need to complete the process even if the information is correct as by doing so, you will be confirming the information is correct and will be sent an email to confirm this.

If you do not complete the process, you will not have met the quality criterion and you will not appear on the report that NHS Digital will supply to NHS England which will be used to validate the declaration for the DoS quality criterion.

Q. How quickly will the information I submit be updated on my pharmacy’s DoS profile?
The information provided by contractors on the DoS profile updater will be reviewed by the local DoS lead within 14 calendar days of the information being submitted. Where DoS leads or local NHS England teams have queries regarding the information provided, they will contact the contractor to resolve the query.

This time period is not relevant for meeting the quality criterion, as to meet the quality criterion, the contractor just needs to have edited or confirmed the pharmacy’s information on the DoS profile updater by 11:59pm on 24th November 2017 rather than the DoS lead needing to have updated the pharmacy’s DoS profile by this time period.

Over use of asthma treatments

Q. Are there any resources available to support the referral of asthma patients who have been prescribed more than 6 short acting bronchodilator inhalers without a corticosteroid inhaler within a 6-month period, to an appropriate healthcare professional for an asthma review?
Yes. Further information on this quality criterion and support materials to help contractors implement the requirement are available on the Quality Payments – Over use of asthma treatments page.

Q. Will there be a national template form for the referral of patients with asthma that contractors can use?
No. There will not be a national template form; however, PSNC produced a template data collection form which pharmacy teams can choose to use.

Q. How many patients with asthma need to be referred to meet the quality criterion?
There is not a specified number of people with asthma that need to be referred to meet the quality criterion.

Q. If a contractor has not been able to identify any asthma patients, for whom more than 6 short acting bronchodilator inhalers were dispensed without any corticosteroid inhaler within a 6 month period, do they still meet the criterion?
Where no patients are identified for referral, the contractor will still be eligible for payment as long as they can evidence that they have been working to identify suitable patients and that they have a process in place for referral should they identify someone.

PSNC has produced a suggested process for referring patients for an asthma review.

Q. Do I need to go through all the patient records on the PMR system for the last 6 months and identify any patients who have been prescribed more than 6 short acting bronchodilator inhalers without a corticosteroid inhaler within a 6-month period to meet this criterion?
No. Contractors do not need to have reviewed 6 months of patient records to meet this criterion. On the day of the review the pharmacy must be able to show evidence of the asthma patients, for whom more than 6 short acting bronchodilator inhalers were dispensed without any corticosteroid inhaler within a 6-month period, that have been referred to an appropriate health care professional for an asthma review. There must, therefore, be a process in place, to identify these asthma patients. This process can be incorporated into daily practice (PSNC has suggested a process for referring patients for an asthma review.

Dementia Friends

Further FAQs on Dementia Friends can be found on the Dementia Friends website.

Dementia Friends has also produced an FAQ document to assist pharmacy team members with any issues.

Q. How do I become a Dementia Friend?
There are various routes by which people can become a Dementia Friend and step by step instructions for each route are outlined in PSNC Briefing 073/16: Quality Payments – How to become a Dementia Friend

For organisations

For individuals

  • Individuals can register through the organisation route by either using the unique code from a pharmacy they are working in or by registering as an organisation using their name and the words ‘Pharmacy Locum’ e.g. ‘Jane Smith Pharmacy Locum’; or
  • Attending a face-to-face Dementia Friends Information Session – some LPCs or CPPE Regional Tutors may be planning to hold these events so consider contacting these organisations if you would like to attend a face-to-face session.

Q. Are part-time staff included in the quality payment criterion ‘On the day of the review, 80% of all pharmacy staff working in patient facing roles are trained Dementia Friends?’
Yes. This quality criterion applies to all pharmacy staff working in patient facing roles. The number of hours a member of staff is employed for is not relevant for this quality payment criterion.

Q. One of the quality criterion states that at least 80% of pharmacy staff in patient facing roles are Dementia Friends on the day of the review; does this include locums?
Yes. The 80% of pharmacy staff in patient facing roles includes locums, so contractors should encourage temporary staff, such as locum pharmacists, to become Dementia Friends.

Q. My pharmacy team have all become Dementia Friends but we haven’t received our Dementia Friends badges yet. Will we still meet the quality criterion if our badges have not arrived by the April review point?
Yes, if the pharmacy team has watched the online videos and submitted their details to Dementia Friends as stated in PSNC Briefing 073/16: Quality Payments – How to become a Dementia Friend, the pharmacy will still meet the quality criterion. Dementia Friends badges are not required to meet the quality criterion.

The Alzheimer’s Society has seen an increase in the number of pharmacy teams becoming Dementia Friends since the introduction of the Quality Payments Scheme and therefore the number of requests for Dementia Friends badges has also increased. Due to this increase in demand, the processing time of posting out Dementia Friends badges has increased and it may therefore be a number of weeks before your pharmacy team receive their Dementia Friends badges.

Q. The Dementia Friends criterion requires on the day of the review, for 80% of all pharmacy staff working in patient facing roles to be Dementia Friends. For distance selling pharmacies (DSPs), does this only require delivery drivers to become Dementia Friends as they may be the only member of staff who has a patient facing role
No. The criterion for pharmacy staff in patient facing roles would also apply to pharmacists (including locums), pharmacy technicians, dispensary staff, medicines counter assistants, etc. DSPs can provide Advanced and Enhanced Services on the premises (as well as Medicines Use Reviews (with permission from the local NHS England team) away from the pharmacy premises), if Essential Services do not form part of the Advanced or Enhanced Service provided to persons present at the pharmacy. Therefore, these members of staff could be patient facing and the criteria would apply to them.

Claiming Quality Payments

Q. How do I claim payment for the Quality Payments Scheme?
To claim for a Quality Payment, contractors will need to complete a declaration via the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) website.

Q. When are the review points for the Quality Payments Scheme?
The two review points are 28th April 2017 (the declaration period for this review point is now closed) and 24th November 2017.

Q. Do I need to make my declaration for a Quality Payment on the day of the review point i.e. 24th November 2017?
Declarations do not need to be made on this date but they must be made during the declaration periods listed below:

For review point two (Friday 24th November 2017) from Monday 13th November 2017 at 9am and will close on Friday 8th December 2017 at 11:59pm

Contractors can use this facility to start entering data as soon as the system goes live on 13th November 2017 for the second review point. The final submission must be made before the closure of the declaration form at 11:59pm on 8th December 2017 for the second review point.

Q. The declaration portal opens on Monday 13th November 2017 which is before the review point (Friday 24th November 2017). Can I submit my declaration on the NHS BSA website for a Quality Payment before the review date?
Contractors can access the NHS BSA portal to make their declaration before the review point and it would be up to the contractor to decide if it is appropriate to submit their declaration before the review point.

Contractors can start adding data and will be able to re-enter the portal to add information at a later date before the portal closes; however, contractors must remember to re-enter the portal and submit the declaration before Friday 8th December 2017 11.59pm otherwise they will not be entitled to a Quality Payment.

Contractors can also submit their declaration before the review point, if they know they will definitely meet the criteria they are claiming for before the review date. Contractors are, however, reminded that once their declaration has been submitted, it cannot then be altered. It is therefore imperative that contractors are satisfied that the information they submit is correct.

Q.Do I need to make a declaration on the NHS BSA website if my pharmacy does not meet the gateway criteria?
No, contractors are only required to make a declaration if they intend to claim a Quality Payment. If contractors do not meet all four of the gateway criteria they would not then be eligible to claim a payment, therefore there is no requirement to make a declaration on the NHS BSA website.

Q. Do you need to use an NHSmail email address when completing the declaration on the NHS BSA website to claim for a Quality Payment?
No, contractors can choose which email address they want to use; however, once the declaration has been submitted, an email will be sent to the email address that they contractor has used, from NHS BSA confirming that the declaration has been successfully submitted and confirming the details that have been declared. Therefore, contractors should ensure they enter the correct email address that they wish the email to be sent to.

Q. Do I need to submit evidence to the NHS BSA to show that I have met the gateway and quality criteria when I submit my declaration?
No. Evidence does not need to be submitted during the declaration process. However, contractors’ declarations of compliance with the gateway and quality criteria may be subject to spot checks by NHS England or NHS BSA as part of their usual monitoring process for the CPCF.

Q. Once I have submitted my declaration on the NHS BSA website for the Quality Payments Scheme, will I get a confirmation email?
Yes. Once the declaration has been submitted the contractor will receive an email from the NHS BSA confirming that the declaration has been successfully submitted and confirming the details that have been declared. This email should be retained by the pharmacy as proof that the declaration was submitted and the date of submission.

Q. Who will decide if a contractor meets the gateway and quality criteria at the two review points?
The contractor will complete the declaration on the NHS BSA website; therefore, it is for the contractor to decide if they have met all of the gateway criteria and some or all of the quality criteria.

Q. When I complete the NHS BSA declaration for my Quality Payment, is it correct that I can only submit this once?
Yes. Once a contractor has submitted their online declaration it cannot be altered. It is therefore imperative that contractors check their declaration thoroughly before submitting their declaration.

Q. Is it possible to partially complete the NHS BSA declaration for my Quality Payment, and then submit it later before the deadline?
Yes. However, if contractors partially complete the form, they will need to ensure they remember to complete the declaration and submit this by the deadline. Contractors who only partially complete the declaration and do not submit it will not be eligible for a Quality Payment.

Q. If I submit the declaration in error, part way through completing it, can I resubmit it?
No. It is not possible to resubmit the declaration, even if it was submitted in error.

Q. Does the email which the pharmacy receives after they have submitted their declaration for a Quality Payment include a summary of the information that was declared?
The email will contain a summary of the answers provided to the gateway and quality criterion questions; however, it will not include the answers which were provided to the evaluation questions.

Payment information

Q. How much is each point worth?
The value of each point has been set at £64. This is set at a level that would deliver £75 million assuming 100% of pharmacies achieved all 100 points. However, it is unlikely that all pharmacies will achieve all the quality criteria across the two review points. Therefore, after the two review points, there will be a reconciliation process, at which the remaining funding will be divided between qualifying contractors based on the number of points they have achieved over the two review points. This reconciliation payment will not have to be claimed and will be paid with the full value of services payment for March 2018 (i.e. end of May 2018).

To ensure the overall amount earned by one contractor for Quality Payments remains proportionate, a cap of £128 per point will be allowed in totality including the reconciliation payment. To reach the cap would require less than 50% of pharmacies achieving less than 50% of the quality criteria.

Q. What happens to any funding left over after the reconciliation payment?
Any funding remaining after the reconciliation payment will be paid through other fees and allowances to contractors.

Q. When will I receive my payment for the Quality Payments Scheme?
Payments due from each review point will be paid as part of the full value of services for that month, i.e. payment from April 2017’s review point will be paid at the end of June 2017 and payment from November’s review point will be paid at the start of February 2018.

Q. Who will monitor a contractor’s declarations of compliance with the gateway and quality criteria?
Contractors’ declarations of compliance with the gateway and quality criteria will be subject to spot checks by NHS England or NHS BSA as part of their usual monitoring process for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework.

Q. Are Quality Payments made according to which quality criteria are met at each review point?
Yes.

Q. How will the PhAS payment be affected if contractors do not achieve the full quality criteria?
When the funding that PhAS pharmacies receive is calculated, it is assumed that the contractor will achieve 100 points of the Quality Payments Scheme. The value of those Quality Payment points is deducted before the final PhAS payment is set. PhAS pharmacy contractors can earn back the deducted Quality Payments by earning as many points as possible, the same way as other contractors.

The contractor will be paid a Quality Payment according to which criteria they have achieved; the PhAS payment remains unchanged irrespectively.

Q. I claimed a Quality Payment at the April review point, but I have now sold my pharmacy. Will I be entitled to a reconciliation payment at the end of May 2018?
No. The reconciliation payment will only be paid to contractors who are trading on the date that the reconciliation payment is calculated. We understand that contractors would therefore need to be trading on 30th March 2018 to receive the reconciliation payment (please note, this date may be subject to change and contractors should contact the PSNC Services Team nearer the time if they are planning to sell their business around this date so confirmation can be provided on whether they would be entitled to a reconciliation payment).

Q. I did not claim a Quality Payment at the April review point, but I intend to claim a Quality Payment at the November review point. Will I be entitled to a reconciliation payment at the end of May 2018?
If a contractor claimed a payment at either the April or the November review point and is still trading on the day that the reconciliation payment is calculated, then they would be entitled to a reconciliation payment. We understand that contractors would therefore need to be trading on 30th March 2018 to receive the reconciliation payment (please note, this date may be subject to change).

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