Quality Payments – NHSmail
Quality Payments – NHSmail
The Quality Payments Scheme has now ended for 2017/18. The review points have now passed and contractors can no longer claim payment for the scheme.
No decisions have been made by the Department of Health and NHS England on the future of the Quality Payments Scheme beyond 2017/18.
To be eligible to collect the points necessary to claim the Quality Payment, community pharmacy contractors must meet four gateway criteria, one of which is:
‘On the day of the review, pharmacy staff at the pharmacy must be able to send and receive NHSmail’.
This criterion must be complied with before any payment can be achieved.
Important: Action required by contractors if you have applied but haven’t yet got a shared NHSmail account
If contractors have applied for a shared NHSmail account, but have not yet had one allocated, it is important that contractors act now to ensure they have one for the November review point of the Quality Payments Scheme (having applied for an account will not mean contractors meet the gateway criterion at the November review point).
Further information on the action contractors need to take can be found in the news story, ‘Quality Payments: action required if you haven’t got a pharmacy NHSmail account‘.
Click on a heading below for more information.
NHS England guidance
NHS England has published new 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.
How to achieve this gateway criterion
Not got an NHSmail account? Guidance on how to request an NHSmail account for your pharmacy
Already have an NHSmail account for your pharmacy?
Some pharmacies already have an NHSmail account for their pharmacy. This may be a shared mailbox, which users log into using a personal NHSmail account, or it may be an NHSmail account which has been created for the pharmacy using a personal NHSmail account. 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, but for the purposes of meeting the Quality Payment gateway criteria, either type of NHSmail account will be acceptable.
If you already have a shared mailbox – NHS Digital will put in place a process later in 2017 to ensure all such shared mailboxes are modified so that they conform to the approach now being taken to creating new pharmacy shared mailboxes. Further details on this process will be released in due course.
If you already have a pharmacy NHSmail account, but it is not a shared mailbox – request a shared mailbox from NHS Digital. Further guidance will be provided by NHS Digital in due course on what should be done with your existing NHSmail account.
Do you have a personal NHSmail account?
Contractors who already have personal NHSmail accounts should be aware that passwords should be changed every 90 days. Accounts not accessed for more than 90 days will be suspended and if they are not accessed for a further 90 days they will be deleted. Accounts suspended or deleted on the review date would not meet this criterion as staff would not be able to send or receive NHSmail; a contractor relying on such accounts would not therefore be eligible for a Quality Payment.
Please note that the rules for suspending and deleting accounts apply to personal NHSmail accounts only and not to shared accounts.
The declaration process
Contractors will be required to provide, through the NHS BSA online declaration page, the details of the NHSmail email address (this could be a shared account or an individual account of a regular member of staff).
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.
More frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Quality Payments can be found on the Quality Payments – FAQs page of the PSNC website.