Quality Payments – Ongoing utilisation of the EPS

Quality Payments – Ongoing utilisation of the EPS

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, the pharmacy contractor must be able to demonstrate ongoing utilisation of the Electronic Prescription Service at the pharmacy premises.’

This criterion must be complied with before any payment can be achieved.

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

Most pharmacies are already regularly using the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) and hence will immediately meet the requirements of this gateway criterion (being EPS release 2 enabled, ongoing setting of patient nominations and appropriate endorsement of EPS release 2 prescriptions).

If your pharmacy is not enabled to provide EPS, speak to your PMR system supplier about how to get enabled as soon as possible.

The declaration process

Contractors will be required to declare through the NHS BSA online declaration page that they meet this criterion.


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.

More frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Quality Payments can be found on the Quality Payments – FAQs page of the PSNC website.

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