Following the announcement of changes to the second Quality Payments Scheme for 2018/19, PSNC is currently reviewing this section of the website and will be producing new guidance, where appropriate, to assist contractors to meet the criteria of the Scheme.
A Quality Payments Scheme, which forms part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, was introduced from 1st December 2016. The original version of the scheme ran until 31st March 2018 and a total of £75 million was paid to community pharmacies for meeting the specified quality criteria.
The scheme was extended in March 2018 for the first six months of 2018/19, as part of interim arrangements prior to substantive negotiations for 2018/19 being undertaken. The extended Scheme had a review point in June 2018 and funding of £37.5 million.
In September 2018, a new Quality Payments Scheme was announced for the remainder of the 2018/19 financial year. The new scheme has funding of £37.5 million and a review point in February 2019. Changes to the Scheme are summarised in PSNC Briefing 051/18: A summary of the second Quality Payments Scheme 2018/19.
Click on a heading below for more information.
NHS England guidance
NHS England has published guidance for the February 2019 review point of the Quality Payments Scheme. The new guidance should be read in conjunction with NHS England’s previously published gateway criteria and quality criteria guidance:
- 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).
These documents are available on the NHS England website.
PSNC is currently reviewing previously issued guidance and producing new guidance and resources, where appropriate, to assist contractors to meet the criteria of the Scheme.
To be eligible to collect the points necessary to claim a Quality Payment, the contractor must meet five gateway criteria:
Click on the link below for more information on each gateway criterion:
- provision of at least one specified Advanced Service;
- have their NHS.UK entry, including Bank Holiday opening hours, up to date;
- have the results of the last completed Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire publicly available on their NHS website (NHS.UK) page;
- have the ability for staff to send and receive NHSmail from their shared premises NHSmail account, which must have at least two live linked accounts; and
- demonstratable compliance of the pharmacy’s operating system and browser versions with NHS Digital’s Warranted Environment Specification requirements for connectivity to NHS Spine systems.
Contractors passing the gateway criteria will only receive a Quality Payment if they meet one or more of the quality criteria listed in the table under the ‘Quality criteria’ subheading below. Therefore, meeting the gateway criteria will not, in itself, attract a Quality Payment; it is subject to how many of the quality criteria the contractor meets.
Contractors passing the gateway criteria will receive a Quality Payment if they meet one or more of the quality criteria listed in the table below. Each criterion is designated a number of points and the total number of points that each contractor can qualify for is 100.
Click on the link below for more information on each quality criterion:
Claiming Quality Payments
As for previous declarations, contractors wishing to claim a quality payment will be required to submit their declaration online to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA).
The February 2019 declaration will be hosted on the NHS BSA Manage Your Service application rather than the previous SNAP survey tool. This is a new process that has been developed in conjunction with this interim Quality Payments Scheme which provides added benefits over the previous SNAP survey tool. This includes the ability to provide contractors with real time confirmation when they have met the gateway criteria – as well as longer term benefits outside of this scheme.
Although this approach has been tested with a sample of contractors, it has not been possible to trial the application more widely ahead of the February 2019 declaration. To avoid the potential theoretical risk of some contractors experiencing difficulties in accessing the Manage Your Service application, an alternative arrangement has been put in place. This will be made available should any repeated difficulties with accessing the Manage Your Service application declaration process arise.
Should the alternative arrangement be necessary this will be communicated to contractors via email to their shared NHSmail accounts. PSNC will also alert contractors via their normal communication channels.
To enable pharmacy contractors to access the portal they will receive an automated email to their premises-shared NHSmail account from firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the Manage Your Service application. This will give instructions on how to register for the Manage Your Service application and details of how to log-in with an NHSmail account. Additional information, including how multiples can access the declaration for all pharmacies in their estate, will be available on the same web page. This email will be sent w/c 3rd December 2018.
Important: Should a contractor not receive their email by 10th December 2018, they are advised to check their junk mail; if they still cannot locate the email, they should contact the NHS BSA Provider Assurance Team (email@example.com) who will be able to investigate and provide the required support.
|The Manage Your Service application will open for declarations for the 15th February 2019 review point on Monday 4th February 2019 at 09:00 and will close on Friday 1st March 2019 at 23:59. Responses can be entered as soon as the system goes live and must be submitted before the closure of the declaration website. Please note that actions to demonstrate compliance with criteria must be completed by 15th February 2019.|
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.
Contractors that successfully meet the requirements will receive a Quality Payment which will be funded from a £37.5 million budget. The funding will be divided between qualifying pharmacies based on the number of points they have achieved, up to a maximum of £64 per point. Each point will have a minimum value worth £32 (which is the value of each point if all pharmacy contractors achieved maximum points). Payments will be made to eligible contractors depending on how many quality criteria they have met (and therefore how many ‘points’ they achieved).
Validation and verification of claims
A new process for validation of the gateway criteria has been introduced for the February 2019 review point. An assessment of whether a contractor has met the gateway criteria or not will now be made when the contractor makes their declaration. The NHS BSA Manage Your Service application will pull information from national datasets so that when a contractor starts their declaration, the gateway criteria that the contractor has met will be displayed.
Where gateway criteria have been validated during the declaration submission, this will be confirmed to contractors in their declaration submission email. If the contractor has met all five gateway criteria, they can continue and declare which quality criteria they wish to claim payment for. These contractors will not be asked to provide any further evidence of how they have met the gateway criteria.
If the contractor is not assessed as meeting all five gateway criteria this will be stated by the NHS BSA Manage Your Service application. In such cases the contractor is encouraged to postpone completing the declaration until they have reviewed the gateway criteria, taken any corrective action, and once sure all five gateway criteria are met, complete the declaration.
If a contractor wishes to continue with the declaration at the point when they are told they do not meet the five gateway criteria, the system will allow for this. However, contractors will need to email the NHS BSA Provider Assurance Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) after the declaration to provide details of corrective action undertaken to demonstrate how they meet the gateway criteria where the system has not verified this. The deadline for this is 29th March 2019.
Datasets for gateway criteria
So that contractors can be confident that they meet the gateway criteria before they complete their declaration, the NHS BSA will publish a list of contractors who have been assessed, using national datasets, as meeting four of the gateway criteria (Advanced Services, NHS website, Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire and NHSmail account). This list will be published on the Quality Payments Scheme page of the NHS BSA website, and will be updated regularly until the end of the declaration window. The publication schedule for these lists will be posted on the NHS BSA website by 30 November 2018.
For security reasons, the details of the fifth gateway criterion – compliance with the NHS Digital Warranted Environment Specification (WES) – will be sent by the NHS BSA to each pharmacy contractor’s premises-shared NHSmail account. Each contractor will be informed of whether their operating system and browser versions have met this requirement or not during the first two weeks of December 2018. Contractors that have been assessed as not meeting this gateway criterion will get further regular updates of this assessment, via their premises-shared NHSmail account, until the end of the declaration window (1st March 2019).
Community pharmacy contractors are now able to access support on PharmOutcomes for the Quality Payments Scheme’s February 2019 review point. This support is available to all contractors free of charge as PSNC has agreed to use their licence to provide access to this support.
The following support is available on PharmOutcomes to assist contractors:
- Quality Payments Scheme assessment framework: contractors and their teams can track their progress with achieving the Quality Payments criteria;
- Patient safety report quality criterion: Contractors can complete their annual patient safety report on PharmOutcomes and a report of this can then be printed out, if required, as evidence of meeting the patient safety report element of the quality criterion;
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) audit quality criterion: contractors can use PharmOutcomes to directly enter their audit data and submit this to the NHS BSA; a permanent patient record will be stored on PharmOutcomes and contractors can send automatic referrals to the patients’ GP practices (if required); and
- Asthma referrals quality criterion: contractors can use PharmOutcomes to send electronic referrals to GP practices in relation to the asthma criterion for patients that may benefit from an asthma review.
The Quality Payments Scheme assessment framework can be accessed by logging in and selecting ‘Assessments’. The other support listed above can be found under the ‘Services’ section; the NSAID audit is listed under the ‘National audits’ section and the other support is listed under ‘Quality Payment Criteria’.
If a contractor has not used PharmOutcomes before, log in details can be obtained by sending a message to the PharmOutcomes helpdesk. Contractors will need to provide details of the pharmacy, contact information and an email address to issue the login details to.
The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) has created a Quality Payments page on their website. The page provides links to the CPPE training which is required to be completed to meet the Healthy Living Pharmacy and risk managament quality criteria.
Declaration data for previous review points
The NHS BSA has published the declaration data for the April 2017, November 2017 and June 2018 review points of the Quality Payments Scheme.
Further information can be found on the Quality Payments Scheme – Statistics page.
PSNC webinar and slide deck
FAQs on the Quality Payments Scheme are available on the Quality Payments – FAQs page.