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.
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 and validation of the gateway criteria
Community pharmacy contractors will be able to make a declaration for a Quality Payment for the 15th February 2019 review point between Monday 4th February 2019 at 9am and Friday 1st March 2019 at 11.59pm.
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 (NHSBSA); however, for the February 2019 review point, contractors will be able to claim for a Quality Payment via one of two routes, the Snap Survey tool (as used for previous declarations) or the Manage Your Service (MYS) application. In addition, there will be a new process for validating a contractor’s submission to confirm if they meet the gateway criteria and actions that contractors will need to take if NHSBSA cannot validate that a contractor’s submission meets all five of the gateway criteria.
PSNC has published 007/19: Quality Payments – Completing your declaration which provides further information on how to make a declaration and the validation process for the gateway criteria.
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).
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 NHSBSA; 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 NHSBSA 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.