Primary Care Support England (PCSE)
Primary Care Support England (PCSE)
PCSE (formerly Primary Care Support Service – PCSS) provides administrative and payment services to community pharmacies amongst others. On 1 September 2015, Capita assumed responsibility for the delivery of most of NHS England’s primary care support services.
Not all PCS services are part of the contract with Capita, and some services will continue to be delivered by other organisations – including Commissioning Support Units, CCGs, NHS Shared Business Services and NHS Pensions.
NHS England have produced FAQs on the services now provided by PCSE.
The summary of the services provided by PCSE document outlines the “out of scope” services and how these are now provided. Pharmacy contractors should review this and the PCSE – Description of Services guidance which indicates the services delivered by PCSE and other organisations to determine what PCSE does and does not provide. If in doubt, pharmacy contractors should contact PCSE.
If you would like to find out more about market entry, please visit the Market Entry section of the PSNC website.
If you want to know how to get hold of NHS resources, please visit the Where to obtain external resources section of the PSNC website.
Issues with Primary Care Support England (PCSE)
Since April 2016, the PSNC has received a large number of reports from LPCs and individual pharmacy contractors about difficulties that are being experienced with PCSE. We have been escalating the most serious cases to senior officials at Capita, NHS England and the Department of Health on a near daily basis.
We have had a number of issues brought to our attention including with difficulty logging onto the online portal, excessive time delays in telephones being answered by PCSE, queries about minimum / maximum order quantities and especially the availability of EPS tokens.
The vast majority of reports focus on the difficulty in getting sufficient EPS tokens. We have had reports of PCSE staff suggesting that EPS tokens were “out of stock” and even advising a pharmacy contractor to print their own controlled stationery – which is not permitted. NHS England requires community pharmacy to have contingency plans and our expectation is that PCSE have likewise.
On 12 May 2016, at the PCSE stakeholder forum meeting. The managing director of PCSE at Capita accepted that things were not working as they should and that there was a significant backlog of supplies awaiting dispatch. Unfortunately, we had received similar assurances in April, and still the shortages have occurred.
PCSE commented that this was a critical issue and a high priority for them to resolve swiftly. Their data suggests that the PCSE customer support centre was answering 98% of calls and emails were generally responded to within 24 hours. Although this may be an improvement, 2 percent of calls going unanswered is unacceptable, if the reason for the call is to chase up on delivery of essential stationery.
What can I do?
In the first instance, contact PCSE using their “contact us” form or via email to PCSE.firstname.lastname@example.org on a daily basis if you have any difficulties in registering for the online portal, EPS token shortages etc. Continue emailing until a response is received – keeping copies and / or a record of your emails / communications. If no response has been received within a reasonable time say 5 working days then please copy all the emails to email@example.com explaining the steps you have taken, and the current position e.g. “I have a supply of EPS tokens to last me for the next two days” so that the PSNC is able to escalate matters.
Additionally, NHS England has now set up an email account to handle claims from community pharmacy contactors about losses they have incurred due to poor service from Primary Care Support England (PCSE). This is , in effect, a claims system for contractors who have been detrimentally affected by Capita’s running of PCSE. Examples of this could be where statutory deadlines and time limits for market entry, set out in the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013, have not been met, or where payments such as pre-registration payments have been made late.
Contractors wishing to raise issues should:
- Send details of any concerns, for example delays or payments made late, and evidence of the detrimental loss, for example, invoices or bank charges, to: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Send a copy (and any further correspondence) to PSNC at: email@example.com, so that PSNC can track the number and type of concerns raised; and
- Continue to send any general queries or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com respectively. These will be managed as normal.
Contractors are encouraged to provide as much detail as possible, as NHS England will need to see evidence of loss or detrimental impact to the pharmacy.
More information on this process is available here.
PCSE office closures
London offices (Stephenson House and Kirk House)
From 21 June 2016, pharmacy contractors who currently use these offices should contact PCSE using the following details:
Generic email: PCSE.firstname.lastname@example.org
Screening email: PCSE.email@example.com
Phone: 0333 014 2884
PO Box: Primary Care Support England, PO Box 350, Darlington, DL1 9QN
PCSE will write to all service users of these offices to provide the new contact details.
Surbiton PCSE office
The Surbiton office, which serves South London (and Surrey), is due for closure at the end of July 2016, and PCSE will provide a further briefing closer to that time.
PCSE user panel
Community pharmacies can join PCSE’s user panel to share their experiences and give their feedback on future services. The user panel aims to better understand what is needed from the services being delivered.
If you’re interested in providing feedback to help PCSE develop and improve current and future services, please sign up to the user panel by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, job role and address.
Looking ahead, planned changes to the services provided by PCSE include new arrangements in relation to:
Pharmacy payments – delivering a simplified process for claiming payments via the online portal (anticipated October to December 2016)
Pharmacy market entry – enabling straightforward online applications. Applications will automatically be checked for completeness before they are submitted (anticipated April to June 2017).
PCSE news and stakeholder bulletins
To keep up to date with the latest PCSE news, please visit the news section of their website.
You can also find links to PCSE’s stakeholder bulletins on this page. The bulletins contain regular updates on the changes being introduced to primary care support services.
PCSE pharmacy updates