Contractors must undertake a clinical audit each year, the topic of which they choose. In addition to this pharmacy-based audit, they must also complete an audit on a topic that has been determined by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I).
NHS England and NHS Improvement determined audits
Since the introduction of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework in 2005, community pharmacies have been required to carry out an annual audit where the topic of the audit was determined locally by the Primary Care Trust or latterly by the local NHS England team. It was agreed that in 2014/15, rather than audit topics being chosen by local NHSE&I teams, one nationally agreed audit would be undertaken by all pharmacies.
UPDATE ON 2019/20 NATIONAL CLINICAL AUDIT (6th March 2020)
Following discussions with PSNC, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have taken the decision to waive the requirement to complete the National Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Audit for 2019/2020 with immediate effect; at this time NHSE&I instead want to ensure that pharmacies are focused on the actions set out in national communications regarding COVID-19.
The audit was due to be repeated in 2020/21, but it will now be undertaken for a first time in that year; further details on that will be provided later in 2020.
Previous nationally determined audits
Pharmacy chosen audit
The annual clinical audit, the topic of which is chosen by the pharmacy, can focus on an appropriate topic of relevance to the practice of the individual pharmacy team. Guidance on undertaking clinical audits can be found via the link below, alongside template audits developed for use by pharmacy teams.
It is not a requirement in the terms of service to send your pharmacy chosen clinical audit results to NHSE&I. However, pharmacy contractors should be prepared to demonstrate they have carried out a clinical audit at the time of any contract monitoring visit carried out by NHSE&I.