Directory of Services (DoS)

Directory of Services (DoS)

The Directory of Services (DoS) is a central directory of information, maintained by NHS Digital, which provides NHS 111 call handlers and others with real-time information about services available to support patients.

Pharmacies’ services and opening hours are included within the DoS and it is important to the efficient working of NHS 111 and some other urgent care providers that information on pharmacy services is accurate to allow patients to be appropriately referred to community pharmacies, such as for the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service.

DoS is not publicly available, as it contains some private information, such as telephone numbers for use only by healthcare professionals, but pharmacy teams can access DoS via various web-based systems.


Click on a heading below for more information

Duty to keep DoS pharmacy profile up-to-date

Pharmacy contractors can check or amend the information in their DoS profile through the DoS Profile Updater (see the section below).

From 9th November 2020, under the NHS Terms of Service, contractors must ensure that the DoS profile for their pharmacy is comprehensive and accurate. Additionally contractors must verify and, where necessary, update the information contained within the pharmacy profile at least once each quarter of the financial year.

The NHS financial quarters are 1st April to 30th June, 1st July to 30th September, 1st October to 31st December and 1st January to 31st March.

Amending or verifying a pharmacy profile creates a record in the DoS Profile Updater which will act as evidence to NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) that these actions have been undertaken. NHS Digital will prepare a report for NHSE&I of the contractors that have made a submission to the DoS Profile Updater each quarter, which will be used for contract management purposes.

DoS Profile Updater

Most contractors are familiar with using the Directory of Services (DoS) Profile Updater to check and amend their pharmacy’s DoS profile as part of previous Pharmacy Quality Schemes.

The DoS profile updater requires contractors to have an NHSmail account (either the premises specific NHSmail account or a personal NHSmail account) to allow user validation to support security of the DoS profile updater website.

Pharmacies are profiled on the DoS using a series of different profiles; the number of these profiles varies, depending on where in the country the pharmacy is located and which services are provided. For example, the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS) is known by the following service names on DoS to reflect the two stands of the service (urgent medicine supply and minor illness):

Pharm+ Standard pharmacy service provision plus urgent medicine supply
CPCS Minor illness provision with 24-hour or longer referral time-frame
CPCS+ Minor illness provision with 12-hour referral time-frame
CPCS++ Minor illness provision with 6-hour referral time-frame

Once logged in to the DoS Profile Updater, contractors should search by ODS code or postcode to ensure all of their service profiles are included on the DoS.

Further information on how to check and update your DoS profile can be found in the NHS Digital guidance:

DoS Profile Updater User Guide

Once the pharmacy details on the DoS profile updater have been submitted, the contractor will receive an email confirming submission. This should be instantaneous, however, please allow up to two hours for the emails to be delivered. If the emails are not received, please check junk mail first before emailing exeter.helpdesk@nhs.net with ‘Profile Updater Email Access’ in the subject line of the email to confirm that the submission has been received.

Contractors are advised to retain these confirmation emails as evidence of meeting this Term of Service requirement.

The information provided by contractors on the DoS Profile Updater will be automatically reflected in the DoS approximately 10 minutes after the change has been submitted. The changes will not, however, be reflected back on the DoS Profile Updater until the following day, because it has a nightly data feed from DoS. Where DoS leads or NHSE&I have queries regarding the information provided, they will contact the contractor to resolve the query. Where the changes can be accepted without reference back to the pharmacy, no follow up contact will be made.

If contractors have any technical difficulties accessing the DoS Profile Updater, they can email the NHS Digital helpdesk (exeter.helpdesk@nhs.net) or call them on 0300 303 4034.

Enhancements

NHS Digital continue to explore enhancements and incorporate feedback from PSNC, pharmacy contractors and others.

Recent enhancements include:

  • Date Last Reviewed: when users first begin a review of a pharmacy, the system will show the date that it was last reviewed. Some users have requested this as it will save them time if they can note at the beginning that someone else in their organisation has already reviewed the profile recently.

If you wish to request other enhancements are added onto the DoS Profile Updater wishlist, you may contact: it@psnc.org.uk.

Opening hours on DoS, temporary closure, and capacity

The opening hours included in a pharmacy’s DoS profile must be those agreed with NHSE&I, i.e. the core and supplementary opening hours. Contractors must update their DoS profile where the pharmacy’s opening hours change, either temporarily or permanently. This is to avoid patients being inappropriately referred to the pharmacy while it is closed.

For temporary closures of more than five days, contractors can amend their opening times within the DoS Profile Updater. 

If contractors have login credentials for the DoS Capacity Status Tool, for temporary closures of less than five days, they can amend their Red Amber Green (RAG) status to ‘RED’ in the status tool (local DoS leads will be able to advise on login credentials for the DoS Capacity Status Tool). If the contractor does not have access to the tool, they can instead use the DoS Profile Updater to make the change.

Alternatively, the DoS emergency change number (0300 0200 363) may be used where necessary or you can contact your local DoS lead.

Contractors are required to include in their DoS profile their opening hours on Bank Holidays, Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday; this must be the same as the information provided on the pharmacy’s NHS website profile. Please note that making changes to DoS does not automatically adjust the opening hours of your NHS website pharmacy profile; this needs to be separately amended on the NHS website.

PSNC webpage on the NHS website

NHS Service Finder tool

NHS Service Finder is a free online search tool that uses information from within DoS and NHS website. NHS Service Finder:

  • Allows pharmacy team members and other healthcare professionals to search for DoS information quickly, allowing a patient to be signposted to the most appropriate service for their needs;
  • Provides access to information from the Urgent and Emergency Care Directory of Services and the NHS website. This includes non-public telephone numbers (where available) and information about who is eligible for the service and how to refer a patient; and
  • Includes maps and directions to the services, plus the ability to email service information directly to your patient.

Read more about NHS Service Finder

DoS oversight

NHS England and NHS Improvement National DoS Team

The DoS Team alongside other NHSE&I teams help to set the policy relating to the use of DoS information and related tools.

NHS Digital

NHS Digital are involved with helping to manage the IT aspects of DoS and including the DoS Profile Updater and NHS Service Finder tools.

Local DoS teams

Local DoS teams help to manage and maintain local DoS information.

A list of local contact details is available to users of NHS Service Finder (available for health care staff such as pharmacy teams members and LPC members): List of local DoS team contact info (login required). At present DoS Profile Updater does not enable the email address to be corrected if the wrong one is listed. However, community pharmacy contractors ought to be able to update DoS information without needing to directly contact the local DoS team (see ‘DoS Profile Updater’ section). In some cases Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) may work with local DoS teams in relation to relevant pharmacy contractor queries about local DoS information.

If you have queries on this webpage or you require more information please contact it@psnc.org.uk.

 

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