Appropriate ‘roles’ are applied to newly obtained Smartcards so pharmacy team members can carry out tasks relevant to their job.
Roles control what a pharmacy team member can do and what they can see. The intention is to preserve patient safety and confidentiality.
The topic is also covered within PSNC briefings from 2020: Smartcard Role and Activity codes and how to update them and Updating Smartcards for multi-site and Summary Care Record usage.
Background and overview
Pharmacy team members obtain and use NHS Smartcards to access NHS IT such as Electronic Prescription Service (EPS).
The Smartcard model sets out that Local Registration Authorities (RAs) prepare or update Smartcards for pharmacy team members by applying (or ‘linking’) to each Smartcard Smartcard pharmacy working ‘Roles’ (e.g. Roles to enable ability to change EPS nomination, downloading and claiming of EPS prescriptions). RAs may apply positions / pharmacy working ‘Role’ codes and ‘Activity’ codes onto pharmacy team members’ Smartcards.
RAs also apply pharmacy organisation ODS (F) codes associated with pharmacy premises.*
Requests to update cards may be made by the Smartcard holder to the RA. Other staff at the pharmacy or head office may also make or support the request and the RA’s necessary identity verification work.
Some pharmacy teams have people within the pharmacy that hold Smartcard Administrator/Sponsor rights. Those with administrative rights can better use the Smartcard Care Identity Service (CIS) system to speed up working through Smartcard processes. Pharmacy Smartcard Administrator/Sponsors may work with RAs on behalf of other team members.
* Each pharmacy premises has its own unique ODS code. Multiple ODS codes can be linked onto Smartcards for those staff that work at more than one site. See also: PSNC Briefing: Updating Smartcards for multi-site and Summary Care Record (SCR) usage to read more about SCR and multi-site Smartcard arrangements.
Process for updating Smartcard roles
Appropriate ‘roles’ dictate what a pharmacy team member can do and what they can see by using their Smartcard. The intention is to preserve patient safety and confidentiality. See also: Smartcard Role and Activity codes and how to update them and Updating Smartcards for multi-site and Summary Care Record usage.
Three steps may be involved with updating roles:
1. Sponsor may request to the RA that a user has roles adjusted
Having one person at each pharmacy premises with the Sponsor role could help Smartcard processes.
2. The RA may process requests for a role change
Where the request has been made by a Sponsor they will use the relevant leaflet.
Pharmacy team members might also contact their RA to have roles adjusted.
3. The RA must authorize/adjust the role change
The RA will use the relevant leaflet.
Smartcard role codes
Pharmacy team members won’t require detailed knowledge about Smartcard codes in order to have the codes they need set-up on their Smartcards by the RA. Smartcard administrators/sponsors may discuss Smartcards codes with RAs when working with RAs to update pharmacy team members’ Smartcards.
Most pharmacy team members’ Smartcards are associated with one of three main Smartcard Role codes:
|Main Smartcard Role codes||Pharmacy team member often given Smartcard Role code||Smartcard Activity code typically associated may include|
|‘R8003 Health Professional’||Pharmacists||Includes Activity ‘B’ codes B0825, B0401 within its baseline & more|
|‘R8004 Healthcare Student’||Pre-registration pharmacists||Various|
|‘R8008 Admin/Clinical’||Counter assistants, dispensers, and pharmacy technicians||Various|
Smartcards are associated with both Role codes as well as Activity codes. Many codes relate to the key EPS-related pharmacy work:
|Pharmacy EPS work||Notes about those Smartcard codes associated with the EPS work|
|EPS Nomination setting||Requires Activity code B0825. The Role code R8003 usually includes the ability to set nomination.|
|Viewing medicines||Requires Activity code B0401. The Role code R8003 usually includes the ability to set nomination.|
|EPS pharmacy activities (standard)||Activity code B0570 code provides the ability to download, and send dispense messages. Some pharmacy patient medication record (PMR) EPS systems may enable claim messages to be sent with presence of this Activity code B0570, e.g. because of requests from their pharmacy customers.|
|EPS pharmacy activities (advanced)||Activity code B0572 code provides all of abilities of B0570 plus more. Some PMR systems may only allow sending of claim messages if this code is present on the Smartcard. If B0572 is present on a card, there is no need for B0570 to also be applied, however some Smartcards may still have both B0572 and B0570 present.|
RA Pharmacy Positions templates
These are set out within the tables within briefing: Smartcard Role and Activity codes and how to update them.
Checking which role codes are on your card
At present, pharmacy Smartcard users cannot themselves check the exact Activity codes on their card but they can check their Pharmacy Positions using the Checking my Smartcard profile using Care Identity Service guide. Some RAs may provide reports to their users about the set-up and codes relating to their cards. Pharmacy staff wishing to check their own Activity codes, may request information from their RA. In the event of difficulties, pharmacies can refer to the Smartcard escalation process guide, and this guide can be shared with local RAs by email if required. PSNC worked with the central NHS Digital Smartcard team on this guidance.
Administrator/Sponsor/Unlocker - rights, training, powers and how to obtain rights
Local Smartcard Administrators (LSA) or Sponsors roles can help pharmacy team members with Smartcard matters.
PSNC recommends that each pharmacy branch assigns at least one member to be an LSA.
A Sponsor role once added onto a card, also provides powers to make requests for registration or role changes.
LSAs/Sponsors may be branch managers or the pharmacist-in-charge.
Becoming an Administrator (LSA)/Sponsor
- a functioning Smartcard;
- two Smartcard readers at the Sponsor’s pharmacy premises;
- understanding of the responsibilities and obligations involved;
- appropriate training;
- a face-to-face meeting with the RA; and
- RA approval.
Roles: Be familiar with the different types of access profiles / CIS positions to approve, and how to support other processes associated with cards.
Scope of their sponsor role: Understand which users registrations they can support within the scope of the authority granted to them.
Local RA methods: Be aware of the method the local RA use to follow national guidelines and requirements. Sponsors will work with their local RA to maintain access to NHS CRS compliant systems within their area of responsibility consistent with the NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice and Care Record Guarantee.
Temp Access Card arrangements.
Identity checks by Sponsors
Sponsors must be assured of the identity for users they sponsor.
The sponsor needs to be assured that the user’s identity has been confirmed beyond reasonable doubt and that the user requires the level of access requested. If they do not know the person, they may need to contact the pharmacist in charge of the pharmacy to confirm with them that the individual requires the requested level of access.
Q. Who appoints sponsors and what is the sponsor registration process?
A. The granting of a Smartcard, and appropriate access rights must be undertaken by the local RA by a face-to-face meeting with the prospective sponsor. This includes the sponsor having their identity confirmed by providing photographic identification and proof in the community documentation. The sponsor must also have signed up to the terms and conditions of their Smartcard.
As part of the process, the local Executive Management Team agree with the sponsor which staff they can approve access rights for, the scope of the access rights that the sponsor can issue to an individual and whether a sponsor can support the renewal of Smartcard certificates and unlocking of smartcards.
The local RA has a responsibility to ensure that sponsors are adequately trained and where necessary know how to unlock Smartcards and issue blank backup Smartcards. The local RA will assist sponsors in understanding the Role Based Access Control (RBAC) model.
Q. Can a sponsor approve access rights for staff in different areas?
The local executive Management Team is responsible for agreeing which staff a sponsor can approve access rights for.
A sponsor can only sponsor individual staff within a specific area. For example, if an area manager worked across multiple areas, authority to sponsor staff in each of those areas would have to be granted separately by the local RA Executive Management Team in each area.
Q. A pharmacy is based on a GP surgery. Could the sponsor from the GP surgery also sponsor the pharmacy staff access rights to EPS?
The local executive Management Team is responsible for agreeing which staff a sponsor can approve access rights for and the scope of those access rights.
It would be possible the sponsor in the GP surgery to be granted authority to sponsor the access rights of pharmacy staff including supporting pharmacy staff in resolving problems such as locked Smartcards.
Q. Does the sponsor need to know the individual who they are approving access rights for (e.g. would a pharmacist sponsor need to know the technician they are sponsoring)?
No. It is not necessary for the sponsor to know the individual they are approving access rights for. The sponsor must reassure themselves that the user requires the level of access requested; therefore if they do not know the individual, they may need to contact the pharmacist in charge of the pharmacy to confirm with them that the individual requires the requested level of access.
Q. Can I assign any staff member to claim for EPS claim messages?
It is the pharmacy contractor’s decision whether any member of the pharmacy team can claim EPS messages. The ‘ RA Pharmacy Positions templates’ table above indicates how any member of the pharmacy team may be granted Smartcard rights that enable EPS message claiming. The contractor may delegate to others the decisions as to which staff have which Smartcard rights e.g. the pharmacist and/or the pharmacy manager. The team itself may also discuss which staff perform which EPS activities.
Q. Which roles are applied to pharmacy team members?
A user’s role relates to the job role they hold in an organisation, the area in which they perform their duties and their level of involvement in patient care. For example: a community pharmacist may be assigned the following role profile:
R8003 Health Professional Access Role
T2200 Prescribing and Pharmacy Area of Work
A Pre-Registration Pharmacist may be assigned the following profiles:
- R8004 Healthcare Student Access Role
- T2200 Prescribing and Pharmacy Area of Work
A dispensing technician or medicines counter assistant may be assigned the following profiles:
- R8008 Admin/Clinical Support Role
- T2200 Prescribing and Pharmacy Area of Work
The additional Activity ‘B0572 Manage Pharmacy Activities’ may be required if the pre-registration pharmacist undertakes any of the following activities ‘Send prescription reimbursement claims to payment authority or update spine if linked to ETP. The additional activity ‘B0825 Amend Patient Demographics’ may be required by pre-registration pharmacists, dispensing technicians, dispensers and medicines counter staff if they are required to update or remove a patient nomination as part of their role. This will be determined locally as deemed appropriate by the Sponsor.
Further information and related resources
- Updating Smartcards for multi-site and Summary Care Record (SCR) usage
- Smartcard Role and Activity codes and how to update them
One-pager PSNC IT factsheets
- Smartcard processes and tips
- Using Care Identity Service (CIS)
- Smartcard model overview
- Smartcard escalation process
- SCR checklist
Return to the IT section: Smartcards
Return to the IT webpage: Contacting the local RA about Smartcard issues
Return to the IT section: EPS home
Return to the IT section: SCR