Understanding your FP34 Schedule of Payments

Understanding your FP34 Schedule of Payments

The Schedule of Payments is a document which provides contractors with a summary breakdown of reimbursement for drugs and appliances provided against NHS prescriptions including the fees payable for any additional NHS services provided for example, Advanced Services and any locally authorised payments from your NHS England Area team. Pharmacy contractors can expect to receive their Schedule of Payment from NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) 5-working days before the payment date.

Download our Factsheet: Using Your Schedule of Payments to Monitor Performance – In this factsheet, PSNC’s Dispensing and Supply team explain how to analyse your monthly Schedule of Payments to help you understand and manage your NHS pharmacy business more effectively

Watch our webinar on-demand: Understanding your Schedule of Payments

Timing of monthly payments

There are two different types of payment options for pharmacy contractors:

  1. ‘Normal/Standard payment option’ – An estimated 100% of the Advance payment for prescriptions is made by the NHSBSA for prescriptions submitted one month earlier (dispensed two months earlier). Payments are made on the 1st of each month, where this falls on a weekend or bank holiday payment will be made on the working day prior.

Normal payment option timeline

For example, June payment will comprise of the 100% estimated Advance payment for prescriptions submitted in May (dispensed in April) with the full value of the priced prescriptions less the recovery of the estimated 100% Advance payment for prescriptions submitted in April (dispensed in March).

Pharmacy Earlier Payment Scheme (PEPS) – this scheme gives pharmacy contractors early access to their monthly estimated 100% Advance payment.

Under PEPS, pharmacy contractors can receive an estimated early payment, based on their submission history, before the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) receives their FP34C submission document. This means pharmacy contractors can access funds up to 60 days earlier.

NHSBSA calculates an average estimated early payment based on your individual dispensing history over the last 12 months.  There is one payment date at the beginning of the dispensing month. Contractors actual monthly submission will be offset against the estimated early payment they receive and this payment will be reconciled against the actual payment when it is due. It is important that the prescription batches and accompanying FP34C are submitted to the NHSBSA within the normal submission deadlines i.e. by the 5th day of the month following that in which the supply was made.

PEPS was first introduced in April 2013. It is a privately financed, voluntary arrangement, as part of a broader initiative by the UK Government, to allow community pharmacies early access to their monthly advance payment for the provision of NHS pharmaceutical services. The voluntary arrangement is financed by Taulia and is facilitated by NHSBSA.

Pharmacy Earlier Payment Scheme (PEPS) submission and payments timeline

*If days referred to above fall on a weekend or Bank holiday, the next available working day will be applied

How to access Schedule of Payments

Contractors can view their monthly Schedule of Payments using the following options:

  1. Paper – Schedule of Payment is sent by post to the pharmacy contractor’s specified address.
  2. Electronic
    • eSchedule – NHSBSA produces electronic payment schedule data (called ‘eSchedule’) which pharmacy contractors can use instead of receiving a paper copy. The eSchedule is an electronic file that contains all of the data on the paper FP34 Schedule of Payments. Contractors will no longer receive a paper Schedule of Payments if they register for the eSchedule. For further information on eSchedules including how to register for the service, click here. eSchedules can be received alongside the paper FP34 and if you are satisfied with the data, at an agreed time, NHSBSA will stop sending paper FP34s.
    • Information Services Portal (ISP) – The Schedule of Payments can be viewed through the (ISP). You can still receive paper Schedule of Payments if you have registered for the ISP.

Summary of Payment Amounts

The ‘Summary of Payment Amounts’ shows how the ‘net payment’ is calculated by providing a breakdown of payments with the recovery of costs for that month.

The final Net Payment is calculated as:

Total of account minus ‘recovery of Advance payment’ (1) plus ‘payment on account for…’ plus ‘any other authorised amounts’ (3).

It includes the total value of drugs and appliances dispensed, fees and allowances received, and the value of the prescription charges retained by the contractor (i.e. prescription charges received minus refunds).

  1. It shows the recovery of the Advance payment that was previously made in respect to this dispensing month. This is now being recovered as all items have been individually priced.
  2. It shows the Advance payment for the next dispensing month (i.e. the payment on account for the following month, May in this case), which is the total number items declared on that month’s FP34C multiplied by the average item value (AIV).
  3. It shows any payments for local schemes such as locally commissioned Enhanced services.

Total of Drugs and Appliances

The ‘drug and appliance costs’ section lists the total value of drugs and appliances as priced by the NHSBSA. It states a sum for all products which attract discount deduction and also details the percentage discount that will be deducted from the total of basic prices at standard discount rate (further details on discount deduction can be found in Part V of the Drug Tariff). It provides a separate figure for zero discount items which have no discount deducted.

Other payments such as out of pocket expenses (OOP/XP), consumables and container fees are also listed.

Total of Fees

The ‘prescription fees’ section gives a breakdown of all the prescription related fees the contractor will be paid for the month. This includes the total value for the Single Activity Fee (displayed as activity payment) which is calculated by multiplying the SAF rate by the number of prescription items. Other fees outlined here include unlicensed medicines, appliances, Controlled drugs (Schedule 2 and 3) and expensive items. A breakdown of Medicine Use Reviews (MURs), Appliance Use Reviews (AURs), Stoma customisation and New Medicines Service (NMS) is also included here.

Contractors can also find their Establishment payment in this section (for more details on Establishment payments, see Part VIA of the Drug Tariff).

For further information about the SAF see our Dispensing and Supply Factsheet: Understanding the Single Activity Fee

For more information on prescriptions requesting multiple flavours see our Multiple flavours factsheet


The charges section shows a more detailed breakdown of how many charges were deducted from the payment made to the contractor. It shows the number of charges and the rate of prescription charge, as well as the value of FP57 refunds, to provide the final amount to be deducted from payment by NHSBSA.

Details of Local Amounts Authorised

Here you will find a breakdown of payments authorised by your local Area team for providing local Enhanced services. Each local service will have their own scheme code. This section also details the pharmacy’s LPC levy.

Details of Other Amounts Authorised

The ‘details of other amounts authorised’ section includes various other payments a pharmacy contractor may be entitled to; for example, Pharmacy Quality Scheme, NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advance Service (NUMSAS) payments, and National Flu vaccination service. It also details Pharmacy Access Scheme payments (if a pharmacy is eligible to receive this payment).

Prescription Data

The ‘Prescription Data’ section details all prescription forms and items (both EPS and paper prescriptions) received by NHSBSA from the pharmacy. This is useful for pharmacy contractors to monitor and reconcile against their declaration/dispensing system totals. This section also details what the pharmacy’s average item value (AIV*) is. Any referred back forms and items are also displayed here.

Items Transferred Between Exempt and Chargeable Groups

This section shows the number of items submitted to NHSBSA for pricing which have been switched between the exempt and chargeable groups. To try and minimise loss from prescription switching, contractors are advised to monitor this closely, for example to ensure that staff are following standard operating procedures and ensuring that exemption declarations are completed as required.

Summary of Expensive Items

This section shows the number and value of expensive items which were dispensed during the month, which have an item value of £100 or more. These values are important as fluctuations in the number or value of expensive items dispensed can have a significant impact on the average item value in a given month, and consequently the advance paid for the following month.

  • When checking the itemised list for expected payments the following aspects need to be considered:
  • The itemised list is in value order with the largest value item at the top of the list;
  • The prices quoted are the basic price of the quantity prescribed/dispensed and do not include any additional fees or adjustments due to broken bulk claims;
  • If you have dispensed an item where the combined net ingredient cost of everything that made up that item is equal to or more than £100, that combined total will appear on the itemised list. e.g.
  • If a Fluticasone item has a reimbursement value of £60 per pack, where one pack is prescribed, this would not appear in the expensive item section. If two packs were prescribed, the item total reimbursement value would be £120 and therefore this item would appear in the section;
  • A product on the list may be described as an ‘exception Handler unspecified item’ or ‘exception handler discount not deducted Item’. These will include special order products not listed in dm+d;
  • With products prescribed as ‘assorted flavours’ if the value of the quantity of an individual flavour dispensed does not exceed £100 then that flavour will not appear in the list.

If a product does not appear on the itemised list as expected, this does not necessarily mean that there has been incorrect payment. In these cases further enquiries can be made via the NHS Prescription Services Helpdesk on 0300 330 1349 or by email at nhsbsa.prescriptionservices@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

See our Dispensing Factsheet: Expensive items which defines what an expensive item is and provides guidance on the endorsement and submission of prescriptions for such items. It also explains how payments for expensive items are calculated by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) and how contractors can reconcile these against their monthly Schedule of Payments (SoP) and/or Prescription Item Reports (Px reports).

This section contains guidance for pharmacy contractors in England. Welsh contractors should refer to information on the Health Solutions Wales (HSW) website.

Related resources

Dispensing Factsheet: Expensive items

Using Your Schedule of Payment to Monitor Performance

Dispensing and Supply Factsheet: Understanding the Single Activity Fee

Establishment Payments

Temporary Safeguarding Payments

Essential Small Pharmacies

Prescription Submission

Dispensing and Supply Factsheet: Claiming for EPS prescriptions on time

Prescription Pricing Accuracy

Timing of monthly payments

Changes to coding of NHS England locally authorised payments

NHSBSA Guidance on Understanding Your Schedule of Payment

NHSBSA Guidance on Understanding Your Schedule of Payment for Pharmacy Early Payment Scheme

NHSBSA Planned Payment Dates

Latest Dispensing and Supply news

View more Dispensing and Supply news >