Quality Payments

The Quality Payments scheme has been extended for the second half of 2018/19. The review date is Friday 15th February 2019. Pharmacies can claim Quality Payments if they meet certain quality criteria on that date. This section of the website will be updated when the new NHS England guidance is published. In the meantime, we have produced a short overview of the February 22019 scheme including key changes. This PSNC briefing also provides a useful overview of the key changes for February 2019. The guidance below is not current and relates to June 2018’s Quality Payments. 

Overview & key changes for February 2019’s Quality Payments

Download a PDF version of this page

Review date: Friday 15th February 2019

How to claim: Claim via NHS BSA portal between 09.00 on Monday 4th February 2019 and 23.59 on Friday 1st March 2019. You must complete all questions. You also need to keep evidence showing you meet the criteria.

Changes since last time: There are some important changes since June 2018. We have highlighted them in red. Make sure you read the new NHS England guidance carefully when it is published and don’t assume you will automatically qualify based on previous Quality Payments.

Points & payments: Pharmacies can claim up to 100 points in Quality Payments. Payment-per-point will be between £32-£64, depending on the total number of claims. The final value will be calculated to distribute the full £37.5m Quality Payments funding.

What’s involved:

You now need to meet 5 gateway criteria on 15th February 2019 to be eligible to claim any Quality Payments:

Providing MUR/NMS or registered for NUMSAS pilot

There are no changes to this gateway criteria.

Up-to-date pharmacy profile on NHS.UK: New dates

Must include opening hours on the following bank holidays: Christmas Day (25th Dec 2018), Boxing Day (26th Dec 2018) & New Year’s Day (1st Jan 2019). Profile must have been edited/validated between 00.00 on 3rd Dec 2018 and 23.59 on 15th Feb 2019). DSPs will need to email the NHS.UK service desk – more details in due course.  (Note: NHS.UK was previously called NHS Choices.)

Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire (CPPQ): New

Your last completed CPPQ results must be published on your NHS.UK page.  (DSPs: It must be on your own website.)  If you have already published your latest CPPQ results (e.g. for June 2018’s Quality Payments), and the survey was within the last 12 months, you should already be compliant.

Ability to send and receive NHSmail: New requirements

As well as being able to access NHSmail using premises shared NHSmail account, you must now have at least two live linked accounts, i.e. accounts that have been activated and haven’t been dormant for more than 90 days.  Find out how to get & activate NHSmail accounts.

IT system compliant with NHS Digital Warranted Environment Specification (WES): New

Contractors need to consult the WES specification and/or your system supplier(s) and make sure your IT systems are compliant – i.e. your operating system (e.g. Windows) and web browsers (e.g. Chrome/Edge) are supported by NHS Digital to connect to NHS systems.  You also need to be able to demonstrate your systems were compliant on 15th February – NHS Digital can assess this when you log onto the SCR portal.

WES-compliant operating systems: WES-compliant web browsers:
Windows Server 2012 R2 Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 11
Windows 7 SP1 32-bit / 64-bit Microsoft Edge
Windows 8.1 32-bit / 64-bit Google Chrome
Windows 10 64-bit Mozilla Firefox

You can then claim for the following Quality Payments if you meet the criteria on 15th February 2019:

Quality Payment Points

Written patient safety report: New requirements

Written report at premises level available for inspection on 15th February 2019. The report must have been updated/published since 28th June 2018. It must cover the pharmacy’s analysis of incidents and patterns (taken from ongoing log) with specified look-alike sound-alike errors (LASAs) identified from the National Reporting & Learning System (NRLS).  You will need to demonstrate what actions you have put in place to prevent LASAs (e.g. physical separation of products, staff training).  You will need to upload any LASAs to the NRLS, including the word ‘LASA’ in the report as a unique identifier, and keep evidence of this on your premises or electronically.


CPPE Risk Management: New

80% registered pharmacy professionals working on the day of the review have satisfactorily completed CPPE’s Risk Management training.  The pharmacy must also have an example of a risk review drawn up by the team on the premises for a risk it has identified, with risk minimisation actions that the team is taking.

NSAID & gastro-protection audit: New
Pharmacy has completed this audit of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and gastro-protection for patients aged 65+.  You also need to notify the patient’s GP where professional concerns are identified, share their anonymised data with NHS England and incorporate learning from the audit into your practice.

Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1: New requirements

In addition to being a Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1 on 15th February (self-assessment), you also need to ensure that 80% of staff working at the pharmacy who provide healthcare advice to the public have successfully completed the CPPE children’s oral health training assessment.


NHS 111 Directory of Services:

Information about the pharmacy is up to date on 15th February 2019.  Details of the DoS checker for February are likely to be published nearer the time.


Asthma reviews & child asthma action plans: New requirements

Like last time, the pharmacy needs to show evidence it referred any asthma patients dispensed more than 6 short-acting bronchodilator inhalers without any corticosteroid inhalers within 6 months since 28th June 2018 to an appropriate healthcare professional for asthma review.  In addition, you also now need evidence you have ensured any children aged 5-15 prescribed an inhaled corticosteroid for asthma have a spacer device where appropriate in line with NICE TA38, and a personalised asthma action plan – refer to an appropriate healthcare professional where this is not the case.


Dementia Friends:

As previously, 80% of all patient-facing staff are Dementia Friends. Check 80% of current patient-facing staff are Dementia Friends if you’ve had some staff turnover.


Full guidance from NHS England

This is just a summary.  Further guidance specific to February 2019’s Quality Payments will be published by NHS England in due course.  In the meantime, you should also read the two documents featuring current NHS England guidance (Gateway Criteria Guidance & Quality Criteria Guidance).



NOTE: There are some important changes for June 2018’s Quality Payments. Make sure you read the new guidance carefully and don’t rely on what you claimed last year. The key changes are summarised below.

How it works

  • You must meet four gateway criteria to qualify for Quality Payments. If you don’t meet all four criteria on 29th June 2018, you will not be eligible for any Quality Payments.
  • Pharmacies can claim Quality Payments for those quality criteria they meet on 29th June 2018 (in addition to the gateway criteria).
  • Claims must be made via the NHS BSA portal between 09.00 on Monday 11th June 2018 and 23.59 on Friday 13th July 2018.
  • Each pharmacy can claim up to 100 points in Quality Payments. Points will be worth £32-£64 each – the final value will be calculated to distribute the full £37.5m of Quality Payments funding.

Guidance on what to do and how to claim

NHS England has published detailed guidance and you should read it carefully. There are 3 key documents to read and you can access the latest versions here. The documents you need to read are:

  • Updated guidance for June 2018 (includes changes)
  • Guidance on Gateway Criteria
  • Guidance on Quality Criteria

The NHS BSA claims portal is now open so pharmacies can draft their claims. Claims must be submitted by 23.59 on Friday 13th July. Read the guidance & FAQs from NHS BSA.

Key changes for June 2018

The main changes are:

  • NHS Choices: Bank holiday opening hours must be included on the pharmacy’s NHS Choices profile.
  • NHSmail: Pharmacy staff must be able to send and receive NHSmail using a shared mailbox for the branch. Personal NHSmail no longer qualifies.
  • Patient safety report: The pharmacy must publish a new patient safety report to meet this criteria, i.e. published since 24th November 2017.
  • CPPQ: The pharmacy must publish the results of a new patient feedback survey, i.e. published since 24th November 2017.
  • SCR: The dates have changed. You must make sure you increased SCR usage during the new Period 2, compared with the new Period 1, or that you used SCR at least 100 times in both periods.
  • HLP: The eligibility dates have been revised e.g. some pharmacies that did not have to complete a self-assessment of competence last year will need to do so this time.

Greater Manchester LPC resources

Webinar recording

Watch the recorded version of our Quality Payments Made Simple webinar from 6th June 2018.

Download the webinar slides.

Website & PDF guides

Follow the links on the left-hand side of this webpage for guidance on each area of Quality Payments. Our short tip guides break down the key requirements into bite-sized chunks. Please read them in conjunction with the full NHS England guidance.

Archived resources from 2017/18

These resources from 2017/18‘s Quality Payments may also be of interest. They include links to webinars, presentations and tip guides. Please bear in mind, however, that some of the content is now out of date.

PharmOutcomes support

You can use PharmOutcomes to help you plan your Quality Payments workload and claim. The module is available to all pharmacy contractors thanks to PSNC. Find out more.