Gateway criteria

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How to meet the Gateway Criteria

Essential: If you don’t meet all 5 criteria on the review date (15th February 2019), you won’t be eligible to claim Quality Payments.

Checking you meet the gateway criteria

This time NHS BSA is using a new system called Manage Your Service for submitting Quality Payments claims. The system will give you real-time confirmation of whether you meet the five gateway criteria, based on national datasets (e.g. from NHS Digital).

You can also check these datasets for four gateway criteria on the NHS BSA Quality Payments webpage, which will be updated regularly. NHS BSA will email pharmacies’ shared NHSmail accounts in the first two weeks of December to confirm whether you meet the WES gateway criterion; those that don’t will receive further emails until March or they are compliant.

We would recommend starting your Quality Payments claim as soon as the portal opens on Monday 4th February so you can confirm you meet the gateway criteria and take action if required. Gateway criteria performance (e.g. when you updated your NHS.UK profile and provision of advanced services) will be updated weekly from national datasets.

If you meet the gateway criteria by 15th February, but the Manage Your Service application doesn’t confirm that when you make your submission, you need to contact by 29th March 2019 to explain  how you met the criteria.

What’s required:

1: Provision of Advanced Services

Your pharmacy must offer MUR, NMS or be registered to provide NUMSAS; other advanced services don’t count:

  • If you provide MUR or NMS, make sure your NHS Choices profile mentions this. (Don’t add NUMSAS as patients can only access this by NHS111 referral.)
  • Make sure you have claimed for some MUR/NMS activity in the last 12 months.
  • That’s because your NHS Choices profile and MUR/NMS claim history may be checked in the validation process for Quality Payments claims to verify you are actually providing the service. If you have not claimed for MUR/NMS in the last 12 months, think carefully about how you can prove you provide the service.

2: Up-to-date NHS.UK profile

This is the gateway criterion that caused most validation issues for pharmacies claiming previous Quality Payments, so don’t leave it to the last minute.

You must edit/validate all three sections of your profile between 00.00 on Monday 3rd December 2018 and 23.59 on Friday 15th February 2019. If you have recently done this (before 3rd Dec), you must do it again or you will not qualify for Quality Payments.

Read our separate guide on how to check, update and validate your NHS.UK entry whether you are a bricks-and-mortar pharmacy or distance-selling pharmacy.

3: Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire (NEW)

This is now a gateway criterion rather than one of the quality criteria. You must have published your most recent (i.e. within the last 12 months) Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire (CPPQ) results:

  • Bricks-and-mortar pharmacies: You must have published it on your NHS.UK profile
  • Distance-selling pharmacies: You must have published it on your own website and informed

Read our separate guide explaining how to upload your CPPQ results to NHS.UK and/or inform NHS BSA if you are a distance-selling pharmacy. You MUST follow the process exactly or you may find you are ineligible for Quality Payments.

4: Ability to send and receive NHSmail

The requirements have changed since 2018. Pharmacies must now have at least two live linked accounts to their shared premises NHSmail account, as well as being able to send and receive NHSmail on 15th February 2019. This will be validated by information from NHS Digital based on usage of the pharmacy NHSmail and its linked NHSmail accounts. The linked accounts must be for staff working at the pharmacy or regular locums. You cannot have accounts linked to former staff members. Read our separate guide to ensuring compliance with the NHSmail gateway requirements.

5: Compliance 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. that your operating system (e.g. Windows) and web browsers (e.g. Chrome/Edge) are supported by NHS Digital to connect to NHS systems.

NHS BSA will email pharmacies’ shared NHSmail accounts in the first two weeks of December 2019 to confirm whether or not you are compliant with these requirements. Pharmacies that are not complaint will receive further emails until March or until they are compliant.

Keep the email from NHS BSA confirming your compliance as evidence in case you need it for validation of Quality Payments.

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


Full guidance from NHS England

This is just a summary. You must also read the full NHS England guidance to make sure you meet the Quality Payments criteria. There are 3 key documents:

  • Updated guidance for February 2019
  • Gateway Criteria Guidance
  • Quality Criteria Guidance

Updates: This page was last updated on 29th November 2018