Gateway criteria


This page summarises the full guidance from NHS England. Please make sure you read the full NHS England guidance as well. Download this page as a PDF.

How to meet the Gateway Criteria

Essential: If you don’t meet all 4 criteria on the review date (29th June 2018), you won’t be eligible to claim Quality Payments.

What’s involved:

Criteria 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.
  • 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.

Criteria 2: Up-to-date NHS Choices profile

This is the gateway criterion that caused most validation issues for pharmacies claiming 2017 Quality Payments, so don’t leave it to the last minute.

Bricks-and-mortar pharmacies:

You must include your bank holiday opening details for the following days:

  • 7th May 2018 (if you update your profile before this)
  • 28th May 2018 (if you update your profile before this)
  • 27th August 2018
  • 25th December 2018
  • 26th December 2018
  • 1st January 2019

This guide from Barnsley LPC explains how to do this. If you forget to include your bank holiday opening, NHS Choices will default to your usual hours – the information will be incorrect and you won’t be able to claim any Quality Payments. Don’t validate your profile until you have entered your bank holiday opening details.

You must edit/validate all three sections of your profile between 00.00 on Monday 9th April 2018 and 23.59 on Friday 29th June 2018. The 3 sections are:

  • opening times
  • services provided
  • facilities available

Your opening hours must be those in which you provide NHS pharmaceutical services (i.e. your core and supplementary hours).

Edit/validate your NHS Choices profile using the NHS Choices Provider Information Management System (PIMS), following this user guide.

If you’ve forgotten your password, you can reset it here.

If you don’t have access to your NHS Choices profile (bricks-and-mortar pharmacy):

  • Email nhschoicesservicedesk@nhs.net immediately. Put ‘QPSAPPLICATION’ in the subject header of your email. Use your NHSmail premises shared account if possible, as this will speed up verification of your application.
  • Refer to page 12 of the June 2018 guidance to see what information you need to include.
  • Only pharmacies that request editing rights before 21st June using premises shared NHSmail accounts are guaranteed to receive access before 29th June.

Distance-selling pharmacies:

The requirements have changed since 2017. For June 2018, DSPs need to check their NHS Choices profile has the correct information for your:

  • Pharmacy name (this must be your pharmacy’s trading name (not the registered company name, if that’s different)
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Website URL
  • Check the provision of EPS is correct

Email nhschoicesservicedesk@nhs.net using the subject header ‘QPSJUNEREVIEW’ AND your pharmacy’s ODS code (e.g. Subject: QPSJUNEREVIEW FAB12) either confirming the information is correct or including the corrections that need to be made. If you don’t include this information in the subject header, your email won’t be recorded and you will fail NHS BSA’s validation test. You must send that email between 00.00 on Monday 9th April and 23.59 on Friday 29th June.

If your DSP is not listed on NHS Choices:

  • Email nhschoicesservicedesk@nhs.net with the subject header ‘UNABLETOVERIFYPROFILE’.
  • Include your pharmacy trading name, ODS code, address, phone number, website URL and whether you are EPS-enabled (yes/no).

If your DSP is listed as a community pharmacy:

  • Inform nhschoicesservicedesk@nhs.net as above to let them know you are listed in the wrong section, instead of the DSP section here.

Criteria 3: Ability to send and receive NHSmail

The requirements have changed since 2017. Pharmacies now must be able to send and receive NHSmail using a premises shared NHSmail account. Personal NHSmail accounts no longer qualify.

  • The best way to demonstrate compliance is by sending an email from the shared pharmacy account to a linked personal account during the claims period and keeping a record of that email.
  • Shared pharmacy NHSmail accounts usually have the following format: nhspharmacy.location.pharmacynameODScode@nhs.net. (If you have an old shared mailbox, it may include details of another organisation e.g. a CCG.) Details of all shared accounts will be published on the NHSmail portal so you can check you’re on the list. (Note: This was meant to be available by 14th May but hasn’t been published yet.)
  • If you don’t have a premises shared mailbox: You must apply for one now. You can no longer use a personal NHSmail account to qualify.
  • Completing set-up and accessing NHSmail: This guide explains how to set up and use your shared NHSmail account, and the linked personal accounts used to log into it.
  • If you have any problems applying, registering or setting up NHSmail (e.g. you can’t see your pharmacy on the portal), contact pharmacyadmin@nhs.net.

Criteria 4: Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)

Pharmacies must demonstrate that you use EPS on an ongoing basis. NHS England will seek evidence of this to validate Quality Payments claims, so make sure you:

  • Have EPS Release 2 enabled
  • Continue to nominate suitable patients for EPS (i.e. patients suitable for EPS and who have nominated your pharmacy)
  • Endorse and claim for EPS Release 2 prescriptions, as appropriate each month.

Full guidance from NHS England

This tip-sheet 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 June 2018
  • Gateway Criteria Guidance
  • Quality Criteria Guidance