How to become an HLP or maintain that status
Published on: 4th November 2020 | Updated on: 25th July 2022
Community pharmacy contractors will be required to become an HLP in 2020/21 as agreed in the five-year CPCF; this reflects the priority attached to public health and prevention work.
On 20th October 2020 new NHS regulations were laid to introduce changes to the Terms of Service for pharmacy contractors and these included the HLP requirements. Further information and guidance on the requirements for HLP has been published by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) in guidance on the regulations.
Contractors must ensure they are compliant with the HLP requirements from 1st January 2021, however the Distance Selling Pharmacy (DSP) website requirements do not have to be complied with until 1st April 2021.
The HLP framework requirements
The requirements apply to all pharmacies, including distance selling pharmacies (DSPs), except where specifically noted that different requirements apply to DSPs.
Pharmacies will no longer be required to comply with the PHE Quality Criteria to achieve HLP status, as these have been superseded by the amendments to the Terms of Service and the regulations guidance. The requirements for contractors are detailed in the following pages:
Key actions for contractors
For pharmacies previously accredited or self declared as HLPs
- Read through the HLP section in NHS England’s Regulations Guidance (when published – the requirements are also set out in the three framework requirements pages above); then
- Review the HLP checklist to ensure your portfolio of evidence is up-to-date and meets the requirements of the regulations.
For pharmacies that are not yet HLPs
- Read through the HLP section in NHS England’s Regulations Guidance (when published – the requirements are also set out in the three framework requirements pages above);
- Work through the requirements as set out in the NHS England Regulations Guidance and compile your evidence to enable you to show you meet the requirements. Contractors can choose to use the PSNC’s HLP Evidence Portfolio Workbook to support them to meet the requirements of the Terms of Service; and
- Then follow the actions to take once a contractor has met the HLP requirements.
All contractors will need to retain at the pharmacy a portfolio of evidence together with a completed assessment of compliance signed by a pharmacist to demonstrate that they meet the HLP requirements. The portfolio should continue to be updated with evidence of activities, such as health promotion events undertaken, to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the requirements.
Contractors may need to use this evidence during NHS England contract monitoring activities or during discussions with other organisations, such as the General Pharmaceutical Council or the local authority.
To ensure contractors continue to meet their Terms of Service requirements, it is recommended they review their compliance against the requirements at least every 3 years.
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