CPCS Frequently Asked Questions

CPCS Frequently Asked Questions

November 13, 2019

With the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) now bedding in, below you will find a selection of questions about the service which PSNC has been asked by LPCs and pharmacy teams over the last few weeks.

View all our frequently asked questions on the CPCS


Q. Will I receive all referrals via the CPCS IT system and NHSmail?
No. Referrals will in the first instance be sent via the CPCS IT system. If there is a problem with that system, referrals will instead be sent via NHSmail, which provides the fallback system in the case of an outage in the CPCS IT system. The CPCS IT system may also be able to send email alerts to pharmacy contractors to highlight that a referral has been received within the system, e.g. PharmOutcomes can have a management email saved within the system, so that email account is sent an email when a referral is received. This email just notifies the contractor that a referral has been received; it does not contain any patient information and therefore the management email address used by the contractor does not have to be a secure email.

Q. A patient has contacted the pharmacy and said they had been referred for the CPCS, but there is no referral email or message in the CPCS IT system. How do I proceed?
The pharmacist should check with the patient the name of the pharmacy that they were referred to. If the patient has been referred to the correct pharmacy, the pharmacist should check again for a referral message. If no email or referral message is found, the pharmacist should contact the referring service, e.g. calling the NHS 111 Health Professionals Line (this number should be included in your SOP) . This should be recorded in the pharmacy and reported to the referring service provider as an incident.

Q. Are there any age limits for patients using the CPCS?
There are no age limits for patients referred for the urgent medicine supply strand of the CPCS. The minor illness strand has a minimum age limit of 1 year, therefore you should not see referrals for children younger than this.

Q. Must locum pharmacists that I book to work in my pharmacy be able to provide this service?
Yes. Once a contractor starts to provide the service, they must ensure that the service is available throughout the pharmacy’s contracted opening hours. Therefore, contractors should ensure that locum pharmacists who are booked to work at the pharmacy can provide the CPCS. When contracting locums, you should ensure that they have SCR access enabled on their NHS smartcard. You should also ensure they have read and signed your CPCS SOP before they provide the service

Q. Can distance selling pharmacies provide the CPCS?
Yes. A distance selling pharmacy may provide both Advanced and Enhanced Services on their pharmacy premises. They must not provide any Essential Services to any person present on their premises while providing the Advanced or Enhanced service. Medicines supplies made under the urgent medicines strand of CPCS are not deemed to be Dispensing (Essential service) and advice given on minor illnesses, as part of the minor illness strand of CPCS, would be deemed part of the CPCS service provision rather than it being classed as Support for Self-care (Essential service). Note – the CPCS minor illness strand of CPCS does not include supply of a medicine, although that may take place through separate OTC purchase or via a locally commissioned minor ailments service.
As with all pharmacies, a distance selling pharmacy must fully meet the requirements for the provision of the CPCS, which includes having a consultation room on the pharmacy premises

Q. Do I need to print an FP10DT EPS dispensing token for each urgent supply referral I receive from NHS 111?
No, not for all urgent supply referrals. An FP10DT EPS dispensing token only needs to be printed out, with the reverse of the form being completed by the patient, where the pharmacy makes an urgent supply and the patient is claiming exemption for the NHS prescription charge. However, as with normal prescriptions, where the patient is age exempt and their age or date of birth is included in the referral from NHS 111, an FP10DT EPS dispensing token would not need to be printed and then completed by these patients.

Q. What do I do with an urgent supply FP10DT EPS dispensing token on which the patient has completed the exemption declaration?
The FP10DT EPS dispensing tokens should be sent to the NHSBSA as part of the month end submission, clearly separated within the batch, e.g. by placing them in an envelope marked CPCS or bundling them together, covered by a paper note clearly stating CPCS. They will be retained by the NHSBSA to allow verification of patients’ exemption claims.



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