Discharge Medicines Service guidance published

Discharge Medicines Service guidance published

December 22, 2020

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have today, 22nd December 2020, confirmed that the Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) will not become an Essential service for contractors until 15th February 2021 and they have published guidance on the service.

The decision to launch the DMS in mid-February followed representations from PSNC recognising the pressures that contractors are under and the time needed to prepare for a new service.

NHSE&I regulations guidance

The NHSE&I guidance also covers the other changes to the Terms of Service which were made in October, most of which became a contractual requirement on 9th November 2020.

Alongside the guidance on the DMS, in January 2021, NHSE&I will publish a DMS Toolkit for hospitals, Primary Care Networks, community pharmacy teams and others involved in the rollout of the service.

This new service was originally trailed in the 5-year CPCF agreement, with a formal announcement regarding the service made by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in February 2020.

The service was latterly planned to commence on 1st January 2021, but due to the current pressures on contractors during the COVID-19 pandemic and delays in the publication of the NHSE&I regulations guidance, which contains the detailed service requirements, NHSE&I and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) agreed to PSNC’s proposal to delay implementation, so that contractors and their teams have time to prepare for the launch of the service.

From 15th February 2021, NHS Trusts will be able to refer patients who would benefit from extra guidance around new prescribed medicines for provision of the DMS at their community pharmacy.

Read more about the service on our DMS webpage

NHSE&I will initially adopt a light touch approach to contractual assurance with regards to the service and contractors should also note that not all Trusts will be fully ready to make referrals at the time the service commences.

Other service changes to create extra capacity in pharmacies

To provide additional capacity to implement the service on 15th February 2021 and to support the ongoing provision of key pharmacy services during the pandemic, NHSE&I and DHSC have also agreed to PSNC’s request for more flexible timings for completion of the work within the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) Part 2 2020/21 and the removal of some Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) requirements for 2020/21.

Read more about these changes

Funding for the service

Contractors providing the full service will be paid a fee of £35. Where only part of the service can be provided, in certain circumstances defined in the Drug Tariff, contractors will be paid a partial payment; you can find further details on the DMS page of this website.

Contractors will also be paid a setup fee of £400 to cover the costs of preparing to provide the service, principally training staff and putting in place a standard operating procedure for the service.

What do contractors need to do to prepare for the service?

Guidance on what contractors need to do to get ready to provide the service can be found on the DMS page of this website.


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