PQS: Support available for meeting the NSAID quality criterion

PQS: Support available for meeting the NSAID quality criterion

November 7, 2019

Resources to support community pharmacy contractors to meet the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) quality criterion of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) have now been published, so contractors may now want to consider when they are going to start completing the audit.

Briefing 053/19: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – NSAID audit quality criterion

PSNC has published Briefing 053/19: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – NSAID audit quality criterion, which provides contractors with a flow chart on how to meet the quality criterion.

Findings and recommendations from the 2018/19 Quality Payments Scheme NSAID audit

As part of meeting the quality criterion, contractors should implement, into their day-to-day practice, the findings and recommendations from the previous clinical audit on NSAIDs prescribed for those aged 65 years and above without gastroprotection, undertaken as part of the 2018/19 Quality Payments Scheme. This should be done before completing the updated 2019/20 NSAID audit. The report from the 2018/19 Quality Paments Scheme NSAID audit has now been published on the NHS England website.

NSAID audit paperwork for the 2019/20 PQS

Specialist Pharmacy Service (SPS) has now published the updated NSAID audit for the 2019/20 PQS. Contractors must therefore complete the updated audit, notify patients’ GPs where concerns are identified, share their anonymised data with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and incorporate any learning from the audit into future practice. PSNC has also made the following documents from the SPS audit available as standalone documents:

SPS NSAID audit data collection form (PDF)

SPS NSAID audit GP referral form (Word)

SPS NSAID audit GP referral form (PDF)

Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group – Patient safety quality criteria guidance

PSNC has worked with the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group to publish guidance on meeting the patient safety quality criteria of the PQS, which includes information on the NSAID audit.

Reporting data to NHSE&I

Contractors can choose to enter the data directly onto a web-based platform or use a paper form to collect the data and then transfer the data onto a web-based platform to submit their results to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) who are collecting this on behalf of NHSE&I.

Two web-based systems are available for collecting the audit data: Manage Your Service (MYS) or PharmOutcomes* (please note, contractors should only use one of these systems to collect the audit data).

Having reviewed both systems, there are pros and cons to both systems:

Web-based platform Pros Cons
MYS The individual patient information entered into MYS will auto-populate the summary information that is required when contractors complete their PQS declaration.

MYS does not allow for an automatic referral email to be sent to a patient’s GP practice if required – contractors will need to manually send a referral letter (a template referral letter is available as part of the SPS audit).

A permanent patient record will not be stored on MYS.


Can send an automatic referral email to a patient’s GP practice if required.

A permanent patient record will be stored on PharmOutcomes.

The individual patient information entered into PharmOutcomes will not be auto-populated into the summary information that is required when contractors complete their PQS declaration. Contractors can print out a report for the NSAID audit from PharmOutcomes but they will then be required to manually enter the summary data when completing their PQS declaration.

*The NSAID audit on PharmOutcomes is freely available to all contractors; PSNC has agreed to use their licence to provide access. 

Using PharmOutcomes

If contractors decide to use PharmOutcomes, the following additional patient information will need to be collected (which is not required on the SPS audit data collection form): patient name, whether the patient has an accessible information need, date of birth, address and postcode. Therefore, contractors are advised to either enter the data directly onto PharmOutcomes or use the PharmOutcomes data collection form rather than the SPS audit data collection form:

PharmOutcomes NSAID audit patient data collection form (PDF)

Further information on meeting the NSAID quality criterion can be found at: psnc.org.uk/pqsnsaid


Q. When do I need to complete the audit?
A. Contractors can pick a two-week period before they make their PQS declaration to complete the audit; however, contractors are encouraged to not leave completion of the audit until February 2020 in case the data collection period needs to be extended to four weeks if contractors have difficulty finding ten patients to participate.

Q. Will both of the web-based systems calculate my audit results?
A. Yes. Both of the web-based systems will calculate a contractor’s results. If PharmOutcomes is used, contractors will be able to access the results in the ‘Reports’ section and can print this off as evidence of meeting the NSAID quality criterion. If MYS is used and the contractor enters an email address when submitting their results, the contractor will be emailed the results of their audit; this email should be retained as evidence of having met the NSAID quality criterion.

Contractors will, however, need to record how they have incorporated the learning of the audit into future practice elsewhere, as this information cannot be recorded on either of the web-based platforms.

Q. If I have not used PharmOutcomesbefore, how do I obtain log in details?
If a contractor has not used PharmOutcomes before, log in details can be obtained by sending a message to the PharmOutcomes helpdesk. Contractors will need to provide details of the pharmacy, contact information and an email address to issue the login details to.

Q. Where do I access the NSAID audit on PharmOutcomes?
A. When you log into PharmOutcomes select ‘Services’; you should see ‘NSAID GI Safety Audit 2019/20’ under the ‘Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Quality criteria’ heading.

If you have mislaid your PharmOutcomes login details, visit the Help page.

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