Regs explainer (#13): HLP requirements


Regs explainer (#13): HLP requirements

November 6, 2020

On 20th October 2020 new NHS regulations were laid to introduce changes to the Terms of Service for pharmacy contractors. Some of these changes relate to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but most are changes which were previously agreed as part of the 5-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) and were originally planned to be introduced in July 2020.

This article is one of a series, explaining what the changes mean for pharmacy contractors and their teams.

This change applies from:

1st January 2021 (bar the DSP website requirements)

What are the new requirements?

Most pharmacies in England have previously met the Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1 (HLP) requirements, following local initiatives with commissioners or the Pharmacy Quality Scheme. The HLP requirements will become a new Terms of Service requirement for all pharmacies from 1st January 2021.

Previously, pharmacies assessed their performance against the Public Health England (PHE) HLP quality criteria, but these requirements have now been used to inform the new contractual requirements. Most have remained the same as the PHE requirements, but there are several changes, particularly in relation to some aspects of how Distance Selling Pharmacies (DSPs) need to meet the HLP requirements.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regulations guidance, due to be published shortly, will set out the full requirements for compliance, but you can also find the details in our HLP website section.

In this Regs explainer, we will just highlight the most significant difference from the PHE requirements for DSPs. All contractors need to read the full requirements in the NHSE&I regulations guidance, when published, to identify what actions, if any, they need to take to comply with the requirements by 1st January 2021.

One of the HLP requirements for pharmacies which are visited by patients and the public, is that they have a dedicated Health Promotion Zone, of sufficient prominence, that contains up-to-date professional health and wellbeing information that meets the needs of the population they serve.

There is a different requirement for DSPs, as they cannot provide Essential services to patients on the pharmacy premises. Instead they must have a website for use by patients and the public accessing their services, which has an interactive page clearly promoted to any user of the website when they first access it, which provides public access to a reasonable range of up to date materials that promote healthy lifestyles, by addressing a reasonable range of health issues.

This requirement – to have a website, including an interactive page that promotes healthy lifestyles – does not have to be complied with until 1st April 2021 (but like all other pharmacies, DSPs must comply with all the other HLP requirements from 1st January 2021).

Where can I get more support on this?

You can find full guidance and a range of resources to help you become an HLP and maintain that standard in our HLP website section.


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