Regs explainer (#9): CAS alert sign-up


Regs explainer (#9): CAS alert sign-up

November 5, 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:

9th November 2020

What is the new requirement?

The Central Alerting System (CAS) is a web-based cascading system operated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for issuing patient safety alerts, important public health messages and other safety critical information and guidance to the NHS and others, including community pharmacies.

Pharmacy contractors and their teams are very familiar with this system, as they regularly receive CAS alerts related to patient safety, medicines recall notices and medical device alerts amongst others. These alerts are currently forwarded from the CAS to contractors by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) regional teams.

The new Terms of Service requirement is for contractors to register their pharmacy’s shared NHSmail account to receive CAS alerts direct from the MHRA. A bulk upload into the CAS of pharmacies’ NHSmail email addresses has been supported by NHS Digital, at the request of NHSE&I, so the majority of contractors will meet this new requirement without taking any action. They should however make sure that CAS alerts received over the next few weeks are arriving direct from the MHRA into their shared NHSmail account.

Contractors who have not created a shared NHSmail account for their pharmacy ahead of 9th November 2020 will need to do this and then register it with the MHRA. Likewise, if a contractor changes their shared NHSmail account email address, they must immediately notify the MHRA of the new address. Both notifications can be made by emailing

Where can I get more support on this?

If you need support to register a shared NHSmail account with CAS, please email


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