CPCS – IT requirements and support

CPCS – IT requirements and support

The CPCS service specification requires that the pharmacy must have IT equipment accessible within the consultation room to allow contemporaneous records of the CPCS consultations to be made within the CPCS IT system (see below).

As with the provision of all community pharmacy IT hardware, the provision of IT equipment in the consultation room is for the pharmacy contractor to arrange. The costs of IT equipment were included in PSNC’s assessment of costs of providing the service which has informed the agreement on the funding for the CPCS, which included a £900 supplement to the Transition payment if contractors registered to provide the service by 1st December 2019.

The CPCS IT system

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have used the Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF) to procure IT functionality (“the CPCS IT system” referenced in the service specification) to support the service. This system will receive the ITK (Interoperability Toolkit) referral messages from NHS 111, allow the maintenance of clinical records of service provision, send post-event messages to patients’ GP practices, support payment claims to be made to the NHSBSA and provide data to support service management and evaluation.

Two pharmacy IT systems have the capability to receive ITK messages and they have been contracted to provide the IT support for the service until 30th September 2021.

The funding was originally scheduled to last until March 31st 2020. NHSE&I announced on 21st January 2021 that additional funding had been agreed so that all regions can arrange an additional six months for the community pharmacy CPCS IT licence for the period from 1st April 2021 to 30th September 2021 on behalf of contractors.

Further information

During 2019/20 and 2020/21 and until 30th September 2021, contractors providing the service must use the above CPCS IT systems made available to them by NHSE&I.

The decision that NHSE&I would lead on commissioning this IT support, as opposed to the normal situation of contractors purchasing the IT support themselves, was driven by the relatively short time in which to get the service implemented ahead of the winter period of peak activity for primary and urgent care services and the need for data to be available to the NHS from all pharmacies providing the service to support implementation of the service and its evaluation.

From 1st October 2021, contractors providing the CPCS will need to procure their own CPCS IT system. By that time, we hope that other pharmacy IT suppliers, including PMR system vendors, will have been able to develop support for the CPCS, so that community pharmacy contractors have a choice of potential IT solutions to support the provision of the service.  The future cost of providing the service, including IT system costs, will be something that PSNC will discuss with NHSE&I in the annual reviews of the CPCF, which have been agreed as part of the 5-year settlement.

CPCS clinical record data


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