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.

Confirming CPCS IT systems (by Nov-Feb)

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) previously announced that funding for the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) IT systems was extended for an extra period to support the the initiation of the service.

After March 2022, community pharmacy contractors providing the CPCS will need to procure their own IT system from the range of system suppliers in the market offering CPCS functionality.

Related resources have advised contractors to act promptly to sign-up to a CPCS IT provider from mid-November (and at latest during February) to ensure a smooth transition.

Two pharmacy IT systems have been validated as having the capability to receive ITK messages and they have been contracted to provide the IT support for the service until 31st March 2022.

We are also aware of two PMR system suppliers that are working to develop functionality to support the service from shortly:

Contractors are recommended to start considering which supplier they want to choose well in advance. From the autumn, contractors will be able to transition to their own contractual arrangements with one of the four assured IT providers.

Software systems will need to meet the CPCS IT standards set by the NHS. These standards will be reflected in the NHS CPCS Technical Toolkit.

See also:  The ‘CPCS/CPCF IT & clinical suppliers’ section of the Supplier list webpage.

Until 31st March 2021, contractors providing the service must use the above certified CPCS IT systems made available to them by NHSE&I.

The decision that NHSE&I would lead on commissioning this IT support for a temporary period (extended until until 31st March 2022 instead of until October), 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 April 2022, contractors providing the CPCS will need to procure their own CPCS IT system. 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.

Switching guide

CPCS IT Provider ‘Switching’ guide (NHSE&I pdf) (new)

Buyer’s Guide for CPCS IT

NHSX and partner organisations have published a Buyer’s Guide. This was developed with the support of PSNC. It sets out the options and actions required in the move to the CPCS ‘provider pays’ model and will help contractors choose the best provider for them.

Read the new CPCS Buyer’s Guide (NHSX/NHSE&I .docx file) (new)

Past webinars

NHSE&I, with the support of PSNC, organised two webinars on this subject  (on 14th October 2021 and 22nd July 2021). These webinar opportunities were promoted via news updates and pharmacy contractors and LPCs had the opportunity to hear from the four IT suppliers and see the IT solutions in action. For more information about the events or the CPCS IT technical toolkit, please contact: digitalpodac@nhsx.nhs.uk.

Further information

CPCS clinical record data



Return to the CPCS hub page or return to Pharmacy IT


Latest Services and Commissioning news

View more Services and Commissioning news >

COVID-19: new treatments

Vaccines remain the primary defence against COVID-19, but today (8th December 2021) the UK Government has announced that it has...

PQS: AMS virtual event now on-demand

Community pharmacy contractors can now access an online recording of the antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) virtual event, which was jointly hosted...