Quality Payments – NHSmail
Quality Payments – NHSmail
To be eligible to collect the points necessary to claim the Quality Payment, community pharmacy contractors must meet four gateway criteria, one of which is:
‘On the day of the review, pharmacy staff at the pharmacy must be able to send and receive NHSmail from their shared premises NHSmail account’.
This criterion must be complied with before any payment can be achieved. The requirements for this criterion have changed since the review points in 2017.
It is important that contractors act now to ensure they have a pharmacy NHSmail account that is in use for the June 2018 review point of the Quality Payments Scheme (having applied for a shared premises NHSmail account will not mean contractors meet the gateway criterion at the June 2018 review point).
Any problems with pharmacy NHSmail accounts can be dealt with via the helpdesk: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on a heading below for more information.
NHS England guidance
NHS England has published new guidance ahead of the June 2018 review point of the Quality Payments Scheme:
- NHS England – Pharmacy Quality Payments Guidance for the June 2018 Declaration (published 30th April 2018).
The June 2018 guidance should be read in conjunction with NHS England’s gateway criteria guidance and the quality criteria guidance:
- NHS England – Pharmacy Quality Payments Gateway Criteria Guidance (published 23rd December 2016); and
- NHS England – Pharmacy Quality Payments Quality Criteria Guidance (published 27th February 2017).
These documents are available on the NHS England website.
PSNC strongly encourages all contractors to read the new NHS England guidance, as well as the previous guidance, to ensure they are fully briefed on the requirements of the Quality Payments Scheme ahead of the June 2018 review point.
How to achieve this gateway criterion
Pharmacy contractors who have yet to set up a premises shared NHSmail account can do so using the automated portal found here. Setting up a shared account will include the creation of up to three personal accounts which will be used to access the shared account. Once a contractor has completed the registration using the automated portal, they will be sent login details for the personal accounts so that they can activate them, thereby allowing constant access to the shared mailbox.
The simplest way for a contractor to ensure that they have a shared NHSmail account, and to have the evidence to demonstrate this, is to send an email from the shared account to one of the linked personal accounts during the declaration window. This email should then be filed so that it is accessible to resend to the NHS BSA if required to demonstrate that the account meets the requirements of this criterion.
Please note, evidence of application for an NHSmail shared mailbox will NOT be considered as having met the gateway criterion.
Further information on the action contractors need to take can be found on the NHSmail page of the PSNC website.
Do you already have an NHSmail account for your pharmacy?
If you already have a pharmacy NHSmail account, but it is not a shared mailbox (shared mailboxes are accessed via a personal NHSmail account), you must request a shared mailbox from NHS Digital.
NHS Pharmacy mailboxes
NHS Pharmacy mailboxes shared mailboxes inside the nhspharmacy container will have the prefix ‘nhspharmacy’ and will be in the below format:
Legacy shared mailboxes
Shared mailboxes that were created prior to the introduction of the NHS pharmacy naming convention typically include the prefix of the organisation that sponsored the creation of the account, i.e. the commissioning organisation that set the account up
Personal user accounts being used as a shared mailbox
A personal user account will be used to access the premises shared NHSmail account. Unless a contractor can send and receive email from their shared NHSmail account they will not meet the gateway criteria. Sending and receiving email from a personal NHSmail account will not be considered as having met the gateway criterion. If your pharmacy is using an individual user account as a shared mailbox, this will not meet the criterion. In such cases, contractors will be required to register for a new shared mailbox using the NHSmail Portal.
Contractors who already have personal NHSmail accounts should be aware that passwords should be changed every 90 days. Accounts not accessed for more than 90 days will be suspended and if they are not accessed for a further 90 days they will be deleted.
Please note that the rules for suspending and deleting accounts apply to personal NHSmail accounts only and not to shared accounts however access to a shared account requires personal NHSmail account access.
Check the compliancy list
NHS Digital will be publishing a list of shared mailboxes on the NHSmail portal to help contractors confirm that their NHSmail is a shared mailbox and therefore compliant with this criterion. The list will be published on the NHSmail Portal by the 14th May 2018 (please note, this list isn’t available yet). Contractors are therefore asked to confirm they are on the list and take immediate action if they are not on the list despite following the correct process for obtaining a shared NHSmail account.
The declaration process
Pharmacies will NOT be required to provide the details of their premises shared NHSmail address in their declaration. This will be validated against the list of active premises shared NHSmail addresses held by NHS Digital.
Unless a contractor can send and receive email from their shared NHSmail account they will NOT meet the gateway. Sending and receiving email from a personal NHSmail account will NOT be considered as having met the gateway criterion.
Q. Do all pharmacy staff have to be able to send and receive NHSmail from the pharmacy’s shared premises NHSmail account?
No. In most pharmacies, only three staff have been allocated a personal NHSmail account via which they can access the shared premises account. On the day of the review, as long as one pharmacy staff member can access the shared premises account, then this is sufficient to meet the gateway criteria.
Q. A regular member of staff in my pharmacy has an individual NHSmail account; does this mean my pharmacy will meet the gateway criterion for NHSmail?
No. Sending and receiving email from a personal NHSmail account will NOT be considered as having met the gateway criterion. If you already have a pharmacy NHSmail account, but it is not a shared mailbox, i.e. one which you log into via a personal NHSmail account, you must request a shared mailbox from NHS Digital.
Q. Do I need to share or advertise my NHSmail address anywhere to prove my pharmacy has one?
On the day of the review, as long as one pharmacy staff member can access the shared premises NHSmail account to send and receive emails, then this is sufficient to meet the gateway criteria. You should consider how you would provide evidence that you have met the criteria, i.e. retain copies of sent and received emails on the day of the review.
You could share your NHSmail address with local GP practices and other local community pharmacies to support collaborative working and communications.
Q. What is the quickest way of accessing our premises shared NHSmail account?
To quickly access the premises shared NHSmail account of a community pharmacy, save the following URL: http://email.nhs.net/owa/nhspharmacy.xxx replacing xxx with the pharmacy’s NHSmail address. Then when you open the URL, you can log into the shared account with your personal NHSmail email address and password.
Q. My pharmacy has an NHSmail account previously set up by the NHS Local Organisation Administrator, but it was not created as a shared mailbox. Is this sufficient to meet the gateway criterion of pharmacy staff being able to send and receive NHSmail from their shared premises NHSmail account?
No. NHS England and NHS Digital want all pharmacies to have shared mailboxes which can only be accessed by authorised users who log in using their personal NHSmail account. Since NHSmail accounts are likely to contain patient sensitive information, sharing log-in information (such as passwords) for NHSmail accounts with pharmacy team members would constitute a breach of NHS Information Governance requirements. Any pharmacies with such an account should request a new shared mailbox to meet the gateway criteria.
Q. Does the pharmacy shared mailbox owner need to work in the pharmacy?
No. The pharmacy shared mailbox owner can be someone who works in the pharmacy, someone who is field-based or it can be someone who works at the pharmacy’s head office. It would be up to the individual contractor to decide who should take on this role.
Q. Can I be a pharmacy shared mailbox owner for more than one pharmacy?
Yes. An individual can be appointed as the pharmacy shared mailbox owner for all the pharmacies that a contractor owns or a pharmacy shared mailbox owner can be appointed for each individual pharmacy. It is up to the individual contractor to decide on the approach to take.
Q. What is the role of the pharmacy shared mailbox owner?
The pharmacy shared mailbox owner has the responsibility of managing the shared pharmacy NHSmail account, authenticating personal NHSmail accounts and linking them to the shared pharmacy NHSmail account or deleting the links.