Quality Payments – NHSmail
Quality Payments – NHSmail
To be eligible to collect the points necessary to claim the Quality Payment, community pharmacy contractors must meet five gateway criteria, one of which is that 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, which must have at least two live linked accounts’.
Any problems with pharmacy NHSmail accounts can be dealt with via the helpdesk: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The requirements for this criterion have changed since the review points in June 2018.
Click on a heading below for more information.
NHS England guidance
NHS England has published new guidance on the February 2019 review point of the Quality Payments Scheme.
The new guidance should be read in conjunction with NHS England’s previously published gateway criteria and 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.
How to achieve this gateway criterion
This PSNC Briefing provides community pharmacy contractors with information and a checklist to assist them with meeting the NHSmail gateway criterion of the February 2019 Quality Payments Scheme:
Contractors who do not have a premises-shared NHSmail account
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.
Please note, evidence of application for an NHSmail shared mailbox will NOT be considered as having met the gateway criterion.
Any contractors who are having any issues with NHSmail in relation to transfer of ownership are encouraged to contact the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) Provider Assurance Team (email@example.com) as soon as possible in order to resolve these issues ahead of the review date.
What is an active account?
An active linked NHSmail account is one that has been accessed within the last three months and is enabled to allow the user access to the premises-shared NHSmail account. Contractors are reminded that unless the password of a user NHSmail account is updated every 90 days the account will become inactive and the user will not be able to access it. Any such inactive accounts on the review date will not be considered as active. Linked NHSmail account holders are encouraged to ensure their passwords have been updated ahead of the review date to avoid becoming inactive.
A shared NHSmail account needs to have individual user NHSmail accounts linked to it to enable access. For business continuity purposes there should be at least two, and preferably more, active linked NHSmail accounts.
Contractors are reminded of the need to ensure that only appropriate NHSmail accounts, for example, members of staff, regular locums etc., should be linked to their premises shared NHSmail accounts. It would be considered a serious information governance breach if a premises shared NHSmail account was linked to a NHSmail account of a member of staff no longer working in the pharmacy.
Please note: A ‘super user’ NHSmail account is not considered as an active linked personal account and will not contribute to the requirement to have a minimum of two linked accounts. A super user account will usually belong to a user who is head office-based, responsible for the administration of more than one shared NHSmail account and is not involved in providing pharmaceutical services on a day-to-day basis at the individual pharmacies their account is linked to.
Further information on the action contractors need to take can be found on the NHSmail page of the PSNC website.
Personal user accounts being used as a premises 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 the premises shared NHSmail account they will not meet the gateway criterion. 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 gateway criterion.
The declaration process
Contractors will be required to confirm through the NHSBSA online declaration page (the portal will go live on Monday 4th February 2019 at 9am and will be available until Friday 1st March 2019 at 11.59pm) that pharmacy staff at the pharmacy are able to send and receive NHSmail from their shared premises NHSmail account, which has at least two live linked accounts.
Validation of criterion
Contractors are advised to check the validation report, to be published on the NHSBSA website, to ensure that they have met the NHSmail gateway criterion. The report will be published regularly during the review window (the publication schedule will be posted on the NHSBSA website by 30th November 2018). PSNC will alert contractors when this becomes available.
The report will highlight which pharmacies have a shared NHSmail account with a minimum of two active linked accounts at the time the report was collated.
Q. How do I apply for an NHSmail account?
Information on how to apply for an NHSmail account can be found at: psnc.org.uk/nhsmail
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: https://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. 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.
Q. Does using your personal NHSmail account to log in to the premise-shared NHSmail account help to ensure your account is kept live?
Q. Are pharmacy technicians allowed access to the premises-shared NHSmail account or is it only to be accessed by the pharmacist?
Any member of staff who has a personal NHSmail address that is linked to the premises-shared NHSmail account can access it; this does not need to be the pharmacist or pharmacy owner.
Q. How many members of staff need to have a live, linked NHSmail account to meet the NHSmail gateway criterion?
To meet this gateway criterion, contractors are required to have a premises-shared NHSmail account with at least two live linked personal NHSmail accounts. Please note, the linked accounts should belong to users who are involved in providing pharmaceutical services on a day-to-day basis at the individual pharmacies their account is linked to.
Q. How do you check which of your employees have their personal NHSmail accounts linked to the premises-shared NHSmail address?
The pharmacy shared mailbox owner will be able to view linked accounts and add or remove users.
Q. Do individual NHSmail users have to log into their personal account or to the shared account to meet the NHSmail gateway criterion?
A premises-shared NHSmail account needs to have personal NHSmail accounts linked to it to enable access. 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.
Q. What is meant by two live linked NHSmail accounts?
A live linked NHSmail account is one that has been accessed within the last three months and is enabled to allow the user access to the premises-shared NHSmail account.
Q. Does a ‘super user’ personal NHSmail account linked to a pharmacy’s shared NHSmail account contribute to the requirement of having two active linked NHSmail accounts for the gateway criteria?
No. A super user account is not considered as an active, linked personal account and will not contribute to the requirement to have a minimum of two linked accounts. The linked accounts should belong to users who are involved in providing pharmaceutical services on a day-to-day basis at the individual pharmacies their account is linked to.
Q. Do I need to share or advertise my NHSmail address anywhere to prove my pharmacy has one?
No. However, you could share your NHSmail address with local GP practices and other local community pharmacies to support collaborative working and communications.