Pharmacy Quality Scheme

Pharmacy Quality Scheme

The Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) forms part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF).

It supports delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan and rewards community pharmacy contractors that achieve quality criteria in the three domains of healthcare quality: clinical effectiveness, patient safety and patient experience.

This webpage contains information on and resources for the current PQS. Information on previous schemes can be found in the Pharmacy Quality Scheme archive.


Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2021/22

On 12th August 2021, initial details of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2021/22 were announced.

Read more about the announcement

Read PSNC’s initial advice to contractors on getting going with the PQS

On 26th September 2021, full details of the PQS requirements were published in Part VIIA of the September 2021 Drug Tariff and on 1st September 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) published their PQS guidance.

PSNC has updated this page to reflect the additional information that has now been published on the Scheme and additional resources and FAQs to support contractors will continue to be added to this page. All information currently available on the PQS can be found on or via this webpage.


Click on a heading below for more information.

Introduction

On 12th August 2021, a new PQS was announced for the remainder of 2021/22. This scheme focuses on NHS priorities supporting recovery from COVID-19.

The scheme officially begins on 1st September 2021 with a declaration period between 9am on 31st January 2022 and 11.59pm on 25th February 2022. As with previous schemes, it has £75m funding available and contractors will be able to claim an Aspiration payment if they wish to, later this year.

Contractors who meet the Gateway criteria on the day of the declaration will receive a PQS payment if they meet one or more of the domains listed below. Contractors must meet all of the quality criteria in a domain to be eligible for a PQS payment for that domain; the only exception to this is for the Healthy living support domain – please see section below.

Many of the criteria in this scheme include training and related assessments being undertaken by pharmacy team members. The following terms are used in the requirements to define different types of staff:

  • Registered pharmacy professionals are pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. This also includes provisional registered pharmacists.
  • Patient-facing pharmacy staff include all registered pharmacy professionals, trainee pharmacists, trainee pharmacy technicians, dispensary staff, medicines counter assistants and delivery drivers. Contractors may also have other staff that can be identified as having patient-facing roles.
  • Non-registered pharmacy staff include all trainee pharmacists, trainee pharmacy technicians, dispensary staff, medicines counter assistants and delivery drivers.
  • Patient-facing staff that provide advice on medicines or healthcare include all registered pharmacy professionals, trainee pharmacists, trainee pharmacy technicians, dispensary staff and medicines counter assistants.
  • Non-registered patient-facing pharmacy staff who provide health advice includes trainee pharmacists, trainee pharmacy technicians, dispensary staff and medicines counter assistants.

In relation to the training requirements within the various criteria, in all cases at the time of making the PQS declaration, there is a requirement to have available at the pharmacy premises, a copy of the personalised certificate provided upon completion of the training and assessment, as evidence that all relevant members of staff have completed the training.

The scheme also makes provision for circumstances where the pharmacy has a change in staff members close to the point of declaration, which impacts on their ability to meet some of the requirements:

Where new staff who have recently joined the pharmacy or staff returning from long term leave, for example maternity leave, have not undertaken the training and assessment by the day of the declaration, the pharmacy contractor can count them as having completed the training and assessment, if the pharmacy contractor has a training plan in place to ensure that these staff complete the training and assessment within 30 days of the day of the declaration. This training plan and demonstrable evidence of completion of training and assessment, within 30 days of the day of the declaration, must be retained at the pharmacy to demonstrate that the pharmacy contractor has met this quality criterion.

Guidance, webpages and resources

Guidance

NHSE&I PQS 2021/22 guidance

Associated webpages

CPPE – PQS webpage

HEE – e-Learning for Health

NHSBSA – Manage your Service (MYS)

NHSBSA – Manage Your Service (MYS) portal

NHSBSA – Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS)

PSNC – PQS FAQs

PSNC – Manage Your Service (MYS) application page – includes FAQs on MYS

Resources

Action plan template (Microsoft Word) – to support the creation of any action plans required to meet the requirements of any PQS criteria

Action plan template (PDF)

Completing the Patient Safety Report – PSNC has worked with the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group to produce this resource, which provides contractors with information on what they need to do to meet the patient safety report part of the Gateway criterion, as well as worked examples of a monthly and annual* patient safety report template.

Data collection form (Microsoft Word) – can be used to collect the required data for the different criteria in the Respiratory domain and the weight management quality criterion (part of the Healthy living support domain)

Data collection form (PDF)

Monthly patient safety report template (Microsoft Word) – can be used to collect the required data on a monthly basis for the patient safety report

Monthly patient safety report template (PDF)

Patient safety report template (Microsoft Word) – can be used to collate all the required data for the patient safety report

Patient safety report template (PDF)

PSNC Briefing 024/21 Reducing the climate change impact of inhalers: environmentally safe disposal – can be used as a training resource to meet the requirement for all patient-facing pharmacy staff to have been trained on the reasons why used, unwanted and expired inhalers should be returned to the pharmacy for safe disposal and the adverse effects on the environment when inhalers are disposed of in domestic waste

Patient briefing aid on inhaler disposal – this resource can be used when speaking with patients, their carer or representatives, who have been dispensed an inhaler, about returning all unwanted and used inhaler devices to a pharmacy for safe and environmentally friendly disposal

PSNC Briefing 025/21: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Summary of the training requirements for the 2021/22 Scheme – this provides a summary of the training requirements which are included in the 2021/22 Pharmacy Quality Scheme

PSNC Briefing 034/21: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Important dates for the diary – this provides a list of the important dates for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2021/22.

PSNC Briefing 039/21: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Asthma referrals – This PSNC Briefing provides contractors with guidance on meeting the Personalised asthma action plans and promoting spacer device use in children prescribed pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) criterion, which is part of the Respiratory domain.

The above Briefing also contains three annexes which are available below as seperate documents:

The above template data collection form is specifically for the asthma referrals quality criterion. PSNC has also produced a template data collection form which can be used to collect the required data for the different criteria in the Respiratory domain and the weight management quality criterion (part of the Healthy living support domain) – please see above. Contractors can choose to use either for this quality criterion.

PSNC Briefing 040/21: Briefing for general practice teams – changes to the NHS community pharmacy contract in 2021/22 – this  provides information for general practice teams on the changes to the community pharmacy contract in 2021/22, including the revised Pharmacy Quality Scheme.

Risk review templates 2021/22 (Microsoft Word) – can be used to complete the risk review as part of the risk review gateway criterion

Risk review templates 2021/22 (PDF)

Training record sheet (Microsoft Word) – can be used to capture the details of staff that have completed required training

Training record sheet (PDF)

*The above Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group resource includes an example of a completed annual patient safety template as per the requirement for previous Schemes. However, for the 2021/22 Scheme contractors are required to have a new written safety report (new since February 2020 when this criterion was last included in PQS or covering the last two years if not previously claimed). Therefore, the content of the annual patient safety report template is still relevant for completing the PQS requirement, but contractors should ensure their patient safety report covers the required period of time as stated above.

Gateway criteria

To qualify for a PQS payment, contractors will have to meet the following THREE Gateway criteria on the day of their declaration:

1. Advanced services

New Medicine Service (NMS) –  The contractor must have claimed payments for the completion of a minimum of 20 NMS between 1st April 2021 and 5th January 2022.

Resources

Resources and further information on NMS can be found on the New Medicine Service (NMS) page.

Declaration requirements

Contractors will not be required to make a declaration for this Gateway criterion as the automatic verification assessment of whether a contractor has met the NMS gateway criterion will be confirmed against NHSBSA’s payment data for NMS.


2. Safety report and demonstrable learnings from the CPPE LASA e-learning

There are TWO parts for this gateway criterion:

a) CPPE LASA e-learning and assessment

On the day of the declaration, all registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy must have satisfactorily completed the CPPE reducing look-alike, sound-alike (LASA) errors e-learning and passed the e-assessment.

If pharmacy professionals have previously completed the e-learning and successfully passed the e-assessment, they do not need to complete this again.

Resources

Training record sheet (Microsoft Word) – to capture the details of staff that have completed required training

Training record sheet (PDF)

b) New safety report

On the day of the declaration, pharmacies must have a new written safety report (new since February 2020 when this criterion was last included in PQS or covering the last two years if not previously claimed), at premises level, available for inspection from the day of the declaration covering analysis of incidents and incident patterns (taken from an ongoing log), evidence of sharing learning locally and nationally, and actions taken in response to national patient safety alerts.

Demonstrable learnings from the CPPE LASA e-learning must be incorporated into the safety report. This must include a review of, and subsequent actions, where mitigation taken has failed to prevent a LASA incident or LASA near miss from occurring.

Demonstrably, the pharmacy contractor actively identifies and manages the risks at premises level associated with the following LASA medicines combinations identified from the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) propranolol and prednisolone, amlodipine and amitriptyline, carbamazepine and carbimazole, rivaroxaban and rosuvastatin, atenolol and allopurinol.

Demonstrably, the pharmacy contractor has put in place actions to prevent these risks, for example, physical separation, staff awareness raising, visual warnings, tags or labels on shelving, fatigue reduction strategies or enhanced checking procedures for these.

There must be demonstrable evidence of all actions identified in the patient safety report having been implemented.

Demonstrably, the pharmacy contractor uploads any LASA incident reports to the NRLS or to the Learn from patient safety events (LFPSE) system and keeps a record for confirmation of this activity at the pharmacy premises or within any electronic reporting system used by the contractor. In the description of what happened in the NRLS or the LFPSE report, the contractor must include the text ‘LASA’ as an identifier to facilitate future national learning.

Resources

PSNC has worked with the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group to produce Completing the Patient Safety Report, which provides contractors with information on what they need to do to meet the patient safety report part of the Gateway criterion, as well as worked examples of a monthly and annual* patient safety report template.

Monthly patient safety report template (Microsoft Word)

Monthly patient safety report template (PDF)

Patient safety report template (Microsoft Word)

Patient safety report template (PDF)

*The above Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group resource includes an example of a completed annual patient safety template as per the requirement for previous Schemes. However, for the 2021/22 Scheme contractors are required to have a new written safety report (new since February 2020 when this criterion was last included in PQS or covering the last two years if not previously claimed). Therefore, the content of the annual patient safety report template is still relevant for completing the PQS requirement, but contractors should ensure their patient safety report covers the required period of time as stated above.

Declaration requirements

Submission of information to NHS England and NHS Improvement should be reported on the Manage Your Service (MYS) application and should include:

  • the total number of registered pharmacy professionals (including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians) working at the pharmacy who have satisfactorily completed the CPPE reducing look-alike, sound-alike errors (LASA) e-learning training and passed the e-assessment;
  • a declaration that the contractor has a new written safety report (i.e., new since February 2020 when this criterion was last included in PQS or covering the last two years if not previously claimed) at premises level available for inspection from the day of the declaration, covering analysis of incidents and incident patterns (taken from an ongoing log), evidence of sharing learning locally and nationally, and actions taken in response to national patient safety alerts; and
  • a declaration that demonstrable learnings from the CPPE reducing look-alike, sound-alike errors (LASA) e-learning have been incorporated into the safety report.

3. Risk review

There are TWO parts for this gateway criterion:

a) CPPE risk management e-learning and assessment

All registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy must have satisfactorily completed the CPPE risk management e-learning and passed the e-assessment.

If pharmacy professionals have previously completed the e-learning and successfully passed the e-assessment, they do not need to complete this again.

Resources

Training record sheet (Microsoft Word) – to capture the details of staff that have completed required training

Training record sheet (PDF)

b) Risk review

The contractor must have available, at premises level, a new risk review to include management to minimise the risk of transmission for COVID-19 as a new risk as part of the review. Contractors must record demonstrable risk minimisation actions that have been undertaken to mitigate this risk. These actions may include recommendations and best practice from the latest Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guidance to protect staff, patients and members of the public in the pharmacy.

All registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy must have satisfactorily completed the CPPE sepsis online training and passed the e-assessment.

If pharmacy professionals have previously completed the online training and successfully passed the e-assessment, they do not need to complete this again.

AND

For contractors who DID declare as having met the Risk management domain for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2020/21 (Part 2):

On the day of the declaration, the contractor must have available, at premises level, an update of the previous risk review undertaken as part of the PQS 2020/21 (that is, updated since PQS 2020/21 Part 2). This update must include a recorded reflection on the identified risks and the risk minimisation actions that the pharmacy team has been taking and any subsequent actions identified must be demonstrably completed as a result of this reflection.

OR

For contractors who DID NOT declare as having met the Risk management domain for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2020/21 (Part 2):

On the day of the declaration, the contractor must have available, at premises level, a new risk review for:

  • The risk of missing red flag symptoms during over the counter (OTC) consultations; and
  • The risk of missing sepsis identification.

Resources

Training record sheet (Microsoft Word) – to capture the details of staff that have completed required training

Training record sheet (PDF)

Risk review templates 2021/22 (Microsoft Word)

Risk review templates 2021/22 (PDF)

Declaration requirements

When making a declaration for this criterion, the following information must be reported on the MYS application:

For all contractors:

  • the total number of registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy who have satisfactorily completed the CPPE risk management training and passed the associated e-assessment.
  • a declaration that the pharmacy has available, at premises level, a new risk review undertaken as part of the PQS 2021/22 which includes:
    • minimising the risk of transmission for COVID-19;
    • the risk minimisation actions that the pharmacy team has been taking; and
    • any subsequent actions identified and demonstrably completed as a result of this reflection.
  • the total number of registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy who have completed the CPPE sepsis online training and passed the associated e-assessment.

AND

For contractors who DID declare as having met the Risk management domain for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2020/21 (Part 2): 

  • the pharmacy has available, on the day of the declaration at premises level, an update of the previous risk review undertaken as part of the PQS 2020/21 which includes the risk minimisation actions that the pharmacy team has been taking; and any subsequent actions identified and demonstrably completed as a result of these reflections for:
    • the risk of missing red flag symptoms during OTC consultations; and
    • the risk of missing sepsis identification.

OR

For contractors who DID NOT declare as having met the Risk management domain for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2020/21 (Part 2): 

  • a declaration that the pharmacy has available, on the day of the declaration at premises level, a new risk review undertaken as part of the PQS 2021/22 which includes the risk minimisation actions that the pharmacy team has been taking; and any subsequent actions identified and demonstrably completed as a result of these reflections for:
    • the risk of missing red flag symptoms during OTC consultations; and
    • the risk of missing sepsis identification.

Contractors who meet the Gateway criteria will only receive a payment if they meet the requirements of one or more of the domains listed below.

Medicines safety and optimisation domain

High risk medicines – anticoagulation audit

The audit aims to minimise preventable harm from the high-risk medicines – oral anticoagulants, including direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs).

On the day of the declaration, contractors must have implemented, into their day-to-day practice, the findings and recommendations from the 2017 Specialist Pharmacy Service clinical audit on anticoagulants, which are included in the revised audit of anticoagulants.

The pharmacy must then complete the revised audit within the NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) PQS guidance (this is due to be published at the end of August 2021) including notifying the patient’s GP where concerns are identified, sharing their anonymised data with NHSE&I, and incorporating any learning from the audit into future practice.

The audit must be carried out over two weeks with a minimum of 15 patients or four weeks if 15 patients are not achieved within two weeks, and there must be a follow up of any patient that is referred to their prescriber to identify what actions were taken. Contractors must have completed the anticoagulant audit by the day of their declaration.

Declaration requirements

The information that needs to be submitted to NHSE&I is included in the audit document and must be reported on the MYS application.

Respiratory domain

This domain contains THREE separate criteria:

1. Personalised asthma action plans and promoting spacer device use in children prescribed pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDIs)

On the day of the declaration, the pharmacy contractor must have evidence that they have ensured that:

  • all children aged 5 to 15 dispensed inhaled press and breathe pMDI for asthma have a spacer device, where appropriate, in line with NICE TA38; and
  • all patients, 5 years and above with asthma have a personalised asthma action plan.

The pharmacy contractor must be able to show that pharmacy staff have referred patients with asthma to an appropriate healthcare professional where this is not the case.

Resources

PSNC Briefing 039/21: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Asthma referrals
This PSNC Briefing provides contractors with guidance on meeting the Personalised asthma action plans and promoting spacer device use in children prescribed pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) criterion.

The above Briefing also contains three annexes which are available below as seperate documents:

The above template data collection form is specifically for the asthma referrals quality criterion. PSNC has also produced a template data collection form which can be used to collect the required data for the different criteria in the Respiratory domain and the weight management quality criterion (part of the Healthy living support domain) – please see below. Contractors can choose to use either for this quality criterion.

Data collection form (Microsoft Word) – can be used to collect the required data for the different criteria in the Respiratory domain and the Weight management quality criterion (part of the Healthy living support domain)

Data collection form (PDF)

PharmOutcomes support

Contractors will be able to access support on PharmOutcomes for this quality criterion shortly. This support will be available to all contractors as PSNC has agreed to use their licence to provide access to the asthma referrals service on PharmOutcomes.

The PharmOutcomes tool will allow contractors to record patient details who have consented to be referred to their GP practice. When this data is saved on PharmOutcomes, a referral will automatically be sent to the patient’s GP practice (if an NHSmail email address is held for that GP practice on PharmOutcomes).

Further details will be published through our normal communication channels when this is available

Declaration requirements

When making a declaration for this criterion, the following information must be reported on the MYS application:

  • the total number of children aged 5 to 15 that they have referred for a spacer device, where appropriate, in line with NICE TA38; and
  • the total number of patients 5 years and above with asthma that they have referred to have a personalised asthma action plan.

2. Inhaler technique checks for patients prescribed a new inhaler with asthma or COPD during the COVID-19 pandemic

On the day of the declaration, the pharmacy contractor must be able to evidence that pharmacy staff have identified patients with asthma or COPD, who were prescribed a new inhaler (i.e. for the first time or changed to a new inhaler device) between 1st April 2020 to 31st August 2021 but did not have their inhaler technique checked due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have since been offered an inhaler technique check as part of the catch-up NMS arrangements.

All pharmacists working at the pharmacy, who are providing inhaler technique checks, as part of the catch-up NMS arrangements, must have satisfactorily completed the CPPE inhaler technique for health professionals: getting it right e-learning or attended a CPPE face-to-face or online inhaler technique workshop and passed the e-assessment (the e-assessment must be completed if you have completed the e-learning or attended the face-to-face/online workshop) before providing inhaler technique checks. Please note, pharmacists must complete the current version of the Inhaler technique for health professionals e-assessment, which was updated on 15th April 2020. The previous version of the CPPE e-assessment, Inhaler technique, does not meet the requirements.

Where appropriate, pharmacists can conduct remote inhaler technique checks, as part of the catch-up NMS arrangements, as described in the following paper: Taskforce for Lung Health position paper on optimising inhaler technique remotely.

Resources

Data collection form (Microsoft Word) – can be used to collect the required data for the different criteria in the Respiratory domain and the Weight management quality criterion (part of the Healthy living support domain)

Data collection form (PDF)

Declaration requirements

When making a declaration for this criterion, the following information must be reported on the MYS application:

  • the total number of pharmacists working at the pharmacy who have satisfactorily completed the CPPE inhaler technique for health professionals: getting it right training and passed the e-assessment;
  • the total number of pharmacists working at the pharmacy who have attended a CPPE face-to-face/online inhaler technique workshop and passed the e-assessment;
  • the total number of patients identified as having been prescribed an inhaler for the first time or changed to a new inhaler device between 1st April 2020 and 31st August 2021 who were asked if they have had an inhaler technique check during that time;
  • the total number of patients who answered no to the previous question and were offered a catch-up NMS, including an inhaler technique check;
  • the total number of patients who were subsequently provided with a face-to-face catch-up NMS, including an inhaler technique check;
  • the total number of patients who were subsequently provided with a remote catch-up NMS, including an inhaler technique check; and
  • the total number of patients who were referred to their prescriber due to issues identified during a catch-up NMS.

3. Return of unwanted and used inhalers criterion

On the day of the declaration, all patient-facing pharmacy staff working at the pharmacy have been trained on the reasons why used, unwanted and expired inhalers should be returned to the pharmacy for safe disposal and the adverse effects on the environment when inhalers are disposed of in domestic waste.

On the day of the declaration, the pharmacy must be able to evidence that they have spoken (a verbal conversation rather than written communication) with all patients, their carer or representatives, for whom they have dispensed an inhaler between 1st September 2021 to 31st January 2022, about the environmental benefits of them returning all unwanted and used inhaler devices to a community pharmacy for safe and environmentally friendly disposal. Discussions can be supplemented with other communication methods such as leaflets, emails and texts.

Resources

PSNC Briefing 024/21 Reducing the climate change impact of inhalers: environmentally safe disposal – can be used as a training resource to meet the requirement for all patient-facing pharmacy staff to have been trained on the reasons why used, unwanted and expired inhalers should be returned to the pharmacy for safe disposal and the adverse effects on the environment when inhalers are disposed of in domestic waste

Patient briefing aid on inhaler disposal – this resource can be used when speaking with patients, their carer or representatives, who have been dispensed an inhaler, about returning all unwanted and used inhaler devices to a pharmacy for safe and environmentally friendly disposal

Data collection form (Microsoft Word) – can be used to collect the required data for the different criteria in the Respiratory domain and the Weight management quality criterion (part of the Healthy living support domain)

Data collection form (PDF)

Declaration requirements

When making a declaration for this criterion, the following information must be reported on the MYS application:

  • the total number of patient-facing pharmacy staff working at the pharmacy who have been trained on the reasons why used, unwanted and expired inhalers should be returned to the pharmacy for safe disposal and the adverse effects on the environment when inhalers are disposed of in domestic waste; and
  • the total number of conversations had with patients and/or their carer or representatives on the safe and environmentally friendly disposal of their inhaler.

Digital domain

Remote consultation skills

On the day of the declaration, all registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy have satisfactorily completed the CPPE remote consultation skills e-learning (please note there is no e-assessment for this e-learning). The contractor must, where relevant and not already undertaken, update their standard operating procedures (SOPs) in relation to the provision of remote consultations.

If pharmacy professionals have previously completed the e-learning, they do not need to complete this again.

Resources

Training record sheet (Microsoft Word) – to capture the details of staff that have completed required training

Training record sheet (PDF)

Declaration data

When making a declaration for this criterion, the following information must be reported on the MYS application:

Primary Care Networks domain

Influenza vaccination programme

The contractor must have engaged with the Pharmacy Primary Care Network Lead (Pharmacy PCN Lead) to communicate that they would like to be involved in increasing the uptake of flu vaccination to patients aged 65 and over for the 2021/22 influenza season. All communications between the contractor and Pharmacy PCN Leads must be completed by 31st December 2021.

To increase the uptake of flu vaccination to patients aged 65 and over and to drive quality improvement in service delivery, the Pharmacy PCN Lead must:

  • engage with all the community pharmacies in the PCN that wish to be involved, to agree how they will collaborate with each other and discuss how they could collaborate with general practice colleagues; and
  • engage with the PCN Clinical Director to agree how community pharmacies in the PCN will collaborate with general practices.

On the day of the declaration, the pharmacy contractor must have demonstrably contributed to the PCN achieving 80.1% or above for flu vaccination to patients aged 65 and over. This can be evidenced by the number of vaccines they have administered to all eligible patients (not just those aged 65 and over) between 1st September 2021 and 31st January 2022, under the community pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination advanced service, with this number being 30 or greater.

Points will be allocated in accordance with a sliding linear scale starting from 80.1% up to a maximum allocation of points on achievement of 86% or above for the 6 bands. For more detail, please see the table below:

Primary Care Network prevention domain – point allocation to bands 1 to 6 depending on the sliding scale for increase in the uptake of flu vaccination to patients aged 65 and over.

Band 1 Band 2 Band 3 Band 4 Band 5 Band 6
Point per 0.1 percentage point increase between 80.1% and 86%

0.0083

 

0.1111 0.1389 0.1667 0.1944 0.2222

Data on the percentage of target population vaccinated by the PCN will not be available until after the day of the declaration. Therefore, contractors who wish to claim for this domain must declare on the day of the declaration that they have demonstrably contributed to the PCN delivery of flu vaccinations to the target population, as stated above. Based on this declaration, contractors will be allocated the maximum number of points available for a pharmacy in their band for this domain. There will be a reconciliation of the payment made to contractors for this domain on the payment date for the PQS 2022/23 PQS aspiration payment when final data on the increase to the uptake of flu vaccination to patients aged 65 and over will be available. Pharmacy contractors should be aware that if their PCN wishes to challenge the data underpinning the point allocation, they will be able to do so. However, this will delay the reconciliation payment.

Resources

Resources to support contractors, Pharmacy PCN Leads and LPCs can be found on our PCN guidance and resources page.

Resources and further on the community pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination advanced service can be found on our Flu Vaccination Service page.

Declaration information

When making a declaration for this criterion, the following must be submitted on the MYS application by the non-Pharmacy PCN Lead contractor:

  • a declaration that the contractor has engaged with the Pharmacy PCN* Lead and agreed to be involved in increasing the uptake of flu vaccinations to patients aged 65 and over by the provision of flu vaccinations;
  • the total number of eligible patients vaccinated by the contractor under the community pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination advanced service between 1st September 2021 and 31st January 2022;
  • the name of the PCN* to which they have aligned;
  • the name of the appointed Pharmacy PCN* Lead for the PCN*; and
  • the pharmacy name and ODS code for the Pharmacy PCN* lead.

When making a declaration for this criterion, the following must be submitted on the MYS application by the contractor where the Pharmacy PCN** Lead is based:

  • a declaration that the Pharmacy PCN*** lead has engaged with the PCN Clinical Director to agree how community pharmacies in the PCN* will collaborate with general practices to increase the uptake of flu vaccinations to patients aged 65 and over;
  • the total number of eligible patients vaccinated by the contractor under the community pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination advanced service between 1st September 2021 and 31st January 2022;
  • the ODS codes of the pharmacies who have engaged in the process for increasing the uptake of flu vaccination to patients aged 65 and over;
  • a declaration that they are the appointed Pharmacy Lead for that PCN***;
  • the name of the PCN*; and
  • a declaration that the Pharmacy PCN*** lead has notified the Local Pharmaceutical Committee in which the PCN* lies that they are the appointed Pharmacy Lead for the named PCN*.

* Where a PCN has disbanded and the pharmacy is no longer able to realign with another PCN, the pharmacy should collaboratively work with the other pharmacies in the disbanded PCN area as agreed with the NHS England and NHS Improvement regional team for that area. In order to receive payment for this domain these arrangements must be agreed in advance of the declaration with the regional team in conjunction with the Local Pharmaceutical Committee.

** Where a PCN Lead does not provide a flu vaccination service themselves they will only be entitled to claim for this domain the points related to the PCN leadership (i.e. 10 points for each band); and they will not be entitled to claim for contributing to the increase in uptake of flu vaccinations. For example, a band 4 PCN Lead, who does not provide the flu vaccination service, will only receive 10 points related to the PCN leadership and they will not be entitled to the max 10 points for contributing to the increase in uptake of flu vaccinations.

*** For pharmacies in a disbanded PCN area this will be the pharmacy lead for the area, agreed with the NHS England and NHS Improvement contract manager for that area.

Prevention domain

Infection prevention and control and review of antimicrobial stewardship practice using the target antibiotic checklist

On the day of the declaration (applies to ALL contractors):

Contractors must have reviewed their current practice using the target antibiotic checklist, in order to provide tailored advice to patients and promote antibiotic awareness and stewardship.

This review must be completed by the date of declaration and must be carried out over four weeks with a minimum of 25 patients; or up to eight weeks if the minimum number of patients are not achieved within four weeks. Contractors should make a record of the start and end date of the review as they will be required to enter this information into the MYS application when they make their declaration. There must be a follow up of any patient where the prescriber was contacted to identify what actions were taken.

Using the target antibiotic checklist, appropriately trained staff must discuss the antibiotic prescribed with the patient or representative to help ensure safe and effective use. Attempts should be made for this discussion to occur with all patients to promote antimicrobial stewardship. It may be appropriate to speak to an identified patient representative, family member or member of care staff.

If there is a potential risk of antibiotic related adverse effects (for example, change in allergy status) or concerns about the patient’s therapy, the prescriber must be contacted to suggest a review is undertaken and the details of this intervention recorded in the pharmacy PMR. The pharmacy team should support the patient to reduce the risk of adverse effects arising from ongoing antibiotic therapy and optimise outcomes through education and advice as well as adopting principles of shared decision-making.

The data from the checklists must be submitted via the Public Health England (PHE) portal application.

No patient identifiable data should be entered into the PHE portal application.

AND

For contractors who DID declare as having met the Infection prevention & control and antimicrobial stewardship domain for the PQS 2020/21 Part 2:

On the day of the declaration, contractors must have reviewed and updated their existing antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) action plan and have implemented changes to further promote AMS in their day-to-day practice.

OR

For contractors who DID NOT declare as having met the Infection prevention & control and antimicrobial stewardship domain for the PQS 2020/21 Part 2:

On the day of the declaration, all non-registered pharmacy staff working at the pharmacy must have satisfactorily completed the HEE Infection prevention and control Level 1 e-learning and assessment on the Health Education England (HEE) e-Learning for Healthcare website.

All registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy must have satisfactorily completed the HEE Infection Prevention and Control Level 2 e-learning and assessment on the HEE e-Learning for Healthcare website.

All patient-facing pharmacy staff working at the pharmacy that provide advice on medicines or healthcare must have satisfactorily completed the PHE Antimicrobial Stewardship for Community Pharmacy e-learning and e-assessment.

Contractors must have available, at premises level, an AMS action plan for the pharmacy, which details how they will promote AMS. The action plan must include details of how all pharmacy staff involved in the provision of self-care advice will incorporate the principles of AMS into self-care advice, including reinforcing the messages around appropriate use of antibiotics, and the uptake of vaccinations, including the flu vaccine. There must be documented evidence, at the pharmacy, that the actions within the plan have been implemented by the day of the declaration.

All patient-facing pharmacy staff working at the pharmacy that provide health advice, should have become Antibiotic Guardians, if they have not already done so, and have an awareness of the local antibiotic formulary.

Resources

Training record sheet (Microsoft Word) – to capture the details of staff that have completed required training

Training record sheet (PDF)

Action plan template (Microsoft Word) – to support the creation of any action plans required to meet the requirements of any PQS criteria

Action plan template (PDF)

Declaration data

When making a declaration for this criterion, the following must be confirmed on the MYS application:

 All contractors

  • a declaration that the contractor has completed the target antibiotic checklist review;
  • a declaration that the contractor has notified the patient’s GP where concerns are identified; and
  • a declaration that the contractor has shared their anonymised checklist data with PHE.

AND

 For contractors who DID declare as having met the Infection prevention & control and antimicrobial stewardship domain for the 2020/21 PQS Part 2:

  • a declaration the contractor has reviewed and updated their existing AMS action plan at premises level and has implemented changes to further promote AMS in their day-to-day practice.

OR

For contractors who DID NOT declare as having met the Infection prevention & control and antimicrobial stewardship domain for the 2020/21 PQS Part 2:

Addressing unwarranted variation in care domain

Health inequalities

On the day of declaration, all registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy have satisfactorily completed the CPPE health inequalities e-learning and passed the e-assessment.

On the day of declaration, contractors have completed an action plan to actively promote COVID-19 vaccinations, particularly in Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and low uptake communities, incorporating myth busting methods as part of their efforts to tackle lower levels of COVID-19 vaccination uptake and to support these patients.

Resources

Training record sheet (Microsoft Word) – to capture the details of staff that have completed required training

Training record sheet (PDF)

Action plan template (Microsoft Word) – to support the creation of any action plans required to meet the requirements of any PQS criteria

Action plan template (PDF)

Declaration data

When making a declaration for this criterion, the following information must be reported on the MYS application:

  • the total number of registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy who have satisfactorily completed the CPPE health inequalities e-learning and passed the e-assessment; and
  • a declaration that the contractor has available, at premises level, an action plan as to how the pharmacy team will promote COVID-19 vaccinations, particularly in BAME and low uptake communities, incorporating myth busting methods as part of efforts to tackle lower levels of COVID-19 vaccination uptake and to support these patients.

Healthy living support domain

This domain builds on one of the requirements within the previous scheme, with a focus on supporting people to consider their weight.

Weight management

On the day of the declaration, all non-registered patient facing pharmacy staff who provide health advice must have completed the PHE All Our Health bitesize training and assessments on Adult Obesity and Childhood Obesity to gain a broader understanding of the causes and effects of obesity.

If non-registered patient facing pharmacy staff who provide health advice have previously completed the training and assessments, they do not need to complete this again.

On the day of the declaration, all registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy must have satisfactorily completed section one and three of the CPPE weight management for adults: understanding the management of obesity e-learning and e-assessment.

If pharmacy professionals have previously completed the e-learning and successfully passed the e-assessment, they do not need to complete this again.

Pharmacy teams are also required to complete a weight management action plan of how they would assist a person who would like support with their weight. The weight management action plan should include, but should not be limited to, a list of local and national support or exercise groups (contractors should note that exercise groups should not be recommended on their own but in conjunction with other support groups because exercise on its own has been shown not to lead to weight loss) that the person could be referred to (as appropriate) and support materials/tools they could use, for example, NHS materials such as Better Health, Let’s do this (contractors should note that “Let’s do this” should not be recommended on its own but in conjunction with other support because exercise on its own has been shown not to lead to weight loss) and the NHS website. It should also include details of how to refer people to the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme for those with hypertension and/or diabetes or available Local Authority funded tier 2 weight management services (where the individuals meet the criteria for referral).

For contractors who claimed for the Prevention domain in the 2020/21 PQS Part 2, an update to their previous action plan will be required to be documented. In addition, the pharmacy team’s knowledge and understanding of weight management and how to identify and engage suitable patients must be reviewed. Methods used to identify patients for referral must be reviewed for effectiveness.

Pharmacy teams must proactively discuss weight management with a minimum of 25 patients.

Pharmacy teams are encouraged to review the PHE Let’s Talk About Weight infographic and the PHE Let’s talk about weight: a step-by-step guide to brief interventions with adults for health and care professionals guidance for support with initiating and managing conversations with people about weight management.

A competent individual within the pharmacy (for example, a registered pharmacy professional or nominated team member) must be able to offer to measure a patient’s Body Mass Index (BMI), using an appropriate BMI calculator such as, the NHS healthy weight calculator and measure waist circumference. This should include explaining the purpose of measuring BMI and waist circumference. Pharmacies must weigh people, calculate their BMI, measure their waist circumference and support those who wish to lose weight through advice and referral to Local Authority funded tier 2 weight management services or the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme (where the individuals meet the criteria for referral).

To gain the maximum number of points for this criterion (e.g. 20 points for band 4), the pharmacy must have completed the above quality criteria and referred at least one patient (who meets the criteria for referral) to either a Local Authority funded tier 2 weight management services or the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme (further details on this programme will be made available in September 2021). The number of points attributed to the referral and the intervention aspect of this domain is outlined in the table below for each of the bands:

Band 1 Band 2 Band 3 Band 4 Band 5 Band 6
Intervention  0.75 10.00 12.50 15.00 17.50 20.00
Referral 0.25 3.33 4.17 5.00 5.83 6.67

If contractors are unable to identify a patient who meets the criteria and agrees to be referred to either a Local Authority funded tier 2 weight management service or the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme, they are still able to claim for the Intervention stage (e.g., 15 points for band 4).

Pharmacies are expected to have access to equipment to accurately measure height, weight and waist circumference.

Resources

Training record sheet (Microsoft Word) – to capture the details of staff that have completed required training

Training record sheet (PDF)

Action plan template (Microsoft Word) – to support the creation of any action plans required to meet the requirements of any PQS criteria

Action plan template (PDF)

Data collection form (Microsoft Word) – the data collection form can be used to record the information requred for this criterion as well as being used to collect data for the other quality criteria

Data collection form (PDF)

Resources on the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme and information on how to make referrals will be available in September 2021.

Declaration requirements

When making a declaration for this criterion, the following information must be reported on the MYS application:

  • the total number of non-registered patient facing pharmacy staff who provide health advice working at the pharmacy who have completed the PHE All Our Health bitesize training and assessments on Adult Obesity and Childhood Obesity;
  • the total number of registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy who have satisfactorily completed section one and three of the CPPE weight management for adults: understanding the management of obesity e-learning and e-assessment;
  • a declaration that the contractor has available, at premises level, a new or updated weight management action plan on how they would assist a person who would like support with their weight, with demonstrable evidence of completion;
  • the total number of patients who had their BMI calculated and waist circumference measured, including explanation of the definition of BMI and the potential health impact of each;
  • the total number of patients referred to Local Authority funded tier 2 weight management services; and
  • the total number of patients referred to the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme for those with hypertension and/or diabetes.

Funding for the scheme

As with previous schemes, £75m funding is available and contractors will be able to claim an Aspiration payment if they wish to, later this year; please see below.

Points allocation

Each domain has a designated maximum number of points dependent on the participating contractor’s total prescription volume in 2020/21*/**/*** according to the NHSBSA’s payment data as shown in the table below. The maximum number of points that a pharmacy can qualify for is dependent on:

  • their total prescription volume in 2020/21*/**/***; and
  • whether they are a PCN lead or non-PCN lead.

* Contractors, who opened part way through 2020/21, will have their total prescription volume determined as the average number of prescriptions dispensed per month during the months, they were open in 2020/21 multiplied by 12. Please note that change in ownership for the purpose of the PQS banding only is not treated as a new contractor.

** Contractors, who opened after 31st March 2021, will be placed in band 2 for PQS 2021/22. Please note that change in ownership for the purpose of the PQS banding only is not treated as a new contractor.

*** Contractors, who are eligible for the 2021/22 Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS), are automatically placed in band 4 if according to their prescription volume they would have been in band 1 to 3. Note that PhAS pharmacies which are in band 5 and 6 according to their prescription volume will be paid according to these bands.

In the event that the value of a point will be £135.50, the number of any unused points for the Pharmacy PCN Lead payment (i.e. 10 points per unclaimed Pharmacy PCN Lead) will be equally distributed amongst all pharmacy contractors who are eligible for the PQS payment. This will be achieved through an additional uplift to the value per point.

Maximum number of points per domain

Band Band 1 Band 2 Band 3 Band 4 Band 5 Band 6
Annual Items 0-1,200 1,201-30,000 30,001-60,000 60,001-150,000 150,001-230,000 230,001+

Medicines safety & optimisation

 

0.50 6.67 8.33 10.00 11.67 13.33
Respiratory 1.25 16.67 20.83 25.00 29.17 33.33
Digital 0.25 3.33 4.17 5.00 5.83 6.67
Primary Care Network 0.50 6.67 8.33 10.00 11.67 13.33
Primary Care Network – PCN Lead 10.50 16.67 18.33 20.00 21.67 23.33
Prevention 0.75 10.00 12.50 15.00 17.50 20.00
Addressing unwarranted variation in care 0.75 10.00 12.50 15.00 17.50 20.00
Healthy living support 1.00 13.33 16.67 20.00 23.33 26.67
Total (non PCN lead) 5.00 66.67 83.33 100.00 116.67 133.33
Total (PCN lead) 15.00 76.67 93.33 110.00 126.67 143.33



The total funding for PQS 2021/22 is £75 million. The funding will be divided between qualifying pharmacies based on the number of points they have achieved up to a maximum £135.50 per point. Each point will have a minimum value of £67.75, based on all pharmacy contractors achieving maximum points. Payments will be made to eligible contractors depending on the band they are placed in, how many domains they have declared they are meeting, and hence points claimed. Contractors who participated in the Primary Care Network domain must claim the maximum number of points for this domain (note – the maximum number of points is dependent on the band the contractor is in) in the declaration period.

Examples of how the funding will work can be found in Part VIIA of the September 2021 Drug Tariff.

Aspiration payment

Contractors will be able to claim an Aspiration payment for the scheme, in advance of their full declaration.

The Aspiration payment is optional for pharmacy contractors and not claiming it will not impact on the pharmacy contractor’s ability to claim payment for PQS 2021/22.

Pharmacy contractors will need to make a declaration to the NHSBSA using MYS and indicate which domains they intend to achieve before the end of the declaration period.  The Aspiration payment must be claimed between 9am on 4th October 2021 and 11.59pm on 29th October 2021.

The maximum number of points for which a pharmacy contractor can be paid an aspiration payment is 70% of the number of points within the band in which they are placed (note that the maximum number of points is different for PCN leads and non PCN leads). The value of each point for the aspiration payment is set at £67.75 (i.e. the minimum value of a point for PQS 2021/22).

The Aspiration payment will be initially reconciled with payment for the PQS 2021/22 on 1st April 2022. A further reconciliation will take place in early 2022/23 when final data on the increase to the uptake of flu vaccination to patients aged 65 and over in each PCN (PCN domain) will become available.

Where there is a change of ownership during the course of 2021/22 which results in a new ODS code for the contractor, and the previous contractor received an Aspiration payment and does not make a declaration between 9am on 31st January 2022 and 11.59pm on 25th February 2022, this Aspiration payment will be recovered from the previous contractor. A new contractor cannot rely upon the PQS activities conducted by a previous contractor for PQS payment where a change of ownership has resulted in a new ODS code being issued for the contractor.

Examples of how the Aspiration payment funding will work can be found in Part VIIA in the September 2021 Drug Tariff.

The PQS declaration (making a claim)

Contractors must claim payment for the PQS 2021/22 during the declaration period which is between 31st January 2022 (opens at 9am) and 25th February 2022 (closes at 11:59pm). Contractors must have evidence to demonstrate meeting the gateway criteria and the domains on the day that they make their declaration.

Contractors will need to make a declaration to the NHSBSA using the MYS application.

PQS on-demand webinar

PSNC’s webinar on the 2021/22 PQS is now available to watch on-demand.

Feedback on the PQS webinar

“A great intro to this year’s PQS as all the paperwork can be daunting.”

“I have confidence now in what our pharmacy needs to do and the information on the PSNC website will be very helpful going forward.”

“Really useful to have the opportunity to have questions answered by someone with such great knowledge to get a concrete answer.”

More than 800 people registered for the event held on Tuesday 14th September 2021, which was held to support community pharmacy contractors to take part in this year’s scheme. 96% of attendees found it useful, with 88% saying they would recommend it to others.

During the webinar, viewers were guided through the new gateway criteria and domain requirements for the 2021/22 PQS. PSNC Head of Service Development, Rosie Taylor, described the differences from previous schemes, outlined the guidance and resources developed by PSNC, and indicated where to find further information and support.

Click here to view an on-demand version of the webinar*

You can also view the slide pack used:

PSNC PQS webinar 2021/22 slide deck (PDF)

PSNC PQS webinar 2021/22 slide deck (PowerPoint)

*Please note, to watch the recording you will need to register (or input the email address you registered with previously).

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) are available on our PQS FAQs page.



Latest Services and Commissioning news

View more Services and Commissioning news >