Pharmacy Quality Scheme – FAQs

Pharmacy Quality Scheme – FAQs

This page contains Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS)

This page was last updated on 7th November 2019.


Click on a heading below for more information.

Background and general

Q. Do I have to engage with the PQS?
A.
No. The scheme is voluntary – contractors do not need to engage with it – but PSNC recommends that all contractors should seek to meet as many of the quality criteria as possible (as well as meeting the four gateway criteria). Contractors that successfully meet the requirements will receive a payment which will be funded from a £75 million budget.

Q. Which pharmacies are eligible to take part in the PQS?
A.
All pharmacies on the pharmaceutical list in England (i.e. excluding Local Pharmaceutical Services (LPS) contracts) are eligible to take part in the PQS, including pharmacies that are part of the Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) and distance selling pharmacies.

Q. Are distance selling pharmacies eligible to take part in the PQS?
A. Yes.

Q. Are pharmacies that qualify for the Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) eligible to take part in the PQS?
A. Yes.

Q. I am in the process of buying a pharmacy; who is responsible for completing the declaration on the NHSBSA website?
A. When a pharmacy has changed ownership during the data submission period, the contract holder on the day of the review is responsible for completing the declaration.

Q. Are pharmacies that hold local pharmaceutical services (LPS) contracts with NHS England and NHS Improvement eligible to take part in the PQS?
A. No. Pharmacies that hold LPS contracts with NHS England and NHS Improvement are not eligible to take part in the PQS. However, where LPS contracts mirror the contractual arrangements of those of the national contractual framework, NHS England and NHS Improvement may make local payments that are equivalent to the PQS. These payments would also need to be claimed via the NHSBSA PQS payments declaration. LPS contractors who are unsure if they would be eligible for such a local payment should contact their local NHS England and NHS Improvement team for advice.

Q. Where can I find the templates to enable me to complete the audits and risk assessment?
A.
The templates can be found in the Pharmacy Quality Scheme Guidance 2019/20: Annexes on the NHSE&I website.

Manage Your Service (MYS) application

FAQs on the Manage Your Service (MYS) application can be found on the MYS page.

Aspiration payment

Q. I have recently bought a pharmacy; am I eligible to claim an Aspiration payment?
A. To be eligible to claim an Aspiration payment, contractors must have claimed at one or one both review points (claimed in June 2018 and February 2019) under the same ODS (F) code. Therefore if the pharmacy has changed its F code since a claim was made, they would not be eligible for an Aspiration payment

Q. How do I claim the Aspiration payment?
A.
Contractors can claim for an Aspiration payment on the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) Manage Your Service (MYS) application between 9am on 30th September 2019 and 11.59pm on 1st November 2019.

Contractors are only eligible for an Aspiration payment if they made a declaration at either or both 2018/19 Quality Payments Schemes (June 2018 and/or February 2019) and it can only be paid under the same ODS code as that used in 2018/19. The Aspiration payment is also optional; if contractors do not want to claim it, it will not impact on the contractor’s ability to claim a PQS payment in February 2020.

Contractors will need to decide which domains they intend to meet (when they make their declaration in February 2020) and declare this on the NHSBSA MYS application. The different domains and the quality criteria that contractors need to meet to be able to claim for each domain are listed in PSNC Briefing 041/19: The Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2019/20.

Q. Do I have to meet all four gateway criteria before I can make a claim for an Aspiration payment?
A.
No, contractors are not required to meet all four gateway criteria before they can make a claim for an Aspiration payment. However, contractors will need to meet all four gateway criteria on the day of their PQS declaration.

Q. What happens to any unclaimed money for Aspiration payments?
A.
Aspiration payments will be paid out of the £75 million funding assigned to the PQS. Therefore, there will not be any unclaimed money as the money left ‘in the pot’ after contractors have been paid their Aspiration payments, will be used to pay contractors their PQS payments.

General FAQs on the gateway criteria

Q. Will I get a PQS payment for passing the gateway criteria?
A. No. Passing the gateway criteria will not itself earn a payment for the contractor.

Q. Is publishing the Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire (CPPQ) on the NHS website still a requirement of the PQS?
A.
No, the CPPQ gateway criterion has been retired from the PQS. However, there is still a contractual requirement to complete the CPPQ each year and publish the results of the survey. Further information on the CPPQ requirements can be found at: psnc.org.uk/cppq

Q. The PQS wording for the gateway criteria and domains/quality criteria says ‘On the day of the declaration…’ Since there is now a PQS declaration period (9am on 3rd February 2020 to 11.59pm on 28th February 2020) do contractors need to meet the gateway and domains (that they intend to claim for) for the whole duration of the PQS declaration period or just on the day they make their declaration?
A.
Contractors need to meet the gateway criteria and domains (that they intend to claim for) on the day they make their PQS declaration (within the PQS declaration period). There is no requirement to meet the gateway and domains criteria for the duration of the PQS declaration period.

Provision of a specified Advanced service

Q. Do I need to make a declaration anywhere that we offer the Flu Vaccination Service and/or NMS?
A. If a contractor is offering the Flu Vaccination Service (from 1st September 2019) and/or NMS, they must ensure this is stated on their NHS website profile, in the ‘Services’ section. Please note, the Flu Vaccination Service should not be listed until the pharmacy starts offering the 2019/20 service.

NHSmail

Q. How do I apply for an NHSmail account?
A. 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?
A. 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?
A. 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?
A. 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?
A. 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?
A. Yes.

Q. Are pharmacy technicians allowed access to the premises-shared NHSmail account or is it only to be accessed by the pharmacist?
A. 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?
A. 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?
A. 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. 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. 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 ‘superuser’ 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?
A. No. A superuser 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?
A. No. However, you could share your NHSmail address with local GP practices and other local community pharmacies to support collaborative working and communications.

Q. Does everyone who has a personal NHSmail account linked to the shared premises specific NHSmail account also need to register for MYS to be eligible for PQS?
A. 
No. To meet the NHSmail gateway criterion, on the day of the declaration, the pharmacy staff at the pharmacy must be able to send and receive NHSmail from their shared premises specific NHSmail account, which must have at least two live linked accounts (personal NHSmail accounts).

Contractors can choose which members of staff, who have personal NHSmail accounts, can have access to the NHSBSA Manage Your Service (MYS) application, which will need to be used to claim the Aspiration payment (if the pharmacy is eligible for this) and to make a declaration for the PQS payment. There is not a minimum or maximum number of staff that must have access to MYS for the PQS.

Q. How many personal NHSmail accounts need to be linked to the shared premises specific NHSmail account to enable a contractor to register for MYS?
A. 
There is not a minimum or a maximum number of personal NHSmail accounts that need to be linked to the shared premises specific NHSmail account to register for MYS (however, to meet the NHSmail gateway criterion, there need to be two live linked accounts (personal NHSmail accounts)). The personal NHSmail accounts also, do not need to be linked to the shared premises specific account for the member of staff to have access to MYS.

The business owner, director or an individual previously verified via the NHSBSA Information Services Portal (ISP) registration process, can register pharmacies and authorise which individuals have access to MYS; however, all individuals need to have a personal NHSmail account to be able to be authorised to access MYS.

Q. I have checked the weekly dataset report on the NHSBSA website, and my pharmacy is showing as non-compliant with the NHSmail gateway criterion. Why is this?
A.
There may be three explanations for this:

 (1) The pharmacy does not have a shared premises specific NHSmail account;
 (2) The pharmacy does not have a shared premises specific NHSmail account within the pharmacy container. These accounts follow this naming convention: nhspharmacy.location.pharmacynameODScode@nhs.net; or
 (3) The shared premises specific NHSmail account does not have two live linked accounts (personal NHSmail accounts)*.

Further information on how to meet the NHSmail gateway criterion can be found in PSNC Briefing 049/19: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Meeting the NHSmail gateway criterion.

Please note, the weekly dataset report on the NHSBSA website is only updated once a week, so if you take action to meet the gateway criterion, this will not display immediately on the report.

*A ‘super user’ NHSmail account is not considered as an active linked personal NHSmail 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.

Q. My personal NHSmail account that is linked to the premises specific NHSmail account has been reactivated but my pharmacy is still showing on the NHSBSA weekly dataset report as not meeting the criterion. Why is this?
A.
The NHSBSA weekly dataset report is only updated once a week, therefore if a pharmacy took corrective action to meet the gateway criterion, this would not appear on the report immediately. Depending on which day the corrective action was taken, it may take one or two weeks for this to show on the NHSBSA weekly dataset report. For example, if the account was reset on a Tuesday, this would not appear in the portal until the following Sunday evening. The pharmacy would then show as meeting the gateway criterion on the NHSBSA website the following Friday.

Q. I have an NHSmail address but I am having problems registering for MYS; who can I contact for help?
A.
PSNC has a number of FAQs explaining the registration process, how to access MYS and how to deal with staff changes. These can be accessed at psnc.org.uk/mys

There is also information on the NHSBSA website registration page for MYS at nhsbsa.nhs.uk/mys

If contractors cannot find the answers to their query on either of these websites they should email the NHSBSA MYS team (nhsbsa.mys@nhs.net) who will be able to assist.

Q. Should a community pharmacy team member seek the creation of a new personal NHSmail account if the sole intention for the NHSmail account usage relates to MYS access?
A. 
Usually, it should not be necessary to create a new personal NHSmail account for the sole reason of accessing MYS. There is not a requirement to set-up a new NHSmail personal accounts so that MYS can be accessed (see other FAQs).

NHSmail is intended for wider usage beyond solely MYS , for example, for receipt of important messages, or communication of patient details, where required.

Most community pharmacy contractors already have both:

  • a shared pharmacy premises mailbox (i.e. within the pharmacy container and therefore with the naming style location.pharmacynameODScode@nhs.net, and therefore other health and care workers can contact when they need); and
  • at least two pharmacy team members with their personal NHSmail accounts (naming style surname@psnc.org.uk) linked to the shared pharmacy mailbox.

The business owner, director or an individual previously verified via the NHSBSA Information Services Portal (ISP) registration proves, can authorise access for individuals for MYS using the individuals’ existing NHSmail accounts.

NHS website profile

Q. Once I have edited and/or verified my Bank Holiday opening hours on my NHS website profile, what happens if my opening hours for these Bank Holidays change afterwards?
A. NHS England and NHS Improvement’s local teams will use the Bank Holiday opening hours entered in each pharmacy’s profile to plan provision of services on those dates. If the pharmacy’s planned opening hours for these Bank Holidays change after the editing and/or validation of their NHS website profile, they should update the Bank Holiday opening hours within their NHS website profile and they should notify their local NHS England and NHS Improvement team.

Q. When I am adding my Bank Holiday dates to the NHS website, is it not possible to tick the Bank Holiday dates that I want to enter instead of manually having to enter each date?
A.
No, this is not possible now. However, NHS Digital is currently reviewing the pharmacy profiles so it may be possible in the future.

Q. The Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) is not listed In the NHS services section on the NHS website. If we intend to provide this service, do we need to go back into our NHS website profile once we have started providing this service and add that the pharmacy provides CPCS?
A.
No. CPCS must not be actively promoted directly to the public by either the contractor or the NHS to ensure that it is only used for cases which otherwise would have led to a referral to a less appropriate patient pathway and, in the case of medicines supply referrals, is not used as a replacement for the normal repeat prescription ordering and repeat dispensing processes. Therefore, CPCS will be listed as a service on profiles on the NHS website.

 

Safeguarding

Q. Who is a pharmacy professional?
A.
Pharmacy professionals are pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Q. Are part-time staff included in the gateway criterion ‘80% of all pharmacy professionals have achieved level 2 safeguarding status for children and vulnerable adults in the last two years’?
A. Yes. This gateway criterion applies to all pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy. The number of hours a member of staff is employed for is not relevant for this gateway criterion.

Q. The gateway criterion states that 80% of pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy have achieved level 2 safeguarding status for children and vulnerable adults in the last two years; does this include locums?
A. Yes. This includes locums, so contractors should encourage temporary staff, such as locum pharmacists, to undertake the training and assessment.

Q. Are pre-registration students covered by the description registered pharmacy professionals, in regards to the safeguarding gateway criterion?
A. No. It is, however, sensible for pre-registration students to undertake safeguarding training.

Q. Is it necessary to complete and pass the associated e-assessment for CPPE’s Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults programme to become Level 2 accredited through CPPE?
A. Completing and passing the e-assessment is the only way that CPPE can provide pharmacy professionals with evidence of completion of the Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults programme and therefore confirm that they are Level 2 accredited.

The CPPE system records access to the e-learning programme, not completion and even if it did record completion this would still not necessarily show that there had been any learning.

Therefore, it is recommended to complete and pass the e-assessment so pharmacy professionals have evidence to show they have achieved safeguarding children and vulnerable adults level 2.

General FAQs on the domains/quality criteria

Q. How will my PQS payment be affected if I have not achieved all of the quality criteria in a domain?
A.
If you have not achieved all the quality criteria in a domain, you will not be able to claim payment for that domain. For example, if you do not meet the five quality criteria in the Prevention domain, you will not be eligible to claim payment for that domain.

CPPE risk management

Q. Who is a pharmacy professional?
A. Pharmacy professionals are pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Q. The risk management quality criterion states that, 80% of all pharmacy professionals to have completed the CPPE Risk Management training and assessment; does this include locums?
A. Yes. This includes locums, so contractors should encourage temporary staff, such as locum pharmacists, to undertake the training and e-assessment.

Q. Are pre-registration students covered by the description ‘pharmacy professional’, in regards to the CPPE risk management training?
A. No. It is, however, sensible for pre-registration students to undertake risk management training.

Q. Are part-time staff included in the risk management quality criterion i.e. do part-time pharmacy professionals need to complete the CPPE risk management training and e-assessment?
A. Yes. This quality criterion applies to all pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy. The number of hours a member of staff is employed for is not relevant for this quality criterion.

CPPE sepsis

Q. Who is a pharmacy professional?
A. Pharmacy professionals are pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Q. The sepsis quality criterion states that 80% of all pharmacy professionals to complete CPPE sepsis online training and assessment; does this include locums?
A. Yes. This includes locums, so contractors should encourage temporary staff, such as locum pharmacists, to undertake the training and e-assessment.

Q. Are pre-registration students covered by the description ‘pharmacy professional’, in regards to the CPPE sepsis training?
A. No. It is, however, sensible for pre-registration students to undertake sepsis training.

Q. Are part-time staff included in the sepsis quality criterion i.e. do part-time pharmacy professionals need to complete the CPPE sepsis training and e-assessment?
A. Yes. This quality criterion applies to all pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy. The number of hours a member of staff is employed for is not relevant for this quality criterion.

Risk review

Q. Does the risk review need to be submitted to NHS England and NHS Improvement?
A. No. The risk review does not need to be submitted routinely to NHS England and NHS Improvement, but contractors should ensure that a copy of the report is kept in the pharmacy.

Q. Does the risk review need to be completed by the pharmacy team or can our head office team complete it?
A. The report needs to be completed by the pharmacy team at the pharmacy premises for a risk in that pharmacy; however, different strategies can be used to manage risk and the Superintendent Pharmacist may be involved in determining any organisational-level risk minimisation strategies.

Patient safety report

Q. Does completion of the patient safety report replace the need to report patient safety incidents to the National Reporting and Learning Service?
A. No. Reporting patient safety incidents to the National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS) is a contractual responsibility and pharmacy teams should continue to do this.

Q. Does the written patient safety report need to be submitted to NHS England and NHS Improvement?
A. No. The report does not need to be submitted routinely to NHS England and NHS Improvement, but contractors should ensure that a copy of the report is kept in the pharmacy.

Q. The quality payment criterion states that a ‘written’ safety report at premises level needs to be available for inspection; does this need to be handwritten or can it be computer-generated (typed)?
A. The report can be either handwritten or computer-generated (typed).

Lithium audit

Q. For the lithium audit quality criterion, if we haven’t dispensed any of the four medicines (lithium, methotrexate, amiodarone or phenobarbital) in the three months before we intend to start the audit, what happens if we wait until we get a prescription for one of these medicines and then there is not a three month consecutive period left to complete the audit?
A.
Contractors should not wait until they get a prescription for any of the four medicines before they start their audit. Contractors should follow the process as stated in section 4.2.2 ‘Audit process where no lithium, methotrexate, amiodarone or phenobarbital is dispensed’ in the NHSE&I PQS guidance, which states:

The contractor should decide when they will commence the consecutive three-month audit period. During this period, they should conduct the audit on the medicine they first dispense from the above list of four medicines. For example, if they commence their audit period on 1st October 2019 and the first prescription they receive out of lithium, methotrexate, amiodarone and phenobarbital is for amiodarone then they should conduct the amiodarone audit for the rest of their three-month audit period. In this example, if they subsequently receive a prescription for lithium or methotrexate; they should continue to complete the amiodarone audit and not change to lithium or methotrexate. This does not affect the advice any patient should receive in the normal course of dispensing medicines.

If during the pharmacy’s selected consecutive three-month audit period, no prescriptions are received for the four medicines, then the pharmacy will be required to declare this on the day of declaration including the start and end date for their three-month audit period.

The NHSBSA has individual dispensing item data for each pharmacy and NHS England and NHS Improvement may review this data as part of a post-payment verification process’.

Q. I have checked my PMR and I only have one ongoing patient that I have dispensed lithium for in the last three months. Can I still complete the lithium audit and meet the lithium quality criterion?
A.
Yes, if the pharmacy only has one ongoing patient for whom they have dispensed lithium for in the last three months, the pharmacy should complete the lithium audit in order to meet the lithium audit quality criterion.

Q. Where can I find the audit template to enable me to complete the lithium audit?
A.
The audit template for the lithium audit can be found in the Pharmacy Quality Scheme Guidance 2019/20: Annexes on the NHSE&I website.

Q. Can I pick the audit which I would prefer to complete (out of lithium, methotrexate, amiodarone or phenobarbital) to meet the quality criterion?
A.
No. Contractors must complete the appropriate audit, which is dependent on whether they have any ongoing patients who they have dispensed any of the four medicines for during the last three months, in the following order of preference: lithium; methotrexate; amiodarone; or phenobarbital. See PSNC Briefing 054/19 which guides contractors through the process of selecting the correct audit to complete to meet the quality criterion.

Q. How do I access the audits on PharmOutcomes?
A.
Once a contractor has logged into PharmOutcomes, the audits can be accessed by clicking on ‘Services’; and then the audits are listed under the title ‘Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Quality criteria’.

Valproate audit

Q. For the valproate audit quality criterion, what happens if we wait until we get a prescription for a child or woman of child-bearing potential and then there is not a three-month consecutive period left to complete the audit?
A. For the valproate audit, the contractor should decide when they will commence the consecutive three-month audit period and start it from that date (the NHSE&I guidance states ‘This audit is to be completed during a consecutive three-month period determined by the pharmacy’. The audit should not start when the pharmacy receives a prescription for valproate for a child or woman of childbearing potential.

If the pharmacy does not receive any prescriptions for valproate for girls or women of child-bearing potential, then they are still entitled to claim for the valproate audit quality criterion as long as they have conducted the audit. They will be required to declare this on the day of the declaration including the start and end date for their three-month audit period.

NHSBSA has individual dispensing item data for each pharmacy and is able to check patient-specific information on a prescription to indicate whether the prescription was for a child or woman of childbearing potential and NHSE&I may review this data as part of a post-payment verification process.

Q. What happens if I choose my consecutive three-month period to complete the valproate audit but then I do not have any prescriptions for children or women of childbearing potential on valproate. Can I still declare that I meet the quality criterion?
A.
Yes, If the pharmacy does not receive any prescriptions for valproate for girls or women of child-bearing potential, then they are still entitled to declare that they meet the valproate audit quality criterion as long as they have conducted the audit. They will be required to declare this on the day of the declaration including the start and end date for their three-month audit period.

NHSBSA has individual dispensing item data for each pharmacy and is able to check patient-specific information on a prescription to indicate whether the prescription was for a child or woman of childbearing potential and NHSE&I may review this data as part of a post-payment verification process.

Q. Where can I find the audit template to enable me to complete the valproate audit?
A.
The audit template for the valproate audit can be found in the Pharmacy Quality Scheme Guidance 2019/20: Annexes on the NHSE&I website.

Q. Where can I order packs of information (Patient Guides, Patient Cards, warning stickers, etc) to support patients of childbearing potential on valproate of the risks in pregnancy and the need to be enrolled in the Pregnancy Prevention Programme?
A.
Packs of information can be ordered from Sanofi’s medical information department on 0845 372 7101 or email UK-Medicalinformation@sanofi.com.

Q. How do I access the valproate audit on PharmOutcomes?
A. 
Once a contractor has logged into PharmOutcomes, the audit can be accessed by clicking on ‘Services’; and then the valproate audit is listed under the title ‘Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Quality criteria’.

NSAID audit

Q. Do we still have to do another clinical audit as part of our contractual requirement or can we use the PQS NSAID audit as the pharmacy chosen audit for 2019/20?
A. The NSAID audit conducted as part of the PQS cannot be used as the pharmacy chosen clinical audit, as contractors are separately funded for meeting this criterion under the PQS quality criterion.

Q. Am I required to search the PMR to identify suitable patients for the audit?
A. No. contractors are not required to identify patient retrospectively; the audit applies to suitable patients aged 65 years or over who present a prescription for any oral NSAID or COX2 inhibitor.

Q. Where can I find the audit template to enable me to complete the 2019/20 NSAID audit?
A.
The audit template for the 2019/20 NSAID audit is available on the Specialist Pharmacy Service website.

Q. When do I need to complete the NSAID audit?
A. Contractors can pick a two-week period before they make their PQS declaration to complete the audit; however, contractors are encouraged to not leave completion of the audit until February 2020 in case the data collection period needs to be extended to four weeks if contractors have difficulty finding ten patients to participate.

Q. Will both of the web-based systems calculate my audit results?
A. Yes. Both of the web-based systems will calculate a contractor’s results. If PharmOutcomes is used, contractors will be able to access the results in the ‘Reports’ section and can print this off as evidence of meeting the NSAID quality criterion. If MYS is used and the contractor enters an email address when submitting their results, the contractor will be emailed the results of their audit; this email should be retained as evidence of having met the NSAID quality criterion.

Contractors will, however, need to record how they have incorporated the learning of the audit into future practice elsewhere, as this information cannot be recorded on either of the web-based platforms.

Q. If I have not used PharmOutcomesbefore, how do I obtain log in details?
A. 
If a contractor has not used PharmOutcomes before, log in details can be obtained by sending a message to the PharmOutcomes helpdesk. Contractors will need to provide details of the pharmacy, contact information and an email address to issue the login details to.

Q. Where do I access the NSAID audit on PharmOutcomes?
A. When you log into PharmOutcomes select ‘Services’; you should see ‘NSAID GI Safety Audit 2019/20’ under the ‘Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Quality criteria’ heading.

If you have mislaid your PharmOutcomes login details, visit the Help page.

Healthy Living Pharmacy

Q. What are the criteria for becoming a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Level 1?
A. The Healthy Living Pharmacy: Level 1 quality criteria set out the criteria that pharmacies must achieve to gain HLP Level 1 status.

Q. How often (if at all) will the leadership and RSPH training need to be repeated?
A. There is no reference to the need for repeated training in the HLP quality requirements, so as long as a contractor has staff in post that have undertaken the relevant training, that will meet the requirements.

Q. The HLP quality criteria framework has a criterion which states that the pharmacy team actively works in collaboration with other community organisations to deliver pharmacy outreach and/or services. Can this be done in the pharmacy, as part of the health promotion event that is required to be held every 4 months or do the pharmacy staff have to deliver an event/service away from the pharmacy premises?
A. The outreach work needs to be carried out off the pharmacy premises, so while it would be good to have collaborative working on the premises, collaborative working off the premises would satisfy that requirement. HLPs have previously done that via attendance at local roadshows for the public, stands in shopping centres, visits to schools and care homes to take part in health promotion work.

Q. What constitutes a full-time equivalent (FTE) member of staff?
A. A FTE is the hours worked by one employee on a full-time basis. The GOV.UK website states there is no specific number of hours that makes someone full or part-time, but a full-time worker will usually work 35 hours or more a week.

To read about the Working Time Regulations, please visit the GOV.UK website.

Q. Is attendance at face-to-face RSPH training a requirement to qualify for HLP Health Champion training?
A. The requirements to qualify for HLP Health Champion training will depend on the training provider that the contractor has chosen to use and how their course has been designed to meet the RSPH Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement (the course that needs to be completed for someone to become a Health Champion). Therefore, depending on the course provider, face-to-face training may be required as part of their course. However, it is not stipulated that training must be provided face-to-face in the HLP Level 1 quality criteria guidance published by Public Health England.

Dementia Friends

Further FAQs on Dementia Friends can be found on the Dementia Friends website.

Q. How do I become a Dementia Friend?
A. There are various routes by which people can become a Dementia Friend:

For organisations

For individuals

  • Individuals can register through the organisation route by either using the unique code from a pharmacy they are working in or by registering as an organisation using their name and the words ‘Pharmacy Locum’ e.g. ‘Jane Smith Pharmacy Locum’; or
  • Attending a face-to-face Dementia Friends Information Session – some LPCs or CPPE Regional Tutors may be planning to hold these events so consider contacting these organisations if you would like to attend a face-to-face session.

Q. Are part-time staff included in the quality criterion ‘All patient-facing staff are Dementia Friends’?
A. Yes. This quality criterion applies to all pharmacy staff working in patient-facing roles. The number of hours a member of staff is employed for is not relevant for this quality criterion.

Q. One of the quality criteria states that ‘all patient-facing staff are Dementia Friends’; does this include locums?
A. Yes, this includes locums, so contractors should encourage temporary staff, such as locum pharmacists, to become Dementia Friends.

Q. The Dementia Friends criterion states ‘all patient-facing staff are Dementia Friends’. For distance selling pharmacies (DSPs), does this only require delivery drivers to become Dementia Friends as they may be the only member of staff who has a patient-facing role?
A. No. The criterion for pharmacy staff in patient-facing roles would also apply to pharmacists (including locums), pharmacy technicians, dispensary staff, medicines counter assistants, etc. DSPs can provide Advanced and Enhanced Services on the premises (as well as Medicines Use Reviews (with permission from the local NHS England and NHS Improvement team) away from the pharmacy premises), if Essential Services do not form part of the Advanced or Enhanced Service provided to persons present at the pharmacy. Therefore, these members of staff could be patient-facing and the criteria would apply to them.

Q. Is there a way to obtain new Dementia Friends badges?
A. If you have lost your Dementia Friends badge, please email your details to dementiafriends@alzheimers.org.uk and to arrange for a replacement to be sent out to you.

Q. If a staff member completed the Dementia Friends training at a different pharmacy (under previous employment) are they required to repeat it?
A. No.

Dementia friendly environment checklist

Q. Does the dementia-friendly environment checklist and action plan need to be submitted to NHS England and NHS Improvement?
A. No. The checklist and action plan do not need to be submitted routinely to NHS England and NHS Improvement, but contractors should ensure that a copy is kept in the pharmacy.

Q. Can I complete the dementia-friendly environment checklist on PharmOutcomes?
A. Yes, contractors have the option of completing the dementia-friendly environment checklist on PharmOutcomes. Contractors are not required to complete the checklist on PharmOutcomes to meet the quality criterion. However, some contractors have expressed that they would prefer to complete this electronically; therefore, PSNC has worked with the PharmOutcomes team to make this available. The checklist is available to all contractors free of charge as PSNC has agreed to use their PharmOutcomes licence to provide access to this support.

Diabetes

Q. When we ask a patient with diabetes aged 12 years or over if they have had a foot and eye check (retinopathy) in the last 12 months, what information do we need to record on the PMR?
A. The pharmacy team must record the patient’s response on the PMR or appropriate form/patient record and if they have been signposted/referred as appropriate.

Sugar sweetened beverages

Q. My pharmacy shares a building with another business which sells Sugar Sweetened Beverages. Does this mean I won’t meet the SSB quality criterion?
A.
The SSB quality criterion only applies to the pharmacy premises therefore it will be dependent on what is classed as pharmacy premises within the building. If, for example, the other business is not located on the registered pharmacy premises, then this will not affect your ability to meet this quality criterion.

Q. If my pharmacy doesn’t sell any beverages can I still meet the SSB quality criterion?
A.
Yes. If no beverages are sold from the pharmacy (registered pharmacy premises) then the pharmacy will automatically meet this quality criterion.

Primary Care Networks

Q. If a pharmacy is within the geographical area of multiple PCNs, can they claim multiple PQS payments for engagement with multiple PCNs?
A.
No. A pharmacy in this situation would need to determine a primary PCN within which it would collaborate with other contractors, in line with the PQS requirements, allowing the contractor to claim one PQS payment related to PCN collaboration. The pharmacy may also wish to keep in touch with the pharmacy leads within other PCNs where the flow of patients/scripts means they have a clear relationship with the PCN, however, they would not be able to claim an additional PCN collaboration payment as part of the PQS.

Q. Does the Pharmacy PCN lead need to be a pharmacist?
A.
No, however due to the likely clinical focus of the potential collaboration within PCNs between community pharmacies and general practices, a pharmacist or pharmacy technician may be best placed to act in that capacity.

Q. Could the LPC appoint an LPC representative as the Pharmacy PCN Lead for a PCN?
A. Contractors, not LPCs, must appoint the Pharmacy PCN Lead. All contractors in the PCN that wish to engage in the process should be able to nominate themselves or one of their employees to stand to be the Pharmacy PCN Lead. Contractors will then decide who should be appointed as the Pharmacy PCN Lead. This may be an LPC member, but there should be no assumption that an LPC member is a default lead.

Q. What happens if we do not have any suitable or willing candidates to be the Pharmacy PCN Lead?
A.
If a Pharmacy PCN Lead cannot be identified, contractors in the PCN area will not be able to claim for this element of the PQS.

Q. By when does the Pharmacy PCN Lead need to be appointed?
A.
In order to ensure that community pharmacy is embedded into the work of the PCN as quickly as possible, there is a need for Pharmacy PCN Leads to be appointed as soon as possible, ideally by mid-December 2019. Contractors need to make a PQS payment claim between 3rd February 2020 and 28th February 2020; contractors therefore need to have the information on the PCN, the name of the lead and the pharmacy name and ODS code of the pharmacy where they are based as soon as possible and by 2nd February 2020 at the latest.

Q. Can one-person represent and act on behalf of a multiple contractor when discussing the appointment of a Pharmacy PCN Lead or casting a vote?
A.
Yes.

Q. If a local meeting of contractors is being organised to appoint a Pharmacy PCN Lead and a contractor within the PCN is not able to attend the meeting, can they still be involved in the collaborative working and choosing the lead?
A.
Yes. If a contractor is not able to attend a meeting or send a representative, this should not exclude them from ongoing collaborative working between pharmacies within the PCN. The LPC could provide an update to the contractor following the meeting.

If a vote is to be taken at the meeting on the appointment of a Pharmacy PCN Lead, the contractor could give another individual their proxy for the vote or where the candidates for selection are known in advance of the meeting, the LPC could be sent the votes of any contractors not able to attend the meeting in advance.

Q. Can an individual be a Pharmacy PCN Lead for more than one PCN?
A.
The role of Pharmacy PCN Lead is likely to take time to undertake on a regular basis and this workload needs to be considered by anybody putting themselves forward for appointment. Due to the local focus of PCNs, PSNC believes that, wherever possible, it is appropriate that the Pharmacy PCN Lead works within a community pharmacy in the PCN area on a regular basis, providing services to patients. Considering both these factors, it is technically possible that an individual working across multiple pharmacies in two PCNs could be a Pharmacy PCN Lead, however it is unlikely to be a practical option in most cases.

Q. Can there be more than one Pharmacy PCN Lead for a PCN?
A.
From a PQS perspective, there can only be one lead for the PCN. This is to ensure there is a single community pharmacy point of contact for the PCN leaders, which NHS England and NHS Improvement are keen to have in place for each PCN. It would be possible to appoint a deputy lead to share some of the work, but they would not be eligible for a PQS payment.

Q. Are there any extra PQS points (and therefore an additional payment) available for a deputy Pharmacy PCN Lead?
A.
No. A deputy Pharmacy PCN Lead can be appointed to assist the Pharmacy PCN Lead but there is no additional points or payment via the PQS for a deputy PCN Lead.

Q. What is the minimum number of contractors that is allowed in a PCN?
A.
There is not a minimum number of contractors allowed in a PCN; however, as each PCN will cover an average population of 30,000-50,000, it is likely that there will be a number of pharmacies in each PCN.

Q. How can I find out how to contact my PCN?
A.
If a contractor wants to contact their PCN, they should contact the Pharmacy PCN Lead who will represent all contractors within a PCN, and therefore be able to communicate directly with the PCN on the contractor’s behalf. If they do not know who the Pharmacy PCN Lead is, or a Pharmacy PCN Lead has not yet been appointed, the contractor should contact their LPC.

Asthma referrals

Q. How many patients with asthma need to be referred to a healthcare professional to meet the quality criterion?
A. There is not a specified number of people with asthma that need to be referred to meet the quality criterion.

Directory of Services

Q. Can I change my hours on the DoS Profile Updater without informing my local NHS England and NHS Improvement team?
A. No. Under the Terms of Service, contractors:

  • wishing to amend the distribution of their core contractual hours must apply to NHS England and NHS Improvement for permission to change them; and
  • wishing to amend any supplementary hours, that they open additional to the core contractual hours, must notify NHS England and NHS improvement, giving at least three months’ notice of the intended change.

Full details regarding a contractor’s contractual responsibilities regarding opening hours, including relevant application forms for changes, is available on the opening hours page.

Q. What do I do if I don’t receive an email confirming that I have submitted information on the DoS Profile Updater?
A. The email should be received instantaneously after submitting the information on the DoS Profile Updater; however, please allow up to two hours for the email to be delivered. To help ensure contractors receive their confirmation emails, contractors are advised to add noreply@dos-profile.service.nhs.uk to their safe senders list before they update their profile. Alternatively, contractors will need to check their junk email folder in case the email has been inappropriately filed. If the emails are not received, please email exeter.helpdesk@nhs.net to confirm that the submission has been received.

Q. What do I do if I am experiencing technical difficulties accessing the DoS Profile Updater?
A. If contractors have any technical difficulties accessing the DoS Profile Updater, they can email the NHS Digital helpdesk (exeter.helpdesk@nhs.net) or call them on 0300 303 4034.

Q. The CPCS DoS services are not listed on the DoS Profile Updater. If we intend to provide this service, do we need to go back into the DoS Profile Updater once we have started providing CPCS and add that the pharmacy then provides CPCS?
A. 
The DoS Profile Updater may not display CPCS DoS services until CPCS goes live on 29th October 2019. There is no PQS requirement for contractors to check their DoS profiles again once CPCS goes live, if they have already undertaken their check of DoS to meet the DoS quality criterion.

Q. When updating my DoS profiles, there are new entries for Pharm+, CPCS, CPCS+ and CPCS++. What are these?
A. 
These profiles relate to the CPCS.

Q. When updating my DoS profiles, there are new entries for Pharm+, CPCS, CPCS+ and CPCS++, but the opening hours seem to be incorrect. Do I need to do anything about this?
A.
Prior to the start of the CPCS on 29th October 2019, these may appear in the DoS updater with unusual opening hours or with the pharmacy showing as closed on certain days. This is as a result of preparations being made for the service to go live. Further information on what to do in relation to entries like this can be found here.

Q. Am I able to go back into my DoS profile once CPCS has gone live to check if my DoS profile is correct and update if necessary?
A.
Yes, you can do this, but this is a not a requirement for meeting the DoS quality criterion of the PQS.

Q. What should I do if I have already updated my DoS profile and I have amended the dates within the ‘Other dates’ section or I have updated my pharmacy’s NUMSAS or DMIRS DoS profile?
A.
If you have already updated your DoS profile (and therefore updated all your DoS services) within the required time period (from 1st October 2019) you are not required to do anything as you have already fulfilled the requirements of the DoS quality criterion.

Summary Care Record

Q. Do I need to have accessed a patient’s SCR to demonstrate access to SCR or do I just need to have accessed the ‘Find a patient’ screen on the SCR portal?
A.
A pharmacy professional will need to have accessed a patient’s SCR to demonstrate access to SCR. NHS Digital’s details of the SCR accesses report only captures the SCR viewing figures of when a patient’s SCR has been accessed.

Claiming payment for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme

Q. Do I need to make a declaration if my pharmacy does not meet the gateway criteria?
A. No, contractors are only required to make a declaration if they intend to claim payment for the PQS. If contractors do not meet all four of the gateway criteria they would not then be eligible to claim a payment, therefore there is no requirement to make a declaration.

Q. Who will decide if a contractor meets the gateway and domains at the review point?
A. The contractor will complete the declaration; therefore, it is for the contractor to decide if they have met all of the gateway criteria and some or all of the domains.

Q. If I was unable to claim a Quality Payments Scheme payment last year, can I claim a PQS payment this year?
A.
Yes. You will not be able to claim an Aspiration payment as to be eligible for an Aspiration payment, contractors will need to have made a declaration at either or both 2018/19 Quality Payments Schemes (June 2018 and/or February 2019). However, participation in a previous Scheme does not affect a contractor’s ability to be able to claim a PQS payment for the 2019/20 PQS.

Return to the Pharmacy Quality Scheme hub page



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