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 22nd July 2019. This page will continue to be updated as details are confirmed with NHS England and NHS Improvement for the February 2020 review point of the PQS.


Click on a heading below for more information.

Background and general

Q. Do I have to engage with the PQS?
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?
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?
Yes.

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

Q. I am in the process of buying a pharmacy; who is responsible for completing the declaration on the NHSBSA website?
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?
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.

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?
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 their F code since a claim was made, they would not be eligible for an Aspiration payment.

General FAQs on the gateway criteria

Q. What are the gateway criteria?

Q. Will I get a PQS payment for passing the gateway criteria?

No. Passing the gateway criteria will not itself earn a payment for the contractor.

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?
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?
Information on how to apply for an NHSmail account can be found at: psnc.org.uk/nhsmail

Q. What is the quickest way of accessing our premises shared NHSmail account?
To quickly access the premises shared NHSmail account of a community pharmacy, save the following URL: https://email.nhs.net/owa/nhspharmacy.xxx replacing xxx with the pharmacy’s NHSmail address. Then when you open the URL, you can log into the shared account with your personal NHSmail email address and password

Q. Does the pharmacy shared mailbox owner need to work in the pharmacy?
No. The pharmacy shared mailbox owner can be someone who works in the pharmacy, someone who is field-based or it can be someone who works at the pharmacy’s head office. It would be up to the individual contractor to decide who should take on this role.

Q. Can I be a pharmacy shared mailbox owner for more than one pharmacy?
Yes. An individual can be appointed as the pharmacy shared mailbox owner for all the pharmacies that a contractor owns or a pharmacy shared mailbox owner can be appointed for each individual pharmacy. It is up to the individual contractor to decide on the approach to take.

Q. What is the role of the pharmacy shared mailbox owner?
The pharmacy shared mailbox owner has the responsibility of managing the shared pharmacy NHSmail account, authenticating personal NHSmail accounts and linking them to the shared pharmacy NHSmail account or deleting the links.

Q. Does using your personal NHSmail account to log in to the premise-shared NHSmail account help to ensure your account is kept live?
Yes.

Q. Are pharmacy technicians allowed access to the premises-shared NHSmail account or is it only to be accessed by the pharmacist?
Any member of staff who has a personal NHSmail address that is linked to the premises-shared NHSmail account can access it; this does not need to be the pharmacist or pharmacy owner.

Q. How many members of staff need to have a live, linked NHSmail account to meet the NHSmail gateway criterion?
To meet this gateway criterion, contractors are required to have a premises-shared NHSmail account with at least two live linked personal NHSmail accounts. Please note, the linked accounts should belong to users who are involved in providing pharmaceutical services on a day-to-day basis at the individual pharmacies their account is linked to.

Q. How do you check which of your employees have their personal NHSmail accounts linked to the premises-shared NHSmail address?
The pharmacy shared mailbox owner will be able to view linked accounts and add or remove users.

Q. Do individual NHSmail users have to log into their personal account or to the shared account to meet the NHSmail gateway criterion?
A premises-shared NHSmail account needs to have personal NHSmail accounts linked to it to enable access. Unless a contractor can send and receive email from their shared NHSmail account, they will not meet the gateway criteria. Sending and receiving email from a personal NHSmail account will not be considered as having met the gateway criterion. 

Q. What is meant by two live linked NHSmail accounts?
A live linked NHSmail account is one that has been accessed within the last three months and is enabled to allow the user access to the premises-shared NHSmail account.

Q. Does a ‘super user’ personal NHSmail account linked to a pharmacy’s shared NHSmail account contribute to the requirement of having two active linked NHSmail accounts for the gateway criteria?
No. A super user account is not considered as an active, linked personal account and will not contribute to the requirement to have a minimum of two linked accounts. The linked accounts should belong to users who are involved in providing pharmaceutical services on a day-to-day basis at the individual pharmacies their account is linked to.

Q. Do I need to share or advertise my NHSmail address anywhere to prove my pharmacy has one?
No. However, you could share your NHSmail address with local GP practices and other local community pharmacies to support collaborative working and communications.

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?
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. I am having problems accessing my NHS website profile and can therefore not update my profile. What should I do?
Contractors that do not have editing rights to their profile, should email the NHS website service desk (nhswebsite.servicedesk@nhs.net). It is preferable for this email request to come from the pharmacy’s premises shared NHSmail account, as use of other email accounts may lead to a delay in editing rights being granted, while the validity of the request for editing rights is confirmed. To apply for editing rights, contractors should supply the below information, ideally by copying and pasting the table below into an email and completing the required information.

‘QPSAPPLICATION’ should be added to the subject line of the email; failure to add the code to the subject line may result in a processing delay and increase the risk of a failure to achieve this gateway criterion.

Name:
Email address (preferably the pharmacy premises shared NHSmail account): (This will be used as your username on the website).
Telephone number:
Job title:
Organisation:
ODS code:

 

Safeguarding

Q. Who is a pharmacy professional?
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’?
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?
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 professional, in regards to the safeguarding gateway criterion?
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?
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.

CPPE risk management

Q. Who is a pharmacy professional?
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?
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?
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 professional need to complete the CPPE risk management training and e-assessment ?
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?
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?
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?
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 professional need to complete the CPPE sepsis training and e-assessment?
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 criterio

Risk review

Q. Does the risk review need to be submitted to NHS England and NHS Improvement?
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?
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?
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 ands NHS Improvement?
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)?
The report can be either hand written or computer generated (typed).

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?
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?
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.

Healthy Living Pharmacy

Other frequently asked questions on HLP can be found on the RSPH website.

Q. What are the criteria for becoming a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Level 1?
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?
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?
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 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?
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.

Dementia Friends has also produced an FAQ document to assist pharmacy team members with any issues.

Q. How do I become a Dementia Friend?
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’?
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 criterion states that ‘all patient-facing staff are Dementia Friends’; does this include locums?
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?
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?
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?
No.

Asthma referrals

Q. How many patients with asthma need to be referred to a healthcare professional to meet the quality criterion?
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?
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 PSNC 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?
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?
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.

Claiming payment for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme

Q. Do I need to make a declaration if my pharmacy does not meet the gateway criteria?
No, contractors are only required to make a declaration if they intend to claim a 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 quality criteria at the review point?
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 quality criteria.

Payment information

Q. How will the PhAS payment be affected if contractors do not achieve the full quality criteria?
When the funding that PhAS pharmacies receive is calculated, it is assumed that the contractor will achieve 100 points of the PQS. The value of those points is deducted before the final PhAS payment is set. PhAS pharmacy contractors can earn back the deducted payment for the PQS by earning as many points as possible, the same way as other contractors.

The contractor will be paid a payment according to which criteria they have achieved; the PhAS payment remains unchanged irrespective of whatever a PQS payment is received by the contractor.

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