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Community pharmacy services

Pharmacies receive £31m in first quality scheme payment

Some £31m has been paid out to community pharmacists in England under the new quality payments scheme, NHS England has announced.

More than 90% of community pharmacies — 11,094 — applied for the payment which became available this April — of whom 10,985 passed the qualifying criteria and received a payment.

Commenting on the figures, Alastair Buxton director of NHS services at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) — the body which negotiates the community pharmacy contract with the government — described the engagement of pharmacy teams as “phenomenal” adding: “I would like to congratulate pharmacy teams on their hard work and the data speaks for itself; pharmacy teams have again shown that they can deliver at short notice.”

NHS England has now published fresh guidance for pharmacists who intend to apply for the next round of quality payments in November.

The PSNC has produced a video guide pointing out where the criteria supporting a claim have changed since April.

For a November payment contractors must validate their NHS Choices pharmacy entry, confirming all three sections — opening hours, pharmacy facilities and pharmacy services — by November 24 2017.

Distance-selling pharmacies, as part of the necessary “gateway” criteria, must now complete a survey in order to comply.

The criteria governing the NHS mail gateway has also changed. To make a November claim, all pharmacy staff must now be able to send and receive email by the specified November review date.

The requirements around a summary care record payment is new for November. Pharmacists who have accessed the records more than 100 times between two specific dates will now be eligible for a payment.

The quality payment for directory of services is now only paid if the contractor has edited or confirmed that their NHS 111 data entry is up to date by November 24.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203670

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