The Essential Services are offered by all pharmacy contractors as part of the NHS Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (the ‘pharmacy contract’).
Full details & service specifications can be found on the PSNC website: www.psnc.org.uk/services-commissioning/essential-services/
The Essential services are listed below. Click on the service name for more information about it
- Clinical Governance
- Discharge Medicines Service
- Refer to Pharmacy
- Dispensing Appliances
- Dispensing Medicines
- Disposal of Unwanted Medicines
- Public Health (Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles)
- Repeat Dispensing/electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)
- Support for Self Care
The clinical governance requirements of the community pharmacy contractual framework (CPCF) cover a range of quality related issues.
For full details see PSNC website: click here
NHS Complaints Procedure
The Clinical Governance Framework requires all pharmacy contractors to have in place arrangements which comply with the requirements of the Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009, for the handling and consideration of any complaints.
The regulations introduced a number of changes to the way that Health and Social Care services are handled, in order to provide complaints procedures that are consistent across all providers and NHS bodies, and deal with complaints efficiently and effectively. There are some differences between these requirements and those that existed in pharmacy before they came into force.
The way a patient can complain about a pharmacy service to the commissioner has now changed.
From the 1st July if the patient has been unable to resolve the complaint with the pharmacy themselves, they now have to complain to the ICB , previously this would have gone to NHS England.
The first line of complaint is always to direct the patient to the pharmacy concerned. If they are still not satisfied, they can escalate it to the ICB
“If your complaint is about primary care services such as GPs, dentists, opticians or pharmacy services, you should contact Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB.
Telephone: 0800 032 2424
Write to: NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB, Jubilee House, Lancashire Business Park, Leyland, PR26 6TR“
Discharge Medicines Service
The Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) becomes a new Essential service within the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) from 15th February 2021.
From 15th February 2021, NHS Trusts will be able to refer patients who would benefit from extra guidance around new prescribed medicines for provision of the DMS at their community pharmacy
Full details including service requirements can be found on PSNC website. Click here
Refer to Pharmacy
Please note the change to the Refer to Pharmacy interface for all existing East Lancashire users. For the details, please click here.
Pharmacists may dispense appliances regularly in the course of their business or they may dispense such prescriptions infrequently. They may also make the decision not to dispense them at all.
All community pharmacy contractors choosing to dispense appliances in the normal course of their business must comply with the essential services requirements.
Full details can be found on the PSNC website – click here
Pharmacies are required to maintain a record of all medicines dispensed, and also keep records of any interventions made which they judge to be significant.
The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is also being implemented as part of the dispensing service.
Full details can be found on the PSNC website – click here
Disposal of unwanted medicines
Pharmacies are obliged to accept back unwanted medicines from patients. The pharmacy must, if required by NHS England or the waste contractor, sort them into solids (including ampoules and vials), liquids and aerosols, and the local NHS England team will make arrangements for a waste contractor to collect the medicines from pharmacies at regular intervals. Additional segregation is also required under the Hazardous Waste Regulations.
Contractors requiring an interim collection of patient returns should contact NHS England: email@example.com stating Fcode, pharmacy address and the number of bins that need collecting.
For further information on disposal of unwanted medicines click here for a link to the PSNC website
Public Health (Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles)
Health Campaigns 2021-22
Each financial year (1st April to 31st March), pharmacies are required to participate in up to six health campaigns at the request of NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I). This involves the display and distribution of leaflets provided by NHSE&I. The topics of these campaigns are agreed by NHSE&I and PSNC.
It has been agreed that the campaign topics should, wherever possible, support NHS England’s operational and public health priorities, such as winter pressures, smoking, obesity and alcohol.
In addition, pharmacies are required undertake prescription-linked interventions on major areas of public health concern, such as encouraging smoking cessation.
First mandated health campaign of 2021/22: COVID-19 vaccination
NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and PSNC have agreed that contractors will be asked to participate in a COVID-19 vaccination campaign as the first mandated health campaign for 2021/22, which contractors must undertake, as part of their NHS contractual requirements.
This will be part of the recently launched ‘Join the Millions’ national advertising campaign, for which specific materials are being produced for both community pharmacies and general practices.
The campaign focuses on informing the public about the vaccine and encouraging people to take it up when it is offered to them. The campaign materials will arrive in pharmacies between Thursday 13th and Tuesday 18th May 2021.
The campaign packs will include:
- A pharmacy team briefing sheet explaining what the materials are and how to use them;
- An information leaflet for use with patients, answering commonly asked questions;
- A window sticker
Any questions about the campaign can be emailed to ENGLAND.CommunityPharmacy@nhs.net.
Second mandated health campaign of 2021/22: Winter Vaccines
NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and PSNC have agreed that contractors will be asked to participate in a Winter vaccines campaign. This is the second mandated health campaign for 2021/22, which contractors must undertake as part of their NHS contractual requirements.
This campaign is part of the national campaign which commenced on 22nd October 2021, that seeks to encourage people to protect themselves and their loved ones against COVID-19 and flu. The campaign materials will be delivered to pharmacies in early November.
Full details of the Public Health (Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles) service can be found here
Repeat Dispensing/electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)
Under the repeat dispensing service pharmacy teams will:
- dispense repeat dispensing prescriptions issued by a GP;
- ensure that each repeat supply is required; and
- seek to ascertain that there is no reason why the patient should be referred back to their GP.
Originally this service was mainly carried out using paper prescriptions, but as the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) has developed, the majority of repeat dispensing is now carried out via EPS release 2 and is termed electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD). eRD is much more efficient and convenient for all involved.
Click here for our EPS page including useful links
NHS England will provide pharmacies with lists of sources of care and support in the area. Pharmacies will be expected to help people who ask for assistance by directing them to the most appropriate source of help.
Support for Self Care
Pharmacies will help manage minor ailments and common conditions, by the provision of advice and where appropriate, the sale of medicines, including dealing with referrals from NHS 111. Records will be kept where the pharmacist considers it relevant to the care of the patient.
More information can be found on the PSNC website – click here