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
- 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.
Full details can be found on the PSNC website – 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.
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.
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)
Public Health Campaigns 2020-21
Update March 2020: Public health campaigns: for the time being, these will only be focused on the national COVID-19 response.
As part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, each year pharmacies are required participate in up to six campaigns at the request of NHS England.
Previously, these campaigns were determined at a local level by NHS England teams, however PSNC recently agreed with NHS England to set these campaigns at a national level so that all community pharmacy contractors participate in the same campaigns thus having a greater exposure to the target groups.
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.
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 the EPS page including useful links
The provision of information to people visiting the pharmacy, who require
further support, advice or treatment which cannot be provided by the
pharmacy, on other health and social care providers or support
organisations who may be able to assist the person. Where appropriate,
this may take the form of a referral.
For signposting information on Lancashire County Council Healthy Lifestyles webpage click here
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.