NHS England and the Department of Health have agreed to relax some elements of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme and remove some contractual requirements for 2020/21 following requests from PSNC.
The changes will provide additional capacity for contractors to implement the Discharge Medicines Service on 15 February 2021 and to support the ongoing provision of key pharmacy services during the pandemic, says PSNC.
The PQS Part 2 2020/21 declaration will still take place as planned between 1-26 February 2021, however contractors will have until 30 June 2021 to complete any elements of the scheme they have declared as having met.
Following their declaration, contractors will still receive any PQS payment due as part of the overall payment made by the NHSBSA to contractors on 1 April 2021.
Pharmacies will no longer be required complete a NHSE&I determined or a contractor chosen clinical audit during 2020/21, or undertake the Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire.
The Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework will not run in 2020/21, but this will run as normal in 2021/22.
No action will be taken against contractors who have not completed the Data Security and Protection toolkit for 2019/20, provided they are working to complete the toolkit for 2020/21. The deadline for completion of the 2020/21 toolkit has been extended to 30 June 2021.
“PSNC is pleased to have agreed these measures which should help contractors to manage some of the ongoing workload pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic and to prepare for the launch of the new Discharge Medicines Service”, said Gordon Hockey, PSNC Director of Operations and Support.
“We had sought these measures separately to our bids for additional financial support for the sector on which we are still awaiting a response.”