Pharmacy Quality Scheme

A Community Pharmacy Quality Payments Scheme (QPS), which forms part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF), was introduced in December 2016. The QPS was designed to reward community pharmacies for delivering quality criteria in all three of the quality dimensions: Clinical Effectiveness, Patient Safety and Patient Experience.

With the announcement of a five-year (2019/20 to 2023/24) agreement for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, and building upon the success of the previous QPS, NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with stakeholders to develop the new Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) for 2019/20, supporting delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The Pharmacy Quality Scheme guidance 2019/20 replaces guidance issued regarding all previous schemes.

The aim of this scheme is to continue to move community pharmacy to a more integrated, service focussed function within the wider NHS system, providing even safer, accessible healthcare to patients by incentivising activity in the following quality domains:

  • Risk management and patient safety;
  • Medicines safety through audits, complementing the Quality and Outcomes Framework Quality Improvement scheme within the GP contract;
  • Sickness prevention of ill health and the provision of information and advice to promote healthy living;
  • Integration into local Primary Care Networks (PCNs) as part of the multidisciplinary team;
  • Asthma reviews and ensuring that appropriate action plans are in place and referrals are made where necessary; and
  • Improved updates to pharmacy profiles to support real time referrals and patient access.

The PQS will start on 1 October 2019 and participating contractors will declare their performance against the quality domains during the declaration window between 3 February 2020 and 28 February 2020.

Details of the PQS for 2019/20 have been provided in part VIIA of the Drug Tariff . You can also find further information on the NHSBSA website; and the PSNC website, which also features key dates for contractors to note.

Community pharmacies conducted an audit of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as part of the Quality Payment Scheme for 2018/19.  A report of the key findings and recommendations to support safety improvement is published here.  A re-audit has been included in the February 2020 PQS where pharmacy contractors have been asked to audit their patients embedding the findings from this report into their clinical practice.