Post-Payment Verification for the Pandemic Delivery Service
The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has started undertaking a post-payment verification process for the Advanced Service component of the Pandemic Delivery Service.
In April last year, a community pharmacy Pandemic Delivery Service was introduced to support those shielding during the initial COVID-19 lockdown. The service was made up of two components: an Essential Service, responding to and identifying those in need of deliveries; and a medicines delivery Advanced Service, for those contractors who delivered dispensed medicines to eligible patients, sometimes on behalf of other contractors. The post-payment verification process only deals with the Advanced Service.
Over a period of nine months the service helped clinically extremely vulnerable patients to shield, where a volunteer was not available to collect medicines on their behalf. Data on the delivery service indicates that over 8,000 pharmacies provided the Advanced Service from its start until December 2020, at a cost of just under £15 million. Pharmacies were asked to maintain appropriate records to support claims and possible post-payment verification of those claims.
The vast majority of payment claims were at levels to be expected from pharmacies. A very small number were higher than might be expected, and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) has decided to scrutinise these. The NHSBSA, which is undertaking the exercise on behalf of NHSE&I, is in the process of writing to the 44 pharmacies identified to date.
While the high claims may be due, for example, to contractor error, they may also be due to a pharmacy undertaking and claiming for the delivery of medicines dispensed by another pharmacy. PSNC has been consulted on the proposed verification process and has sought to ensure the process is appropriately targeted, proportionate and fair to those contractors asked to provide records (as well as fair to the commissioner and public purse).
Contractors may wish to contact NHSBSA to discuss the details of and possible resolution to the verification process. More information on next steps is provided in the letters to contractors. Support can also be provided by PSNC, but contractors are encouraged to liaise with NHSBSA in the first instance.
This process is part of the wider post-payment verification (provider assurance) process for Advanced Service payments to community pharmacy. Further information can be found on our post-payment verification webpage.