Regulatory changes, including the National Enhanced Service

Various amendments to the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 (the Regulations) come into force today (21st December 2021) and 1st January 2022, including the introduction of a new type of pharmaceutical service.

The new type of Enhanced service is the National Enhanced Service (NES), where NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) commissions an Enhanced service with a service specification that sets standard conditions nationally.

PSNC will be the body consulted on NES, rather than one or more Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs). The local commissioning of the COVID-19 vaccination service, as part of a nationally coordinated programme, has identified the need for such an approach to be used for some future commissioning of pharmacy services.

Other amendments to the regulations include:

  • Contractors’ Terms of Service have been amended to allow NHSE&I to introduce a pandemic response programme, by which contractors are required to have various premises and other arrangements for responding to a pandemic (this was agreed as part of the Year 3 negotiations);
  • An alternative route to supply pandemic treatments, via a listed prescription items voucher (LPIV), will be available. This is a further option for the community pharmacy supply of treatments or medicines during or in anticipation of pandemic disease;
  • The publication date of the revised Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA), 1st October 2022, is now included in the regulations; and
  • A new market entry regulation 21A is introduced and provides that NHSE&I must refuse certain routine applications for additional opening hours, if satisfied that granting them would result in an undesirable increase in the availability of essential services in the Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) (agreed as part of Year 3 negotiations).

More information is available in PSNC Briefing 050/21: Regulatory amendments in late 2021/early 2022.

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