Revised Pharmacy Access Scheme begins – review application window now open

A revised version of the Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) began on 1st January 2022.

Community pharmacy contractors eligible under the updated criteria will receive the first of the new monthly PhAS payments for the pharmacy with the January reconciliation payment due on 1st April 2022. Details about the revised PhAS were published in August 2021, with contractors receiving letters from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) indicating their eligibility in the Autumn.

For eligible pharmacies, PhAS payments are dependent on registration on NHSBSA’s Manage Your Service (MYS) portal to provide the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS).

Review application window

The review application window started on 4th January 2022 and closes at midnight on 4th March 2022 (this has been extended from the original closing date on 4th February).

The review process enables NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) to deal with any inaccuracies in relation to a pharmacy’s distance criteria/calculation where one of the two grounds for review are met (subject to the guidance).

The two grounds of review are:

  1. Inaccuracies in distance determination – for example, if the pharmacy postcode is incorrect (for your pharmacy or the nearest pharmacy) or the distance from the next pharmacy is calculated incorrectly (the OS mapping tool which must be used for calculations takes account of footpaths); and
  2. Physical feature anomalies – such as a semi-permanent roadblock or a steep hill that mean two pharmacies are then more than 1 mile from each other.

Contractors who may want to apply for a review were informed of this option in the Autumn letters. Contractors applying for a review are strongly encouraged to read PhAS: contractor guidance on submitting an eligibility review application – distance grounds only before starting their applications. Please note, applications must be made using the NHSE&I web review portal and it is important to gather all the evidence you need for an application before you start it.

Those contractors seeking a review are also advised to ensure the pharmacy is registered on NHSBSA’s Manage Your Service (MYS) portal to provide CPCS, because PhAS 2022 payments are dependent on this.

Subject to the overall number of applications received, it is envisaged that all contractors will be informed of the outcome of their review by the end of May 2022.

Further information

PSNC’s PhAS webpage (includes FAQs at the bottom)

PSNC Briefing 033/21: Pharmacy Access Scheme starting from January 2022

DHSC guidance: 2020 Pharmacy Access Scheme

NHSBSA website: The 2022 Pharmacy Access Scheme

If you have any questions not answered by this guidance, please contact Gordon Hockey, Director, Legal or Layla Rahman, Regulations Officer.

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