The 2021/22 PQS – making a start

Today, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) published, on behalf of NHS England and NHS Improvement, summary details of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2021/22.

This provides pharmacy contractors advance notice of the requirements ahead of the Drug Tariff PQS wording being published later this month and the scheme officially starting on 1st September 2021.

Read more about the announcement

What contractors can make a start on

Where capacity allows contractors to get going with the PQS, we suggest they tackle the following three areas first, while waiting for further details to be published on the other Gateway and Quality criteria:

1) Gateway criterion – New Medicine Service

One of the Gateway criteria requires contractors to have claimed for 20 completed New Medicine Service (NMS) provisions between 1st April 2021 and 5th January 2022. Contractors could review the number of NMS that they have claimed for since 1st April 2021 to see whether they already meet this criterion or if not, consider what action they need to take, to ensure they can meet this Gateway criterion by 5th January 2022.

View further information on the NMS

2) Training requirements

There are several training requirements that contractors will need to meet for both the Gateway criteria and several of the Quality criteria included in the different domains.

Eight of the twelve training requirements have been included in previous PQS; if staff have previously completed the training and, where applicable, successfully passed the e-assessment, there is no requirement to complete this again.

PSNC has published a briefing which includes a table listing the training requirements and summarises who needs to complete the training.

View PSNC Briefing 025/21: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Summary of the training requirements for the 2021/22 Scheme

3) Primary Care Networks domain

The Primary Care Networks (PCNs) domain requires contractors to engage with the community pharmacy PCN Lead and develop a plan to work collaboratively with other contractors and consider how they could work with general practice colleagues to increase the uptake of flu vaccinations to patients aged 65 and over for the 2021/22 influenza season. The community pharmacy PCN Lead will also need to engage with the PCN Clinical Director to agree how community pharmacies will collaborate with general practice with the aim of the PCN achieving a vaccination rate of between 80-86% for this patient group.

Since the Flu Vaccination Service starts on 1st September 2021, contractors and community pharmacy PCN Leads are encouraged to start working on this criterion soon, so a plan can be in place early in the flu season.

Contractors will also need to administer 30 or more flu vaccinations between 1st September and 31st January under the Flu Vaccination Service (for any eligible patients, not just those aged 65 years and over).

View more guidance and resources on PCNs

View more information on the Flu Vaccination Service

Further information on PQS 2021/22

PSNC will continue to publish communications, resources and guidance on the PQS 2021/22 as and when it becomes available. All information currently available is on our PQS hub page.

Visit the Pharmacy Quality Scheme hub page


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