Pharmacy Quality Scheme


Pharmacy Quality Scheme

A new Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) for the first part of 2020/21 was announced on 13th July 2020. The focus of the scheme is ensuring community pharmacy contractors and their teams have put in place all reasonable measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting both themselves and the people using their services.This scheme and the second part of PQS in 2020/21, which is being developed for the second half of the year, replace the original 2020/21 scheme that PSNC had agreed with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I), and which, prior to the start of the pandemic, had been due to commence in April 2020.


Scheme requirements

To meet the requirements of the new scheme, contractors need to complete all 14 actions set out in a checklist, all of which relate to the response to the pandemic; many contractors will already have undertaken most if not all of the actions in the checklist over the last few months.

Download the Part 1 2020/21 PQS Checklist

PSNC has also published the following support materials for contractors:


Full Part 2 PQS details published

August 27, 2020

Following PSNC’s publication of initial details on the Part 2 Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) for 2020/21 in early August, the full details are now available to pharmacy contractors in the September 2020 Drug Tariff.

Key points on the Part 2 PQS

The Part 2 scheme continues the focus of the Part 1 scheme on activities that support the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The scheme formally commences on 1st October 2020, but contractors can start work on the domains they wish to undertake as soon as they wish;
  • Completion of the Part 1 scheme is a Gateway requirement for the Part 2 scheme. Contractors have until 23:59 on 29th January 2021 to complete and claim for the Part 1 scheme via the NHSBSA’s Manage Your Service (MYS) portal;
  • There are five domains, each with its own component criteria to achieve:
    • Infection Prevention and Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship Domain
    • Prevention Domain
    • Risk Management Domain
    • Primary Care Network Domain – Prevention
    • Primary Care Network Domain – Business Continuity;
  • All criteria in a domain must be completed to be able to claim a payment for that domain;
  • Contractors will be able to claim an Aspiration payment if they wish via the MYS portal. Claims for this payment can be made between 09:00 on 14th September 2020 and 23:59 on 9th October 2020;
  • The Declaration for the scheme must also be made via the MYS portal between 09:00 on 1st February 2021 and 23:59 on 26th February 2021;
  • Total funding for the scheme is a minimum of £56.25m, with any unused funding from the Part 1 scheme also being added to the total; and
  • new approach to allocating the funding is being introduced, with each domain having points allocated to it, but these vary dependent on the prescription volume of the contractor.

Further details and guidance

PSNC are in the process of updating their PQS website hub and associated resources, which will be published shortly.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are also completing the drafting of their guidance on the scheme, which they will publish as soon as possible.


Archive information

Archive information on the 2019/20 PQS and declaration data from previous schemes is available via the link below:

Pharmacy Quality Scheme archive