Changes to the Terms of Service in 2020

On 20th October 2020 new NHS regulations were laid to introduce changes to the Terms of Service for pharmacy contractors.

Some of these changes relate to the coronavirus pandemic, but most are changes which were previously agreed as part of the 5-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) and were originally planned to be introduced in July 2020.

The main changes were listed in a recent PSNC news article as a summary for contractors. PSNC have issued a series of 14 Regs explainer articles to help pharmacy contractors and their teams to understand the new requirements. You can access them all via the links below:

Regs explainer (#1): Access to SCR
From 9th November 2020, pharmacy contractors must ensure that staff working at their pharmacy can access NHS Summary Care Records (SCR) and that access is consistent and reliable during the pharmacy’s opening hours, in so far as that is within the control of the contractor. Learn more in the explainer article.

Regs explainer (#2): Updating NHS website profiles
From 9th November 2020, contractors must ensure there is a comprehensive and accurate profile for their pharmacy on the NHS website. Contractors must also ensure they verify and, where necessary, update the information contained in the profile at least once in each quarter of the financial year. Learn more in the explainer article.

Regs explainer (#3): NHSmail
From 9th November 2020, pharmacy contractors must have a premises specific NHSmail account and there must be at least two members of staff that have live personal NHSmail accounts that are linked to the premises specific NHSmail account. Learn more about the NHSmail requirements.

Regs explainer (#4): Updating DoS profiles
From 9th November 2020, contractors must ensure they verify and, where necessary, update the information contained in their pharmacy’s Directory of Services (DoS) profile at least once in each quarter of the financial year. Learn more about the DoS profile requirements.

Regs explainer (#5): Health campaigns
Public health campaigns will now be described as health campaigns and, from 9th November 2020, NHSE&I can ask for additional information about the campaign to help evaluate its impact and to assist with future policy development. Learn more about the health campaign requirements.

Regs explainer (#6): EPS access
From 9th November 2020, contractors must ensure their staff have constant and reliable access to the EPS at their pharmacy premises, in so far as that is within their control. Where unable to access the EPS to dispense an EPS prescription, the contractor must take reasonable steps to ensure supply is made in a reasonable timescale. Learn more about the EPS access requirements.

Regs explainer (#7): Pandemic Treatment Protocols
From 9th November 2020, contractors must supply a Prescription Only Medicine (POM) to a person in accordance with a Pandemic Treatment Protocol (PTP), if and when one is issued, subject to the requirements of the PTP. Learn more about PTPs

Regs explainer (#8): Flexible provision of flu or coronavirus vaccinations
From 9th November 2020, during a pandemic or in anticipation of a pandemic, a contractor may apply to NHSE&I to provide a relevant immunisation service from their pharmacy premises for a specified period and no other NHS pharmacy services. Learn more about flexible vaccination provision

Regs explainer (#9): CAS alert sign-up
From 9th November 2020, contractors will be required to register their pharmacy’s shared NHSmail account to receive Central Alerting System (CAS) alerts direct from the MHRA.
Learn more about the CAS requirement

Regs explainer (#10): Commencement notices and contractors entering administration
From 9th November, notice of commencements to NHSE&I must now be given no fewer than 30 days in advance, unless a shorter period of notice has been agreed in advance. Also, if a contractor goes into administration, they must notify NHSE&I. Learn more about these requirements

Regs explainer (#11): NHSE&I inspections and access to electronic information
From 9th November, pharmacy contractors must now, on request, send to NHSE&I any information in electronic form which they would have access to when undertaking a contract monitoring visit and consequently, completion of the Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework (CPAF) becomes part of the terms of service. Learn more about giving NHSE&I access to information

Regs explainer (#12): Facilitating remote access to pharmacy services
From 9th November, contractors must facilitate remote access to their services to a reasonable extent, where patients wish to access these services in that way. Learn more about facilitating remote access

Regs explainer (#13): HLP requirements
From 1st January 2021, the Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1 (HLP) requirements will become a new Terms of Service requirement for all pharmacies. Note there have been some changes to these, particularly in relation to how they will apply to Distance Selling Pharmacies. Learn more about the HLP requirements

Regs explainer (#14): Consultation rooms and remote consultations
From 1st January 2021, almost all pharmacies will need to have a consultation room. Distance Selling Pharmacies must ensure that there are arrangements in place at the pharmacy which enable staff and patients to communicate confidentially by telephone or another live audio link and a live video link. Learn more about the consultation room requirements

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