PQS: deadline extension

Following the announcement last week that PSNC had reached an agreement with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care on an extension for meeting the requirements of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2021/22, the amendments to the Drug Tariff have now been published.

Contractors now have from 1st April 2021 until 5th April 2022 to claim payments for the completion of a minimum of 20 completed New Medicine Service (NMS) provisions*; this is a Gateway criterion and previously contractors needed to have provided the twenty NMS by 5th January 2022.For the other scheme requirements, contractors have until 31st March 2022 to complete the domains and until 30th June 2022 to gather the evidence to demonstrate compliance, except for the following:

  • PCN Domain – this requires collaborative work on flu vaccination uptake which must be completed by 31st December 2021. The focus of the flu vaccinations is usually up to the end of the calendar year, so the deadline for this work will not be extended.
  • Advice on return of unwanted and used inhalers (Respiratory Domain) – the end of the period during which pharmacy teams should have conversations with patients dispensed an inhaler is still 31st January 2022.

There is no change to the declaration period (contractors must make their declaration between 9am on 31st January 2022 and 11.59pm on 25th February 2022); however, if contractors have been unable to complete the requirements in a domain, which they had intended to complete before they made their declaration, they can make a declaration that they will complete the domain before 31st March 2022 and that they will have the evidence to demonstrate compliance with the domain by 30th June 2022.

*The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has updated their spreadsheet showing which community pharmacy contractors have currently met the Advanced Services gateway criterion. If contractors are showing as having claimed for 20 or more NMS (highlighted in green on the spreadsheet) no further action is required to meet the Advanced Services gateway criterion.

Check the NHSBSA NMS spreadsheet (scroll down to the ‘New Medicine Service (NMS) gateway criterion’ section to view the spreadsheet)