New Medicine Service (NMS)

The New Medicine Service (NMS) was the fourth Advanced Service to be added to the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF); it commenced on 1st October 2011.

The service provides support for people with long-term conditions newly prescribed a medicine to help improve medicines adherence; it is focused on specific patient groups and conditions.

Changes to the service in September 2021 

Changes to the NMS service have been agreed as part of the Year 3 5-year CPCF deal. In September 2021, the following changes will be implemented: 

  • Additional eligible conditions will be added to the service – see the Patients eligible for the service and the NMS medicines list section below for the details. The rationale for selection of the conditions mirrors that used in identifying the original four therapy areas/conditions: firstly, that there is evidence from research that adherence to medication in this condition could be improved and secondly that reviews of available research suggest these are areas where community pharmacists are best able to support improvements in patient understanding and adherence to treatments; 
  • The Directions now permit contractors who have received an exemption from the requirement to have a consultation room (due to their premises size) from their regional NHSE&I team to provide the service remotely or at the patient’s home. All other contractors providing the service can similarly continue to provide the service remotely, where appropriate, and in the patient’s home.
  • The cap on the number of NMS which can be provided by contractors will be increased from 0.5 percent to one percent of monthly prescription volume and additional bandings included; 
  • The opportunity for the service to offered to support parents/guardians/carers of children and adults newly prescribed eligible medicines who could benefit from the service, but where the patient is not able to provide informed consent; and 
  • A catch-up NMS is being introduced for 2021/22 to provide support to patients who were prescribed a new medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic but who did not receive the NMS at that time. This catch-up NMS will also support patients identified through the Pharmacy Quality Scheme who have missed inhaler technique checks to optimise use of their inhaler. 

Read the updated service specification and the Directions for further information on these changes.

Additionally, further therapeutic areas will be piloted through the Pharmacy Integration Fund to inform future expansion of the service, as part of a service model fully integrated with the wider Primary Care Network team. 

For more information on the following visit PSNC

  • Introduction
  • The Directions and service specification
  • Before providing the NMS…
  • Pharmacist knowledge and skills requirements
  • Patients eligible for the service and the NMS medicines list
  • Providing the service
  • Submitting NMS summary data to the NHSBSA
  • Funding for the service and claiming payment
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • NMS statistics and evaluation

Good Practice examples for NMS success we found in the Humber Area

  • Team need to understand why we do services and their role in this.
  • Team need to consistently identify eligible patients when labelling.
  • Team need to be confident and ‘keep it simple’ when engaging patients.
  • Need to have robust system for paperwork e.g. 1-31 file for NMS or electronic e.g. Proscript.
  • Need to have regular days/times set aside to ring patients.
  • Operational platform needs to be efficient to allow pharmacist time for consultation.
  • Pharmacist and Team need to make services a focus.
  • Closest pharmacy to surgery e.g. Health centres provides more opportunity for sign ups.
  • Low evidence of GP referrals and support. One example, in some areas any issues at intervention are referred directly to the Practice Pharmacist and new Rx for alternative is issued same day.

Referral for New Medicine Service Template

The following templates can be used by prescribers to refer patients for an NMS:

Template Letter for GP NMS Referral for Patients Newly Prescribed an Anticoagulant

Template Letter for GP NMS Referral for Patients Newly Prescribed Hypertension Medicine

NMS Referral Letter – All NMS Groups

NMS Referral Letter – Diabetes

NMS Referral Letter – Respiratory Asthma

NMS Referral Letter – Respiratory COPD