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 were agreed as part of the Year 3 5-year CPCF deal, with these implemented from 1st September 2021: 

  • Additional eligible conditions were 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; 
  • 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, can 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 increased from 0.5 percent to one percent of monthly prescription volume and additional bandings were included; 
  • The service can be 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 
  • catch-up NMS was 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 also supports 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 (including antidepressants) 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
  • Catch-up NMS
  • Submitting NMS summary data to the NHSBSA
  • Funding for the service and claiming payment
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • NMS statistics and evaluation

The ‘new’ ‘New Medicines Service’ (NMS)

Changes since September 2021; What’s it worth financially and why your pharmacy needs to deliver NMS!

The LPC has prepared an NMS article which will:

  • Provide a brief reminder of the NMS service.
  • Highlight the changes to the service since September 2021.
  • Provide suggestions to assist you in identifying eligible patients.
  • Highlight the necessity of delivering NMS to ensure access to other payments (Pharmacy Quality Scheme, Transitional payments).
  • Provide an insight into the financial value of delivering the NMS service from your pharmacy.

We hope you find this article useful – Focus on the NMS October 2021 Final

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


SENTINEL Project & NMS:

SENTINEL is a quality improvement project that aims to implement and promote the appropriate use of Maintenance and Reliever Therapy (MART) across Hull and East Yorkshire in accordance with the local asthma guidelines.

Supporting patients through Asthma therapy/inhaler device change, and promoting understanding of the medication regime is essential to ensure effective asthma control and optimal outcomes for patients.

The Interface Clinical Services team are helping community pharmacies to identify asthma patients who have undergone a review and therapy change, by including the following wording on the right-hand side of prescriptions.

‘This is a new inhaler for this patient, please offer the NMS to the patient on collection’

Further details of the SENTINEL project are available on our SENTINEL page.