Discharge Medicines Service

The Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) became a new Essential Service within the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) on 15th February 2021.

This service, which all pharmacy contractors have to provide, was originally trailed in the 5-year CPCF agreement, with a formal announcement regarding the service made by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in February 2020.

From 15th February 2021, NHS Trusts were able to refer patients who would benefit from extra guidance around new prescribed medicines for provision of the DMS at their community pharmacy. The service has been identified by NHS England and NHS Improvement’s (NHSE&I) Medicines Safety Improvement Programme to be a significant contributor to the safety of patients at transitions of care, by reducing readmissions to hospital.

Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) – Humber Update August 2022:

It has taken a long time to get all the moving parts to come together across the 3 trusts in Humber, and elsewhere. IT, governance, finance, workload, workforce, Covid have all had their input into the process, but they have now all been addressed. Since April, all 3 of our main trusts have been building their referrals and pressure testing their processes as they adapt to the new service. It’s now safe to say they are all up and running with expansion in mind soon.

Trusts Status:

  • Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH):  Active – Focusing on cardiac patients presently.
  • North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation trust (NLAG): Active – Cardiac, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, Pain.
  • Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust (HTNT): Active – vulnerable/community care patients.

Other local sources:

There are community interest providers across the ICS that have limited numbers of discharge patients and are currently evaluating DMS engagement.

Out of area but referring into Humber:

  • York and Scarborough Teaching hospitals NHS foundation trust.
  • Harrogate and District NHS foundation trust.
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (currently inactive).
  • Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).

PLUS, potentially anywhere nationally!

As there aren’t big volumes, yet, these referrals are not merely being logged they are being actively monitored. Any refusals are not noted, they are investigated. This is an essential service which means it is mandatory, you do have to be capable of always handling these referrals, it is your core contract. This includes locums.

Going forward we are investigating some local events with HUTH and NLAG to get some lines of communication going and to help with any training needs for the types of patients being referred. Watch this space.

PLEASE NOTE: Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must complete the Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) Declaration of Competence (DoC) before providing the Discharge Medicines Service (DMS)

If you have any questions on the NHS DMS, please do email england.communitypharmacy@nhs.net

Visit CPE for more info on the following:

  • Background to the service
  • The service requirements
  • What do contractors need to do to provide the service?
  • How are referrals sent to pharmacies?
  • Record keeping requirements
  • The three stages of the service
  • Funding
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • DMS digital guide
  • Resources

The resources below will enable contractors to provide the service:

Resources are available on the NHSE&I website. Community pharmacy contractors should ensure that they have read the guidance (chapter 8) and the DMS toolkit





Watch the Discharge Medicines Service digital guide

Virtual Outcomes training for the pharmacy team: Virtual Outcomes flyer for DMS

Virtual Outcomes GP Surgery training module: https://www.workcast.com/register?cpak=9605833577231577

DMS PharmOutcomes platform guidance video: Pinnacle Media (pharmoutcomes.org)

Further resources are available via the PSNC link above.

Access the DoC via the CPPE website. This DoC is to be completed by all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians involved in providing the service.

Additionally, it is recommended that you also complete the CPPE NHS Discharge Medicines Service eLearning and assessment.

Local Training:

A local training event was held on the 15th November to get staff up to speed on the service, here are the slides from the event: Full slide deck DMS event 15.11.22 FINAL and the following handouts:PSNC-Discharge-Medicines-Service-worksheet-v1 (1)Discharge-Medicines-Service-activity-summary discharge-medicines-service-data-specification (1)DMS summary


Pinnacle are currently working on the integration of the national DMS PharmOutcomes platform and MYS with the hope that they will be integrated from June 2023. When this is in place the data captured in the DMS platform will automatically populate their monthly MYS claim template.

Until then contractors will need to manage the recording and transfer of data manually to ensure they are paid correctly. To assist contractors in capturing the monthly data for input to MYS, they can utilise the DMS single view report feature within their PharmOutcomes account (see reports tab);  this collates the summary data into one report which can be printed off and used to support input of data into MYS for submission to the NHSBSA.