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.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital trust are actively referring patients from both Castle Hill Hospital and Hull Royal Infirmary into community pharmacies across the area, for access  to the DMS.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust will soon be set up for DMS, hence you will start to see referrals from Diana Princess of Wales hospital, Scunthorpe General hospital or Goole and District Hospitals soon.

Contractors may still receive referrals from neighbouring areas as this essential service is available nationally, all contractors should be ready to deliver the DMS service.

Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, has written the following letter to Community Pharmacy Teams, copied to PCN pharmacy teams, marking the launch of the service and setting out information including a service overview, the importance of collaborative working, and links to the resources available on the NHSE&I website. Community pharmacy contractors should ensure that they have read the guidance (chapter 8) and the DMS toolkit, which provides a checklist for contractors to follow. To note, a similar letter has also gone to secondary care colleagues as the service requires effective cross-sector working to support patient and medicines safety.

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

For more information on the following please visit PSNC:

  • 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.

For your checklist, the current local Hospital Trusts referring into pharmacy are:

  • Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust: NOW LIVE
  • Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust: NOW LIVE
  • Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust: Anticipated live from July 2022