Interim Quality Payments Scheme 2018/19

The interim Quality Payments Scheme 2018/19 – A summary of changes to the Scheme

The interim Quality Payments Scheme 2018/19 is largely like the Quality Payments Scheme 2017/18 except for a small number of minor changes. This PSNC Briefing outlines the changes that have been made to the Quality Payments Scheme.

The review point

There will only be one review point on 29th June 2018, at which a Quality Payment can be claimed. Payments will need to be claimed between 9am on Monday 11th June 2018 and 11:59pm on Friday 13th July 2018.

Unlike the previous declarations, there will not be a reconciliation payment made to contractors, as there is only a single declaration point for this scheme and the payment made to contractors will therefore be calculated to distribute the full £37.5 million funding.

Changes to the Gateway criteria

As per previous declarations, passing the Gateway criteria will not, in and of itself, earn a quality payment for the pharmacy.

NHS Choices

1. Requirement to add Bank Holiday opening hours

The requirements for this Gateway criterion have changed since the 2017 review points. The NHS Choices entry for the pharmacy must be up to date including the addition of Bank Holiday opening hours for 2018/19.

The Bank Holidays during 2018/19 which occur during or after the period that contractors must edit and/or validate their NHS Choices entry are:

  • Monday 7th May 2018                                        Early May Bank Holiday
  • Monday 28th May 2018                                     Spring Bank Holiday
  • Monday 27th August 2018                                 Summer Bank Holiday
  • Tuesday 25th December 2018                           Christmas Day
  • Wednesday 26th December 2018                     Boxing Day
  • Tuesday 1st January 2019                                  New Year’s Day

For these Bank Holidays, contractors will need to create a ‘Public holiday and other special day’ entry on their NHS Choices profile; see the NHS Choices user guide for further information. Where Bank Holiday opening hours have not been added, NHS Choices will default to normal opening hours. Failure to add Bank Holiday opening hours to the pharmacy profile will result in non-compliance with the Gateway criteria.

NHS England’s local teams will use the Bank Holiday opening hours entered in each pharmacy’s profile to plan provision of services on those dates. If the pharmacy’s planned opening hours for these Bank Holidays change after the editing and/or validation of their NHS Choices profile, they should update the Bank Holiday opening hours within their NHS Choices profile and they should notify their local NHS England team.

2. Distance selling pharmacy (DSP) contractors ONLY

Distance selling pharmacy contractors are not required to complete a survey as requested for the November 2017 review point. DSP contractors are instead requested to follow the process outlined in the NHS England guidance (which will be published shortly).


The pharmacy must be able to send and receive NHSmail from their premises shared NHSmail account. For a number of years, community pharmacies in England have been able to request a shared NHSmail account. To access a shared NHSmail mailbox, users must have their own personal NHSmail address which is linked to the shared mailbox. This is to allow different staff members to access the mailbox without sharing of login details.

Use of a personal NHSmail account, rather than a premises shared account, will not meet the Gateway criterion. If your pharmacy does not have a shared NHSmail account, PSNC Briefing 058/17: How to complete the NHSmail registration process explains how to complete the registration and activation process.

Changes to the Quality criteria

No changes have been made to the Quality Payments Scheme Quality criteria and the number of points per criterion is the same as the total number of points available across both review points in 2017/18. The following points should however be noted:

  • Written Patient Safety Report – contractors that claimed for this quality payment in 2017 will not be able to use the same patient safety report to make a claim in June 2018. For the June 2018 declaration they will need to update their previous report to show how the elements set out in the Drug Tariff have been updated and refreshed since their 2017 patient safety report was completed;
  • Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire results available on the pharmacy’s NHS Choices page – to qualify for this quality criterion, contractors are required to publish the results of the CPPQ from the last 12 months on the pharmacy’s NHS Choices page. For contractors that claimed for this quality payment in 2017, they will need to undertake a new survey, analyse the responses and produce a report of the results and publish the results on the pharmacy’s NHS Choices page to meet this quality criterion in June 2018;
  • Summary Care Record – the dates for comparison of SCR accesses are now from Monday 1st May 2017 to Sunday 26th November 2017 compared to Monday 4th December 2017 to Sunday 1st July 2018. The SCR Quality Payments Viewing Calculator will be published shortly;
  • NHS 111 Directory of Services (DoS) – a new DoS profile updater will be made available shortly. Contractors will be required to edit or confirm that the information in the pharmacy’s DoS profiles are correct on the DoS Profile Updater; this must be done by 23:59 on 29th June 2018; and
  • Referral for asthma review – for those contractors who claimed for this criterion in 2017, a new review of patients since 24th November 2017 will be required.

The future of the Quality Payments Scheme

Future changes to the Quality Payments Scheme will be the subject of forthcoming substantive discussions between PSNC, the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England.

Further resources

NHS England is finalising new guidance to cover this interim Quality Payments Scheme, which is expected to be published shortly. As outstanding guidance becomes available, PSNC will publish it on their website at Resources to help contractors to comply with the requirements are available via that page of the PSNC website. PSNC will also be issuing regular communications to remind contractors of various actions required, so please ensure you have signed up to receive them.

In addition we will make information available on the LPC website and will send out information via the LPC newsletter.