PSNC has published new guidance to help community pharmacy contractors to complete the 2022/23 Data Security and Protection Toolkit. The Toolkit is used to make a pharmacy’s information governance (IG) declaration and must be completed by Friday 30th June 2023. We recommend that contractors complete the Toolkit as soon as possible.

We collaborated with NHS Digital to keep the workload associated with Toolkit completion manageable whilst maintaining the appropriate data security protections. Key differences in this year’s Toolkit include:

improvements to the Toolkit’s layout;
improvements to the question wording and pharmacy-specific tips; and
the Toolkit displays the answers submitted by the pharmacy in the previous submission for various questions, allowing contractors to simply confirm that the information remains accurate and adjust this if necessary.

The NHS Parent Organisation Code (POC) headquarters (HQ) batch submission feature also continues to enable to allow contractors (that own three or more pharmacies) to complete a single submission for all their premises.

As with last year, the majority of contractors should have access to information to help them answer the more technical questions contained within the Toolkit. Contractors who have refreshed and updated their templates in PSNC’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Workbook, will be able to meet the criteria for completing around half of the Toolkit questions, and should type or paste ‘see GDPR WB’ into those questions.

We published our guidance materials as soon as was practicable and strongly encourage contractors to consider this annual requirement in their workload planning.

We also recommend that contractors with three or more pharmacies check that the list of pharmacies associated with their NHS POC code is still correct so that any issues can be rectified as soon as possible. See our batch submission guidance (below) for more information.

PSNC guidance

Toolkit completion: Overview: Five steps for completing the Data Security and Protection Toolkit 2022/23– this is a step-by-step guide to completing the Toolkit and contains references to other useful materials.
Toolkit completion: Question-by-question guidance (mandatory questions)– this guidance has been designed to help contractors complete the mandatory questions within the Toolkit.
Toolkit completion: Using the NHS Parent Org Code (HQ) batch submission (for pharmacy contractors with three or more pharmacies)

Next steps

We recommend that contractors log in to the Toolkit as soon as possible and read our guidance documents – starting with the Toolkit completion: Overview: Five steps guide. If time allows, contractors should begin filling in the Toolkit.

Please note that all the questions marked mandatory in the Toolkit must be completed as part of a pharmacy’s NHS Terms of Service to meet the minimum IG requirements.

Please also note that PMR suppliers may soon provide additional guidance to help contractors with completing the updated technical questions in the 2022/23 Toolkit.

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