Initial details of the new Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) for this year were released earlier today, as part of the arrangements for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) in 2022/23 and 2023/24.
PSNC, the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England have agreed the arrangements for the 2022/23 PQS, as well as those for the 2023/24 PQS, with a focus on supporting recovery from COVID-19 and wider national health priorities.
The 2022/23 scheme will officially begin on 10th October 2022. As with previous schemes, it has £75m funding available and contractors will be able to claim an Aspiration payment if they wish to, later this year.
In our negotiations on the scheme, PSNC has managed to reduce the scope of this year’s PQS so that the estimated contractor costs and time required to complete the criteria will be below those associated with the original NHS proposals for the scheme. A further reduction in scope has also been agreed due to the delayed start of the 2022/23 PQS. PSNC hopes that this, along with arguing for more realistic targets across the scheme, will help reduce the impact on contractor workload, at what continues to be a very busy and pressured period for the sector.
Summary details of what will be included in PQS this year (and for the 2023/24 PQS) have been published in Annex 1 of the Year 4 and 5 contractor letter; further details will be published as a Drug Tariff Determination shortly.
The 2022/23 PQS – making a start
Where capacity allows contractors to get going with the PQS, we suggest they tackle the following two areas first, while waiting for further details on the 2022/23 PQS to be published:
1) Gateway criterion – New Medicine Service
One of the Gateway criteria requires contractors to have claimed for 20 completed New Medicine Service (NMS) provisions between 1st April 2022 and 31st March 2023. Contractors could review the number of NMS that they have claimed for since 1st April 2022 to see whether they already meet this criterion or if not, consider what action they need to take, to ensure they can meet this Gateway criterion by 31st March 2023.
2) Training requirements
There are several training requirements that contractors will need to meet in the different domains.
Several of the training requirements have been included in previous Schemes; however, this year there is a new requirement that may mean that staff are required to repeat training and e-assessments that they have completed previously. This will depend on the stated validity period and when staff completed the training and e-assessments.
PSNC has published a briefing which includes a table listing the training requirements, who needs to complete the training and the time periods in which staff must have completed training.
Further information on PQS 2022/23
PSNC will continue to publish communications, resources and guidance on the PQS 2022/23 as and when it becomes available. All information currently available is on our PQS hub page.
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