The Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) forms part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF). It supports delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan and rewards community pharmacy contractors that deliver quality criteria. The PQS 2022-23 has now launched, providing a critical opportunity for pharmacies to receive income.

We want to support you to claim all PQS payments that you can and maximise your PQS income.

NHS England Guidance for community pharmacy contractors on PQS 2022-23

NHS England (NHSE) published Guidance for community pharmacy contractors on the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2022-23 on 10th October 2022. The guidance explains how you can meet the gateway and quality criteria. It builds on previous work around respiratory disease, antimicrobial stewardship and weight management and includes new criteria on improving access to end of life medicines, domestic abuse and cancer red flags. Please read guidance in full to make sure you fully understand the PQS 2022-23 requirements and key dates.

Resources to support you

PSNC has published a range of resources to support you to meet the requirements of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2022-23:

PSNC PQS 2022-23 Digital Guide

PSNC Briefing 031/22: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Summary of the training requirements for the 2022-23 scheme

PSNC Action and Evidence Portfolio Workbook

PSNC PQS 2022-23 page

Current priorities in the PQS 2022-22 for you to focus on now:

  • Aspiration payment: The aspiration payment window opened at 9am on 10th October 2022 and closes at 11.59pm on 4th November 2022.
  • Respiratory Domain: Criteria started on 10th October 2022

PQS 2022-23 Aspiration payment:
PQS 2022-23 Aspiration payment claims are made via the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) Manage Your Service (MYS) portal.
The aspiration payment window opened at 9am on Monday (10th October 2022) and closes at 11:59pm on 4th November 2022.
If you claim for an Aspiration payment within the above time period it will be paid on 1st December 2022.

PQS 2022-23 Gateway Criteria:
To be eligible to take part in the PQS and be eligible for a PQS payment, you must declare that you will achieve the gateway criteria by the end of 31st March 2023. The declaration can be made between 6th February 2023 and 3rd March 2023.

There are two parts to the gateway criteria:
1. New Medicine Service (NMS)
 The aim of this gateway criterion is to ensure that all pharmacies taking part in the scheme meet all the terms of service requirements and are choosing to actively provide clinical support to patients by providing NMS.
 To participate in the PQS 2022-23 you must have delivered and recorded a minimum of 20 NMS’s between 1 April 2022 and the end of 31 March 2023. If you have not achieved this minimum number yet this is a priority for you now.
 You will not be required to make a declaration for this gateway criterion as this will be automatically verified against the NHS Business Service Authority (NHSBSA) payment data for NMS.
 Resources and further information on NMS can be found on the PSNC NMS page.
2. Patient Safety report
 This gateway criterion aims to embed a positive safety culture in community pharmacy, ensuring errors and near misses are recorded, learnt from, and actions are taken to prevent future harm.
 When making a declaration for this criterion, you will confirm that you have a newly written safety report (new since March 2022 when this criterion was last included in the PQS or covering the last two years if not previously claimed, or since the pharmacy was acquired or opened, if this time period is less than two years).
 The report should be at premises level and be available for inspection from 31st March 2023.
 The report will cover analysis of incidents and incident patterns (taken from an ongoing log), evidence of sharing learning locally and nationally, and actions you have taken in response to national patient safety alerts.
 PSNC has provided templates to support you in gathering and collating your patient safety report:
Monthly patient safety report template
Patient safety report template

Full details of the gateway criteria, resources to support you and how to make your declaration can be found at the PSNC Pharmacy Quality Scheme page.

PQS 2022-23 Domains:
There are four domains within the PQS 2022-23:
 Domain 1 – Risk management and safeguarding
 Domain 2 – Respiratory
 Domain 3 – Healthy living support
 Domain 4 – Prevention
 Domain 5 – Addressing unwarranted variation in care

Please review these and decide which domains your pharmacy will work towards. We would encourage you to work towards achieving all of them to maximise your income and support for patients. When claiming an Aspiration payment you will be asked to indicate which of the domains you will be working towards. If you subsequently do not achieve any of the domains you have received an Aspiration payment for, the money will be deducted automatically by the NHSBSA (receiving an Aspiration payment is conditional on a contractor’s agreement to this arrangement).

PSNC information, resources and links to support you to meet the criteria within each domain can be found at the PSNC website.

CPPE resources to support the PQS 2022-23:

CPPE has provided Pharmacy Quality Scheme webpages to support you to meet the training requirements of the scheme. The pages include information on each of the PQS domains that have quality criteria requiring completion of learning/assessment for the following:
Risk management and safeguarding
Healthy living support

One of the key differences in this year’s PQS compared to previous years is the inclusion of ‘validity periods’ for learning. This means that staff may be required to repeat training and e-assessments that they have completed previously, depending on the stated validity period and when they last completed the training and e-assessments.
CPPE has included a really useful tracker on the PQS home page to help you to easily identify which learning and e-assessments you need to complete to meet the requirements of the PQS 2022-23. You need to be logged in to the CPPE website to see the tracker. The tracker works for GPhC registered pharmacy professionals and non-registrants with a non-GPhC registrant account.
Note that the tracker is for CPPE learning/assessments included in the PQS 2022-23, but does include the new Domestic abuse awareness (Safe Spaces training) e-learning, developed by Hestia and hosted on the CPPE website. This e-learning is a quality criterion requirement in the Risk management and safeguarding PQS domain.

CPPE face to face optimising inhaler technique workshop, Bridgwater, Wednesday 11th January 2023
• After almost 3 years we are really pleased to announce that face to face CPPE workshops are returning!
• An Optimising inhaler technique: improving outcomes workshop is scheduled on Wednesday 11th January 2023, 19:30-21:30 at The Canalside Conference Centre, Bridgwater.
• This workshop is for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians or trainee pharmacists and supports the Respiratory domain of the PQS 2022-23.
• Please book now as places are limited. Booking link.