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The preparatory work undertaken by the contractors to start NHS CPCS needs to be finished as GPs across primary care networks (PCNs) are likely to start making referrals to the service over the next a few months.

“Pharmacy contractors registered to provide the CPCS will be able to support this local preparatory work and they can claim a £300 engagement and setup payment if they undertake a range of actions to get ready for rolling out the referral pathway in their area,” the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has said in a communication to the contractors.

From November 1, the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) was extended across England to include minor illness referrals from general practices as well as from NHS 111.

For contractors who are to be able to claim the engagement and setup payment have been asked to complete the following requirements by March 31, 2021.

  • The contractors who haven’t obtained necessary information on the service they are going start are suggested to obtain a briefing from the delivery partner or LPC lead to ensure that they remain fully engaged with local plans to provide best care to their patients
  • The contractor must ensure that relevant members of the pharmacy team have read and understood any briefing materials prepared locally by the PCN or delivery partners on the referral pathway and any rollout plans, to ensure the relevant details are understood
  • They should create an action plan for implementing the new referral pathway in the pharmacy, including ensuring their NHS CPCS standard operating procedure is updated to include the GP referral pathway and the associated record keeping, and data capture requirements
  • It has also been suggested to ensure that relevant members of the pharmacy team are fully briefed and have read and understood information within the updated NHS CPCS service specification and associated toolkit which is pertinent to their role.

Contractors that were part of the pilot for the referral pathway are likely to be able to quickly meet the requirements listed  above and will be in a position to claim the payment.

“Where local preparations to roll out the referral pathway have not yet progressed in a locality, it is unlikely that contractors will be able to meet the requirements in Annex F at this time; contractors should only claim the payment where they have fully met the requirements,” the pharmacy negotiator added.

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