Following expansion of the New Medicine Service (NMS) last month, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have published an updated version of the service specification.

The NMS expansion, one of the agreed outcomes from negotiations for Year 3 of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF), allowed contractors to offer patients support to twelve additional conditions.

As per the specification, contractors can only prescribe NMS to patients who’ve been prescribed a particular NMS medicine for the first time and for the given conditions.

Besides, contractors who do not have a consultation room (due to their premises size) can continue to provide the service remotely, where appropriate, and in the patient’s home.

Eligible contractors, who meet the requirements for the NMS can start providing expanded service from September 1, 2021.

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has advised contractors to read the updated draft service specification before providing service. The final version of the same will be published shortly.

Funding

The cap on the number of NMS that can be provided by contractors has been increased from 0.5 per cent to one percent of monthly prescription volume and additional bandings included.

PSNC has encouraged contractors to review the Drug Tariff to be able to maximise the number of patients they can support through this service and confirm their new caps and funding bands.

Catch-up NMS

The temporary introduction of catch-up NMS allows contractors to offer additional support to patients, who were prescribed a new medicine during the pandemic but could not receive NMS support at the time.

The catch-up service may be offered to eligible patients between September 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.

PSNC director of NHS services, Alastair Buxton, said: “As the NHS seeks to recover from the impact of the pandemic, contractor’s provision of the catch-up element of the service will help support achieving the best outcomes for patients that may have missed out on this support as a consequence of the pandemic restrictions.

“We welcome the additional opportunities the extended service will bring to continue to show how community pharmacists and their teams can further enhance the care of patients taking newly prescribed medicines.”

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