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NPA Essential: March 2022

NPA Essential

NPA Essential: March 2022

This month’s key notes
New endorsement for Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs)
The Department of Health and Social Care has introduced a new endorsement to claim for SSP supplies that were made from 1 June 2021. The new endorsement uses the code ‘SSP’ and the three digit reference number that is specific to the SSP.
A transition period was implemented from 1 June 2021 until February 2022 to allow contractors to continue to use the existing ‘NCSO’ endorsement where the functionality for the new endorsement is not yet available, however this has now ended.
Key points for pharmacy teams

  • From February 2022, the NCSO endorsement will no longer be accepted.
  • During the transition period, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) accepted either the existing ‘NCSO’ or the new ‘SSP’ endorsement for any SSP claims.
  • The new SSP endorsement will only be accepted for electronic and paper prescriptions after the transition period has ended.
  • Only the new endorsement which uses the code ‘SSP’ and the three digit reference number that is specific to the SSP will be accepted for claims, for example, SSP for paracetamol suppositories 120mg would be endorsed as SSP 015.
  • SSP claims made using EPS tokens after February 2022 will not be accepted for payment – claims for electronic prescriptions are required to be made electronically. For further information go to:

Contractors must submit their FP34C data on the Manage Your Service (MYS) portal
Pharmacy contractors will be required to submit the FP34C, electronically, through the MYS portal from April 2022. Many contractors already use the MYS portal to submit their monthly data. Pharmacy contractors who are still using the paper FP34C to submit their monthly declaration are advised to begin electronic submissions via the MYS portal.

Key points for pharmacy contractors:

  • All prescriptions dispensed from March 2022 must submit their FP34C data through the MYS portal no later than the 5th of the following month.
  • Pharmacy contractors must print and enclose a copy of the FP34C with their batch submission.
  • A new advance payment timetable was introduced in November 2021, where pharmacy contractors benefit from an early advance payment approximately 20 days earlier. In order for contractors to receive this early payment the following criteria must be met:
    - FP34C data to be submitted through the MYS portal by the 5th of the following month in which the prescriptions were dispensed.
    - All electronic endorsement messages must be sent by the 5th of the following month in which the prescription were dispensed.
    - Early payment will only be made for submissions submitted through the MYS portal. For further details go to:

Also this month
Future of pharmacy survey
BD Rowa, a global medical technology company and NPA Business partner, has commissioned a survey with the NPA to understand how independent community pharmacists are viewing the future, business opportunities an challenges that pharmacists may face.
The results from this survey will be anonymised and will help to shape future services and support for independent community pharmacy. 
To complete the survey go to:
DoS Updater and NHS website editor to be replaced soon
Contractors currently use two different NHS systems to ensure their pharmacy details are up to date in the NHS 111 Directory of Services (DoS) and on the NHS website: the NHS website profile editor and the DoS Profile Updater. Both of these tools are due to be replaced by a new tool, called NHS Profile Manager, which is scheduled for release in early March 2022.
To prepare for this change, pharmacy contractors or team members should register for the new NHS Profile Manager with their personal NHSmail address as soon as possible. Further details can be found here:

Representing you
NPA responds to CPCF annual review
In response to the news that there will be no new funding this year within the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, NPA chief executive Mark Lyonette said: “It appears this annual contract review has rubber-stamped another year of cuts for pharmacies across England.
“This is an insult to pharmacy teams, who have worked relentlessly hard to help keep the country on its feet during the covid pandemic.
“The tone of the announcement seems to indicate that cuts are likely to continue for at least the remainder of the five-year CPCF term.
“We cannot possibly accept that outcome.
“Costs are up, in some cases very considerably, public demand for pharmacy support has surged, workload pressures have intensified and many staff are demotivated. All this when the NHS needs a well-functioning sector to help it clear the backlog of care caused by the pandemic. This should be a time for investment in achieving stated goals, not for continued attrition.
“Instead of moving forwards into new clinical roles, which the NHS and DHSC say they want, pharmacies could now slip back, focus narrowly on dispensing and reduce access to care – the very opposite of the aspirations stated in the NHS Plan.
“Governments, NHS and negotiators elsewhere in the UK are working to agreed visions and decently funded strategies. England should follow suit and jettison the nonsense that great services can be provided on a shorter and shorter shoestring.”

NPA argues for funding uplift as locum rates go through the roof
New data from recruitment platform Locate a Locum shows a huge increase in locum rates for pharmacists in 2021 and predicts the trend will continue.

The National Pharmacy Association has written to senior managers at NHS England to request an uplift in funding for pharmacy contractors to cover higher staffing costs and a range of other cost-inflating factors. There was a 71 per cent increase in the cost of employing locum pharmacists in England, from the 2020 average to the second half of 2021.
NPA chief executive Mark Lyonette said: “There is a heavy reliance on locums in community pharmacy to maintain continuity of services with the average pharmacy operating 50 hours per week. Consequently increases in locum rates have a big effect on the cost base.
“Pharmacies face a range of general cost pressures beyond locum rates, including much higher energy costs.  We hear a lot about the cost of living crisis; our members are facing a cost of doing business crisis and it’s every bit as real.
“The underlying underfunding, significant general inflationary pressures and specific cost increases relating to the locum workforce together make a powerful and urgent case for new funding.”
In September 2020 Ernst & Young (EY) completed a study of the funding, policy and economic environment for independent community pharmacy in England. This NPA-commissioned study predicted a £497m deficit in community pharmacy funding by 2024 and stated that the network was unsustainable under the current financial framework.
Locate a Locum tracked locum rates across the UK and the NPA is raising this matter with the negotiators in all four nations. The largest increase was seen in Scotland.

Getting the best out of GP CPCS
The number of GP referrals into the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service varies dramatically from place to place. So what are the magic ingredients in those parts of the country where the scheme is doing exceptionally well? A new short series of videos by the National Pharmacy Association, in conjunction with the Primary Care Pharmacy Association provides insights for practice staff and pharmacists. Follow this link to watch:

NHS England mental health campaign
NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a new mental health campaign to raise awareness of anxiety and depression. The NHS provides a range of talking therapies for common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, which are free, effective and confidential. Members can access resources such as posters and social media assets produced by the NHS to promote the campaign. Access them here:
The NPA has also partnered with Mind in England and Wales, and its sister charities in Scotland and Northern Ireland, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and Inspire Wellbeing – to raise funds for the vital work of these charities as part of its centenary celebrations in 2021. You can donate here:

NPA resources on the Accessible Information Standard (England)

The NPA has updated its resources for members to ensure that accessible vaccination information to people with a disability, is available at their vaccinations sites, following a recent NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) bulletin. NPA resource support pharmacy teams with provision of the Standard, include:

  • Accessible Information Standard template SOP
  • Accessible Information Standard Guidance
  • Accessible Information Standard FAQs

 The Accessible Information Standard (AIS, ‘The Standard’) came into force on 1 August 2016 and relates to the provision of information to people with a disability, in a format that they are able to access and understand. All organisations that provide publicly-funded NHS and adult social care (both from private or public sectors) must legally implement the Standard as directed under section 250 of the Health and Social care Act 2012; this includes pharmacy contractors.
Key points for pharmacy teams:

  • It is a legal requirement to ensure that patients, service users, carers and parents with a disability, impairment or sensory loss have access to information they can understand including, for example, braille or large print.
  • Consider reviewing processes within the pharmacy; you can use the NPA AIS suite of resources.
  • AIS requires vaccination sites to ensure the availability of vaccine information – vaccination sites are able to order information about vaccines in a range of accessible formats through the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) health publications portal.
    Individuals with hearing impairments have the right to British Sign Language (BSL) support, through on-site or remote support.
    - BSL support is available via the SignVideo.
  • Individuals who are visually impaired have the right to information which is accessible to them such as large font, audio and braille.

For further information and to access the recourse go to

Funded Independent Prescriber courses available
Funded places are now available for Independent Prescriber training. Health Education England (HEE) have been working with universities who offer GPhC accredited courses, to offer both Independent Prescribing (IP) and Clinically Enhanced Independent Prescribing (CEPIP).
These courses have different entry requirements – for further detail and to apply go here -

We would encourage you to prepare to apply for the main round of funded Independent Prescriber training that will be available from Autumn 2022. For NPA resources to assist you with your application process go to:
The NPA continues to work closely with HEE on the provision and availability of such courses. For further information please contact Helga Mangion at

Kickstart deadline – End of March 2022
The Kickstart scheme closes at the end of March - if you are in the final stages of recruiting a Kickstarter, please ensure that you advise Reed and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), when your Kickstarter starts their placement.
Some pharmacies have used government-funded scheme to recruit young people into the pharmacy and get them into full time employment.
The NPA, who have working with recruitment agency Reed to enable independent pharmacies to take part in the initiative, have helped over 520 young people gain work experience and undertake training in pharmacies via the scheme.
J Cubbin & Sons, a group of independent community pharmacies serving the people of Neston, Heswall and Wallasey, have two kickstarters who have now become full-time members of staff.  
Benjamin John Gill, 25, started his six-month Kickstart scheme with St. Paul’s Pharmacy in Wallasey, part of the J Cubbin and Sons group, in May 2021.
Benjamin applied to work in a community pharmacy after studying Biomedical Science at university. “I’ve always been interested in the sciences so I wanted to carry on what I enjoyed,” he says. He admits it was slightly daunting when he first joined.
“I started off as a counter assistant. I was a little out of the loop in some situations so there were things I couldn’t do.”
However four months into the scheme he was offered a full time, permanent role as a dispenser.
He says: “I decided to stick and stay. My responsibilities have now increased and I’m taking on the majority of things everyone else does. I'm doing occasional blister packs, sorting out acutes, doing prescriptions daily. I’m also asking my colleagues questions regularly about different medicines and what they do, so I can increase my own knowledge.
“I do see myself doing this for the foreseeable future. Being on this side of the counter in the pharmacy, it’s definitely opened up what needs to be done and what’s happens in a pharmacy. I would definitely advise other young people to consider working in a pharmacy. You need to dip your toes into it and try it out. It has been eye opening.”
Daniel Hales, the pharmacist at St Paul’s Pharmacy who supervised Benjamin, says having a kickstarter helped take some pressure off the team. “Having an extra pair of hands and someone who is front-facing helps to free up other members of staff to get on with all the side of things, like paperwork.
"The transition was easy. Benjamin worked in the service industry before so dealing with the public isn't new to him. The scheme is great because it provides opportunities to people who need them.”
Megan Twizell, 22, also managed to find long-term employment after doing the Kickstart scheme at Heswall Hills Pharmacy, part of the J Cubbin and Sons, in the Wirral. Megan came from working with horses at a riding school to working as a full time dispenser and counter assistant. She is currently doing the NPA’s Dispensary Assistant course.
"It was so different from what I was doing in my first job,’ she says.
"It was hard to understand at first, compared to what I was used to do, but the team here were very helpful.
"It felt amazing to be given a full-time role here. It is good to be part of the national effort to help people against Covid-19."
She adds: “I'd definitely want to continue working in pharmacy and pursue a career in the dispensary. I like meeting the customers too, they're lovely around here.”
Caitlin Cubbin, the pharmacist at Heswall Hills Pharmacy who supervises Megan, said the Kickstart scheme was a “brilliant” initiative.
“It’s given us an extra member of staff who can be trained up the way we work, so there's no previous knowledge or previous habits we have to break. It's a brilliant scheme.”
She says: "You essentially have a funded member of staff who you can mould into what you want. Having Megan with us the last year, with the ongoing pandemic, gave us a huge amount of relief. We're only a small place and we don't have a huge budget for staff anyway.
“It's given her a qualification and it gave us a trained member of staff by the time we had to start providing the funding ourselves."

Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2021/22

The Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) forms part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF). The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) agreed the arrangements for the 2021/22 scheme with a focus on priorities supporting recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gateway criteria and quality domains
Pharmacy contractors are required to meet all Gateway criteria on the day of the declaration to qualify for a payment
All of the quality criteria within a domain need to be met to be eligible for a payment for that domain
PQS 2021/22 Gateway criteria and quality domains summary.

Gateway/ Domain Quality criteria

Advanced Services: New Medicine Service (NMS)

Safety report and demonstrable learnings from Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) LASA e-learning

Risk Review

Medicine safety and optimisation High-risk medicines: anticoagulant audit

Personalised asthma action plans (PAAP) and promoting spacer device use in children prescribed pressurised metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs)
Inhaler technique checks for patients prescribed a new inhaler with asthma or COPD during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Return of unwanted and used inhalers

Digital Remote consultation skills
Primary Care Network prevention Influenza vaccination programme
Prevention Infection prevention and control and review of antimicrobial stewardship practice using the target antibiotic checklist
Addressing unwarranted variation in care Health inequality
Healthy living support Weight management

Key deadline and dates:

31 March 2022 Deadline to complete the domains
1 April 2022 Pharmacy contractors will be paid as part of the overall payment made by NHSBSA on 1 April 2022. The aspirational payment will be initially reconciled, with further reconciliation to take place in early 2022/23 when final data on the increase to the uptake of flu vaccination as part of Domain 4, Primary Care Network and over in each PCN domain will become available
5 April 2022 (previously 5 January 2022) Gateway criteria: NMS Deadline for when pharmacy contractors need to claim payments for the completion of a minimum of 20 NMS (and/or catch-up NMS) from 1 April 2021 to 5 April 2022.
1 June 2022 Domain 4: Primary Care Network, influenza vaccination programme A reconciliation of the payment made to pharmacy contractors for this domain on 1 June 2022 when final data on the increase to the uptake of the programme will be available
30 June 2022 Deadline to gather evidence and demonstrate compliance

For further information go to:


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