PSNC cautious over Urgent Medicine Supply pilot

PSNC has issued advice to contractors interested in registering for the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS pilot).

PSNC advice on its website explains that the NUMSAS is part of the Department of Health's imposed changes to the national contract, and therefore it did not agree the service nor its funding. Although PSNC supports commissioning of emergency supply services in principle, it had called for a fully funded service that would include requests from patients during contract negotiations. It is therefore disappointed that the service is only a pilot and only covers referrals from NHS 111.

A lack of funding for nationally commissioned IT support may make the service more bureaucratic and costly for contractors to provide. PSNC is undertaking a detailed analysis of the service costs, but its committee has expressed fears that these costs could exceed the fees paid by NHS England. The volume of referrals to contractors is also likely to be relatively low, with NHSE data suggesting around 200,000 per annum.

All contractors that meet the NUMSAS service specification requirements, including that their pharmacy has a shared NHSmail mailbox, are now able to register by completing the notification form on the NHS Business Services Authority website. But they will only be able to receive referrals from NHS 111 and provide the service when the service goes live in the their area. A webinar on the service, and a timetable for the rollout – due to take place between December 2016 and March 2017 – is available on the PSNC website.


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