NHS England chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge said he “welcomed the excellent response” from community pharmacy to the Quality Payments Scheme to date, as new guidance was issued for the November review point.

The guidance tells contractors how to go about making an online declaration to claim quality payments for the 24 November review point on the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) website. Contractors can submit declarations between Monday 13 November and Friday 8 December.

Dr Keith Ridge

In addition to the written guidance, NHS BSA will be running WebEx sessions to support contractors with the declaration process. These sessions will run from mid-October to mid-November.

NHS England says that over 94 per cent of pharmacies (11,094) have made Quality Payment claims since April of this year, of which only 109 were not eligible for a payment. Up to £75 million has been made available for qualifying pharmacies. 

The health body cites a number of successes that have come out of the scheme to date, including 70,000 pharmacy staff members training as Dementia Friends and 12,500 referrals of asthma patients at risk of a severe asthma attack. NHS England’s national clinical director for respiratory services, professor Mike Morgan, said community pharmacists are “in an excellent position to give potentially life-saving advice” to those affected by asthma.

Dr Keith Ridge voiced support for the scheme, saying Quality Payments promote “the continued integration of pharmacies into the wider NHS primary and urgent care system and encourage pharmacy professionals who practice in community pharmacies to make the most of their valuable clinical skills."

 He added: “I welcome the excellent response from community pharmacy so far and advise people to visit their local pharmacy this winter if they need advice and help with their medicines or to manage winter illnesses.”

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