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Quality payments and patient safety

Running Your Business

Quality payments and patient safety

Dawn Williams, head of customer development at Celesio UK, continues her series looking at the Quality Payment Scheme, with an overview of the key steps to meet patient safety criteria

With so much going on in the world of pharmacy at the moment, it can be difficult to know where to focus your attention. You might look at the new Quality Payment Scheme and wonder where to begin? If you’ve read either of my previous articles on clinical effectiveness and public health or digital requirements, you’ll be aware that there are some things you need to start doing right away in order to receive maximum funding. 

Here we take a look at another of the Quality Payment criteria: patient safety. There are two areas of focus that fall under this category; let’s remind ourselves of what they are:

1. Safety report: Written safety report at premises level available for inspection at review point, covering analysis of incidents and incident patterns (taken from an ongoing log), evidence of sharing learning locally and nationally, and actions taken in response to national patient safety alerts

2. Safeguard training: On the day of the review 80 per cent of registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy have achieved level 2 safeguarding status for children and vulnerable adults in the last two years.

Patient safety report

Working in healthcare, patient safety is central to what we do every day. This is an important focus area for the Department of Health, and rightly so as it’s all about ensuring that pharmacy is continually improving every aspect of patient safety. 

Although pharmacies are obliged to record and report all patient safety incidents, some pharmacies are reporting far more frequently than others. The written safety report demonstrates that your pharmacy has reviewed, reflected and taken action to minimise future risk from repeated errors, while also sharing learnings both locally and nationally.

Each pharmacy must produce a report covering all incidents that have taken place in the past year. Collecting this information on a monthly basis will help to support the development of this report. The final report will help to identify patterns which can be shared across all pharmacies and means that we can react faster as a sector to improve clinical safety for patients.

The report should include incidents such as near misses and errors involving medication that caused patient harm or had the potential to do so. You will also need to demonstrate what actions you’ve taken as a result of local errors and national patient safety alerts.

This quality criterion can only be claimed once so you may want to consider the supporting evidence you have collated before deciding whether to wait until the November review date or claim in April. It has 20 points associated with it and is worth £1,280.

What you need to do:

  • Collate your list of incidents as you need supporting evidence to inform your safety report
  • You can use one of the templates available via PSNC or Pharmacy Voice
  • Stay in regular contact with other local pharmacies to share your learnings from recent incidents and consider Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) as ways of sharing locally
  • You will be required to declare that you’ve met this criteria via the NHS BSA online page

Level 2 safeguarding

Equipping your pharmacy team with the knowledge on safeguarding and the policies surrounding it can support them to confidently identify cases of suspected abuse and neglect and to take appropriate action.

Level 2 safeguarding training can be completed in a variety of ways by full time and part time registered pharmacy professionals. It is worth noting that training has to be completed within two years of the review point, so for April, any training must have been completed after 29 April 2015.

Training can be completed online via the CPPE e-learning package and e-assessment module, Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults.

Another option is to attend a training session organised via Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS England and other providers.

This criterion is claimable at both review points (28 April and 24 November) and is worth a total of £640 per year.

What you need to do:

  • Find out how many members of your team are eligible to complete safeguarding training. You can check on the PSNC website
  • Spend some time discussing what safeguarding means for your pharmacy team. How can you support your community with protective measures?
  • Arrange for your registered pharmacy professionals to undergo the safeguarding level two training
  • You must be able to prove (i.e. with a certificate of completion) that 80 per cent of registered pharmacy professionals have completed the training, within two years of the review date – any staff who completed previous versions will need to undertake additional training to refresh their knowledge
  • You will need certification from your team that have completed the training course – a certificate of completion is stored by CPPE in the personal record for each learner.

The first review date is coming up fast, so if you haven’t started thinking about the Quality Payments requirements, you’re risking missing out on key funding.

Sources of support

If you’re looking for a place to start, you can check how much funding you’re currently entitled to and get a tailored report to help you plan using the online AAH Quality Payment tool.

You could also look into pharmacy partnerships like Careway from AAH to support your business to grow.


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