Community pharmacy on the launchpad

So the first round of quality payments has been submitted and I understand that community pharmacy compliance will be outstanding. I am genuinely happy, both for the community pharmacies and for the Chief Pharmacist and his team who may have dragged community pharmacy into the 21st century.

What was that? What did I say? Did you hear me right? Yep – community pharmacy are on the Launchpad to greater things thanks to that little masterstoke introduced at the last contract imposition. A little unfortunate that it was hidden in the cut to core service payments and the pharmacy integration fund. And I hope that you don’t think of it as a box ticking exercise.

If you wake up tomorrow and find out that the NPA or PSNC has won their case, let’s not forget that an important job will have been done.

So every pharmacy will be delivering at least one advanced service. They have all updated their NHS Choices entry – although I never understood why they wouldn’t want to tell everyone about the services that they provide. They all have a secure NHS email address – so they can transfer information to and from their main paymaster securely and perhaps they will be more responsive to requests etc. And they are all using EPS.


Every pharmacy will now record and act on patient safety incidents and they will respond appropriately to national patient safety reports. Safeguarding for children and vulnerable adults – that sounds important for a community pharmacy to be fully aware of.

And you have to complete a patient questionnaire every year. That is actually a bit pathetic – for a business that thrives on the patient experience – it should have been more frequent. I know that some use mystery shoppers so they can sharpen up their act. Any business survives on customer loyalty and experience – I just can’t understand why you all weren’t doing this already.

Everyone is a healthy living pharmacy now. So you all are thinking about the skills and ability of your staff, the state of the premises and how you connect with your community and healthcare colleagues. Sounds sensible to me.

Using summary care records – not sure how you can operate a safe system without using them. And your NHS111 entry is up to date. You are all going to be dementia friendly and if someone is obtaining 6 consecutive relievers for asthma over 6 months you will refer them for an asthma review.

Should have included NUMSAS – it should be core, but we have to be a little patient with technology.

Of course most of you were tittering in the back – easy peasy lemon squeezy.

But now we have the majority of community pharmacies up to a simple standard. Most are now looking in the same direction and thinking the same thing……

What next. Well you are on the Launchpad – flick the switch – turn the boosters on – and head for the stars – and always aim to be better than the minimum that is expected.



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