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Community pharmacies offered guidance on using Quality Payments Scheme

Community pharmacies wishing to claim payments under the Quality Payments Scheme have this week been given new guidance by NHS England.

The programme aims to reward community pharmacies for improving the quality of care for patients by hitting a number of criteria centred on clinical effectiveness, safety and experience.

More specifically, the criteria encourage organisations becoming accredited ‘healthy living’ pharmacies, identifying high-risk asthma patients and making referrals for reviews.

Up to £75m has been made available to community pharmacies in England qualifying for the scheme, which was launched on 1 December last year and will run until 31 March 2018.

Declarations of payments must be made online via the NHS Business Services website, which will open on 13 November and close on 8 December this year.

“Quality payments support 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,” said chief pharmaceutical officer, Dr Keith Ridge.  

“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.”

Professor Mike Morgan, NHS England’s national clinical director for respiratory services, added: “Asthma is a long-term condition that requires constant review and adjustment by the patient and the health professional.

“Serious attacks of asthma should not be treated as one-off episodes but seen as a failure of chronic care.

“These attacks, which may be fatal, can often be predicted by warning signs and frontline community pharmacists are in an excellent position to give potentially life-saving advice.”

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