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Issue 40
July 2020
Welcome to Hints and Tips for Dispensing Contractors
In this edition: 

Electronic notifications for urgent supply rolled out to community pharmacies

Community pharmacies in England are now sending electronic notifications for urgent supplies of medicines provided as part of the CPCS.

The new functionality is now in use at pharmacies using the Sonar Informatics and Pinnacle PharmOutcomes systems.

The electronic notifications are sent automatically and the way you record urgent supplies in your IT system has not changed. Not all GP systems can yet receive the notifications, but your system will check prior to sending and revert to the existing method if the practice is not enabled.

System guidance and roll out information is available from your system supplier.

Updates to July 2020 Drug Tariff:

End of the pandemic delivery service

Pharmacy contractors should note that the Essential pharmaceutical service – ensuring home delivery during the COVID-19 outbreak and the Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service during the COVID-19 outbreak – will end on 31 July 2020.

Declaration of emergency requiring the flexible provision of pharmaceutical services 

The declaration of emergency requiring the flexible provision of pharmaceutical services, made in Directions signed on 27 March 2020, will now be extended from 1 July to 1 September 2020. This will allow temporary changes to pharmacy opening hours or temporary closure of pharmacy premises in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where there are adequate reasons, to continue.

Medicines Use Reviews

Payment will be made up to a maximum of 100 Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) per pharmacy for the period commencing on 1 April 2020 and ending on 31 March 2021.
Read more and view payment details >>

New Medicine Service

There will no longer be a requirement under the New Medicine Service (NMS) for the registered pharmacist to have a MUR certificate to be able to perform NMS. There remains a requirement to complete and keep a self-assessment.
Visit our COVID-19 news channel for the latest news and updates from the Drug Tariff >>

Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2020/21

The Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2020/21 will comprise of two parts:
Part 1 Essential Criteria Checklist will focus solely on COVID-19 activities, including individual COVID-19 risk assessments for all members of staff.
Part 2 will cover more general quality areas such as prevention and risk management.


Visit our website for more information about PQS and to read the determination for Drug Tariff Part VIIA Pharmacy Quality Scheme Part 1.

Better information sharing to help clinicians during COVID-19

Under new temporary legal arrangements brought in during the pandemic, NHSX and NHS Digital have added Additional Information to over 54 million patients’ Summary Care Records, up from 3 million records in April 2020.

Most Summary Care Records now provide authorised health and care professionals with more information about a patient's medications, allergies, adverse reactions to medications, medical history, reasons for medications, care plan information and immunisations from their GP record and COVID-19 specific information such as suspected and confirmed status.   
This change will increase patient safety and improve patient outcomes by enabling health and care professionals to have better medical information about the patient they are treating at the point of care, and reducing time and effort in communicating across different care settings.

Find out more about Summary Care Records with Additional Information and how to view SCRs.

The Pharmacy Earlier Payment Scheme

Community pharmacies can sign up for early access to their monthly advance payment for the provision of NHS pharmaceutical services.
On 1 July 2020 the Pharmacy Earlier Payment Scheme (PEPS) was updated to provide even earlier access to funds.
Under the new scheme, you can receive an estimated early payment, based on your submission history, before we receive your submission document. This means you can access funds up to 60 days earlier. There will be one payment date at the beginning of the dispensing month.

Using the FS endorsement

This year we introduced new FP10 prescription forms in England to help eligible patients correctly claim free NHS prescriptions and avoid penalty charges.
The changes also include the introduction of a new prescriber endorsement ‘FS’ for 'free supply of sexual health treatment'. This enables prescribers to endorse an item being prescribed to treat a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The ‘FS’ endorsement indicates to dispensers that the patient should not be charged.
Contraceptives do not fall into the ‘FS’ classification and should not be endorsed with ‘FS’.
Dispensing doctors
The red separator has also been introduced for dispensing doctors to help us to identify and process scripts endorsed with ‘FS’.
Prescriptions for contraceptives should be submitted in the correct exempt/charge group and not within the red separator.
If you have prescriptions for products indicated with the ‘FS’ prescribing endorsement code:
  • place them within this red separator
  • put them on the top of your batch submission to us
We will provide a red separator with your usual end of month submission documents.
Full guidance and information is available on our website >>

Electronic prescriptions at an all-time high

More than 85% of primary care prescriptions in England are now processed electronically, after a rise in use of the service during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Accessing patient data to maximise eRD

As part of our response to COVID-19, we’ve supported over 3,458 GP practices with data for patients receiving between 1 and 3 medicines who might be suitable for electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD).

We’re now able to send GPs data for patients receiving between 1 and 9 medicines who might suitable for eRD.

Collaboration is key to the successful implementation of eRD. Community pharmacies and GP practices should collaborate on how best to maximise eRD locally.  
Visit our website for resources to help you increase eRD >>

Endorsing correctly in EPS: actual medicinal product pack

We have received a number of enquiries from contractors who have endorsed an incorrect product and pack size, leading to refer backs and delays in payment.
When dispensing a drug not listed in Part VIII of the Drug Tariff, you must endorse:
  • the pack size used
  • the brand name or name of the manufacturer or wholesaler from whom the supply was purchased (if the order is in the ‘generic’ or pharmacopoeial form)
In EPS you can select the actual medicinal product pack (AMPP). This automatically adds these details to your submission.
Did you know?...
The price endorsed on your submission is the trade price and does not include VAT.
Separate your RA forms and green EPS tokens from your FP10s before submitting them to us.
 If you’re a dispensing doctor, print your pandemic delivery claim form and send it to us with your monthly submissions.
Claim your pandemic delivery fee via the MYS portal. You cannot claim payment for this service via EPS as an XP claim. Visit our website for guidance.

EPS tokens – how to sort and submit your batch

We scan EPS tokens as part of our Exemption Checking Service. It’s important to sort and submit your tokens correctly to keep this process as efficient as possible.
Sorting your batch
It can help prevent processing delays if you:
  • Print all tokens on official paper
  • Use the perforated edge to remove the back of the token
  • Don’t submit age exempt tokens (categories A and C)
  • Don’t use adhesive tape, pins or staples. We have to remove these before scanning, which can delay processing
  • Don’t apply stickers – these can leave a sticky residue that causes problems for our scanners
  • Submit your batches packed neatly together in the same orientation

Centrally supplied vaccines

We’re seeing an influx of vaccines submitted for payment in error. 
Centrally supplied vaccines – including dTaP/IPV low dose (Repevax) – are provided free of charge to a practice via the central supply as part of the Childhood Immunisation Programme.
A practice would not claim for the cost of these vaccines, nor do they receive a fee for administering the vaccine to the patient.

Submitting requisitions and private prescriptions for controlled drugs

Use the FP34PCD form to submit:
  • FP10PCD private prescriptions for controlled drugs (CD)
  • FP10CDF requisition forms
You can download the FP34PCD form and find guidance on how to complete the form on our website.

New website for PPC sales

We’ve updated our website including the page you need to use if you are selling prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) in your pharmacy.
The new web address is:
If you have any queries about using this service, call our PPC Pharmacy Helpline on 0300 330 1009.

Useful links on our website

NHS England and Wales Drug Tariff
Guidance on sorting your FP10s and using the red separator
Sending in your reimbursement and remuneration claims

More information

For more information you can access our online Knowledge Base or contact us via email.

You can also call us on 0300 330 1349.
Our opening hours are 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday

Coronavirus (COVID-19): contacting our services
If you need to contact us, our response times may be slower than usual during the coronavirus outbreak
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