New Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service
NHS Urgent Medicines Supply Advanced Service Published
The NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) Toolkit has been refreshed and updated. This is to coincide with the extension to the NUMSAS pilot and to take account of the learning so far. The toolkit can also be accessed via the following link:
Changes to the monthly NUMSAS claims process – As part of the preparations to extend the NHS Urgent Medicines Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) pilot to the end of September 2018, NHS England has worked with the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) to review how NUMSAS claims are submitted at the end of each month.
It is planned that the above national scheme will be rolled out in Hertfordshire during April 2017 and before the Easter holiday period. For further information on the service including payment the specification is available here.
A key requirement to register for the service is that the pharmacy must have a premises specific shared NHSmail mailbox. Please do NOT proceed to register to provide the service until you have such a mailbox.
Those pharmacies that signed up to get nhs.net mail by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with their details before 1 February 2017 will be fast-tracked to be set up with an nhs.net mail address and will have received an email from NHS England this week regarding their intentions to offer the NUMSAS scheme. Please contact email@example.com if you believe you have a premises specific NHSmail mailbox and signed up by 1 February 2017 and did not receive this email.
We recognise that there are challenges with the NUMSAS scheme but we would particularly encourage those pharmacies that are either open late evenings or Saturdays or Sundays or Bank Holidays to sign up to the NUMSAS pilot and have a premises specific shared NHSmail mailbox by Friday 24 March 2017. To sign up for the service you must complete the following form online. We would encourage all CCA pharmacies to check with their head office before applying. There will be the opportunity for other pharmacies to join the scheme after this timeframe.
Watch out for further information about the roll out of this service locally in due course.
The service specification for the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service pilot (NUMSAS) was published on 29 November 2016.
The service specification sets out information about provision of the service, including the funding for the service. NHS England also intend to publish guidance on the service in December; PSNC and the LPC will notify contractors when this is published.
Contractors will be able to register their intention to provide the service from Thursday 1 December 2016 on the NHS Business Services Authority website. We will let you know when the registration portal is open
However, NHS England is rolling out the service as a phased geographical rollout and the service will not be available in Hertfordshire until January 2017 (for further details, see PSNC’s NUMSAS section of the website); the registration process is to register contractors’ intention to provide the service.
Please note this does not currently affect the local Community Pharmacy Emergency Supplies Service (CPESS) in East and North Herts that runs until 31 March 2016 and pharmacies commissioned to provide this service should continue to deliver according to the service specification.
PSNC Advice to Contractors
Please note that PSNC has given advice to contractors as follows:
NUMSAS is part of the DH imposition of changes to the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) and as such the service, including the funding, has not been agreed by PSNC. PSNC has however sought to work with NHS England to ensure the service specification and requirements are, wherever possible, as manageable as possible for contractors and that the experience from similar locally commissioned services has informed the development of the service.
IT support – the service requirements, and in particular the lack of funding to provide nationally commissioned IT support for the service, mean that it may be more bureaucratic and hence costly for contractors to provide, in comparison to equivalent locally commissioned services which are supported by appropriate IT systems for the transfer of referrals from NHS 111, maintenance of service records, service claims and communication with patients’ GP practices.
It has not been possible for NHS England to procure specific IT support for the service, such as PharmOutcomes; this is regrettable, particularly when the Pharmacy Integration Fund is funding this pilot service and it may therefore seem logical for this funding to also be used to provide IT infrastructure that would support the flow of information between NHS 111 providers, community pharmacies and general practices.
Funding – PSNC has undertaken an initial assessment of the costs of providing the service and we will undertake a more detailed analysis now the final service specification has been published. At PSNC’s November 2016 meeting, the Committee considered the costs of providing the service and they expressed concern that contractors would find that the likely costs of provision of the service would exceed the fees that NHS England will pay for its provision.
As with any new service, PSNC recommends that contractors consider the likely costs they will incur in setting up and providing the service and compare this with the likely income that will be available from the service as part of a careful assessment of whether it is sensible for them to seek to provide the service.
The volume of referrals from NHS 111 to contractors is likely to be relatively low, based on information provided by NHS England; the maximum number of all such potential referrals is in the region of 200,000 per annum, and based on the experience of similar locally commissioned services, it is unlikely that it will be possible to transfer all of these patient requests to community pharmacy, at least to begin with. Clearly the likely volume of transactions per pharmacy will also need to be a factor that is considered when contractors make a decision on whether they wish to seek to provide the service.
Here are the pharmacies currently signed up to offer the NUMSAS service