Quality Payments


A Quality Payments Scheme, which forms part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, was introduced on 1 December 2016. The original version of the scheme ran until 31 March 2018 and a total of £75 million was paid to community pharmacies for meeting the specified quality criteria. The scheme was extended in March 2018 for the first six months of 2018/19, as part of interim arrangements prior to substantive negotiations for 2018/19 being undertaken. The extended scheme had a review point in June 2018 and funding of £37.5 million.

In September 2018, a new Quality Payments Scheme was announced for the remainder of the 2018/19 financial year. The new scheme had funding of £37.5 million and a review point of February 2019. Changes to the scheme are summarised in this PSNC briefing. The LPC has put together a Pharmacy Quality Payments document to help support you in meeting your pharmacy quality payments for the review point in the following areas:

  1. How to claim
  2. Gateway criteria
  3. Quality criteria

It is never too early to start preparing for the February 2019 review point of quality payments and we would strongly encourage you to reflect on your action areas now.

The LPC is keen to support pharmacies – so if you have any questions please contact us.

Pharmacies are strongly encouraged to pull together a quality payments evidence folder that is readily accessible in the pharmacy should they be requested to provide evidence of meeting quality payments in the future by NHS England.

Please note that if you are part of a group of pharmacies, before working through the attached document, you should check with your head office about implementation to meet the quality payments to ensure you are adhering to their processes as they may be undertaking some of the work centrally on your behalf.

Please note that this guide only contains the key notes and headlines from the NHS England and PSNC guidance in relation to quality payments in what we hope is a more digestible format. The LPC cannot accept any responsibility should a pharmacy not familiarise itself with the NHS England guidance as a minimum. 

Pharmacies are also strongly encouraged to visit the PSNCs excellent hub webpage that has a wealth of information and supportive materials. Please sign up to PSNC newsletters as information on updates will be published on the website and in their newsletters – psnc.org.uk/enews.

NHS England has published new guidance ahead of the February 2019 review point of the Quality Payments Scheme. Contractors are strongly advised to read the NHS England guidance in order to understand the Quality Payments Scheme requirements. The new guidance should be read in conjunction with the previously published NHS England guidance documents on the Quality Payments Scheme.

  • NHS England – Pharmacy Quality Payments Gateway Criteria Guidance (published 23 December 2016)
  • NHS England – Pharmacy Quality Payments Quality Criteria Guidance (published 27 February 2017)

All three guidance documents can be found on the NHS England website.