Pharmaceutical services

Flexible provision of pharmaceutical services during the current pandemic

Following the declaration of an emergency requiring the flexible provision of pharmaceutical services until 1 September 2020 PCC has prepared a briefing which explains the existing provisions within the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations, as amended, that have been bought in by this declaration, and new provisions which were inserted by the National Health Service (Amendments Relating to the Provision of Primary Care Services During a Pandemic etc.) Regulations 2020 with effect from 27 March 2020.

As well as our briefing we have also prepared five template forms which we hope will be of use to contractors and NHS England regional teams:

Pharmacy and dispensing appliance contractor opening hours

PCC has updated its guidance on the pharmacy and dispensing appliance contractor terms of service relating to opening hours. Both documents reflect the requirements of the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013, as amended.

Pharmacy essential services – disposal of unwanted drugs

Pharmacies are required to dispose of unwanted drugs in certain circumstances. PCC has produced a briefing which will assist NHS England and contractors in understanding the terms of service requirements and the arrangements they need to put in place.

Dispensing appliance contractor practice leaflets and patient questionnaire

As part of their system of clinical governance dispensing appliance contractors (DACs) are required to produce in an approved manner a practice leaflet containing approved particulars in respect of each of their premises. They are also required to undertake an approved patient satisfaction survey annually, in an approved manner.
The approved particulars for the practice leaflet can be found here and for the patient satisfaction survey here.

Distance selling premises and essential services

PCC previously received a number of queries from primary care trusts seeking clarification on the provision of essential services by distance selling premises (also known as internet or mail order pharmacies). The briefing that was produced has been updated to assist NHS England and contractors in understanding the requirements for service provision by such pharmacies and can be found here.

Clarification on the transfer of dispensing doctors’ fees under delegated commissioning of primary care

In response to queries regarding the transfer of dispensing doctors’ fees under delegated commissioning of primary medical services, NHS England confirmed in October 2016 that dispensing is a pharmaceutical service under the terms of the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013, as amended.

Although delegated CCGs may account for dispensing fees paid to dispensing practices under the power of apportionment, NHS England is responsible for taking the commissioning decisions regarding this function. CCGs do not have legal powers to change or divert this funding to cover other functions. Further information is available from NHS England local teams.

PCC runs local workshops on request to help commissioners and/or GP practices work through the regulations governing dispensing by doctors. Contact enquiries@pcc-cic.org.uk with the subject ‘Dispensing by doctors’ for details.

Rurality, controlled localities and the provision of pharmaceutical services by doctors – an explanation of the history

A meeting was held on 15 October 2010 at which representatives from DH, PSNC, the GPC, the DDA, NHS Employers and PCC discussed the history of rurality, controlled localities and the provision of pharmaceutical services by doctors. A document was subsequently prepared by the Advisory Group on the NHS (Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2005 and PCC. It explains the background to the provisions within the 2005 (and previous) regulations which permit doctors to provide pharmaceutical services to eligible patients and the background to controlled localities.

In May 2020 the document was updated to reflect the introduction of NHS England and the taking effect of the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013, as amended.

The Clothier report

A national joint committee, chaired by Lt Col Sir Cecil Clothier was established in 1975 to facilitate discussions between the medical and pharmaceutical professions in order to reach agreement on the supply of prescription medicines in rural areas. The committee’s report (which has become known as the Clothier Report) was published in December 1977 and can be found here. It provides the background and context for the current regulations regarding the provision of drugs, medicines and appliances in rural areas.

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