Coventry LPC

Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2019-20

The Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS)  is the new name for the Quality Payments Scheme, which forms part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF).

NHS PQS Guidance

PQS Guidance 2019/2020

NHS PQS Presentation (Regional Event: Sep 2019)

PSNC PQS Guidance

Main Pharmacy Quality Scheme Page on PSNC

Pharmacy Quality Scheme FAQs

CPCF Checklist (including PQS resources)

Important PQS Dates and Deadlines 2019/2020

PQS Briefings

Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PSNC Briefing 029.19)

Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PSNC Briefing 041.19)

Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PSNC Briefing 059.19)

Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PSNC Briefing 060.19)

Completing PQS Declarations (PSNC Briefing 004.20)

PQS Webinar

PQS Webinar On-demand

PQS Webinar Slide Pack


PQS Assessment Framework Available

PharmOutcomes Helpdesk

PQS Resources

  • Aspiration Payment
  • Gateway Criteria
  • Quality Criterion: Asthma Referrals
  • Quality Criterion: Diabetes
  • Quality Criterion: Dementia Friends
  • Quality Criterion: PCN domain
  • Quality Criterion: Patient Safety Report
  • Quality Criterion: Risk Review
  • NSAID Gastro-Intestinal Safety Audit 2019/20
  • Valproate Audit 2019/20
  • Lithium Safety Audit 2019/20
  • PQS Declarations 03 Feb-28 Feb 2020
Aspiration Payment

An Aspiration payment is available for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2019/20 which supports cash flow and recognises that there is only one declaration period in 2019/20 towards the end of the year.

The Aspiration payment is optional; if contractors do not want to claim it, it will not impact on the contractor’s ability to claim a PQS payment in February 2020.


Contractors, who wish to claim for an Aspiration payment, must do so between 9am on 30th September 2019 and 11.59pm on 1st November 2019.


Gateway Criteria

To qualify for a PQS 2019/20 payment,  contractors will have to meet the following four gateway criteria on the day of their declaration (which must be done between 3rd February 2020 and 28th February 2020):

  1. the contractor must be offering at the pharmacy the New Medicine Service (NMS) and/or the NHS community pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination service LINK; and
  2. pharmacy staff at the pharmacy must be able to send and receive NHSmail from their shared premises specific NHSmail account, which must have at least two live linked accounts LINK; and
  3. the contractor must update its NHS website profile in respect of its opening hours (including Easter Sunday 2020 and the following public and bank holidays: Christmas Day 2019, Boxing Day 2019, New Year’s Day 2020, Good Friday 2020, Easter Monday 2020, Early May Bank Holiday 2020 and Spring Bank Holiday 2020), services and facilities and promptly update this as information changes (including Easter Sunday and public and bank holiday opening hours) to ensure the information is accurate for the public (to be eligible for the PQS 2019/2020 payment, this will have to be done between 00:00 on 1 October 2019 and 23:59 on 30 November 2019); distance selling pharmacies must send an email to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) Provider Assurance Team between 00:00 on 1 October 2019 and 23:59 on 30 November 2019 as per the NHS England and NHS Improvement Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2019/20 guidance LINK; and
  4. 80% of all registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy have achieved level 2 safeguarding status for children and vulnerable adults in the last two years prior to the date of their declaration LINK.

For further information on each criterion, click on the links above. 

Contractors passing the gateway criteria will only receive a payment if they meet one or more of the quality criteria bundles/standalone criteria listed in the tables under the ‘Quality criteria’ subheading below. Therefore, meeting the gateway criteria will not, in itself, attract a PQS payment; it is subject to how many of the quality criteria bundles/standalone criteria the contractor meets.

Source: PSNC

Further guidance: Directory of Services Update 

PQS: Deadline for requesting editing rights for your NHS website profile 

PQS: Have you updated your NHS website and your DoS profile?

Quality Criterion: Asthma Referrals

Community pharmacy contractors passing the gateway criteria will receive a payment for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme if they meet one or more of the domains. The asthma domain consists of one quality criterion, which is:

‘The pharmacy can show evidence that asthma patients, for whom more than 6 short-acting bronchodilator inhalers were dispensed without any corticosteroid inhaler within a 6 month period, have since the last review point been referred to an appropriate health care professional for an asthma review; and can evidence that they have ensured that all children aged 5-15 prescribed an inhaled corticosteroid for asthma have a spacer device where appropriate in line with NICE TA38 and have a personalised asthma action plan. Refer to an appropriate healthcare professional where this is not the case’.

You can find more information on the following links:

PSNC Briefing 042.19: PQS Asthma Referrals

Updated Resources

Virtual Outcomes Asthma Audit Tally Sheet

Quality Criterion: Diabetes

This PSNC Briefing provides community pharmacy contractors with guidance on meeting the diabetes quality criterion for the 2019/20 Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS), which is one of five quality criteria that community pharmacy contractors will need to meet to be able to claim for the Prevention domain.

PSNC Briefing 043.19 – PQS Diabetes Quality Criterion

Community pharmacy contractors are reminded that if they intend to meet the diabetes quality criterion of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS), they must start working towards this from 1st October 2019 and continue with this until 31st January 2020.

Source: PSNC

Training Resources:

Virtual Outcomes Course Flyer

Virtual Outcomes Article: DIABETES FOOT AND EYE CHECKS

Virtual Outcomes Diabetes Audit Record Sheet

Quality Criterion: Dementia Friends

PSNC has published a Briefing to assist community pharmacy contractors with meeting the Dementia Friends quality criterion of the Prevention domain.

The Briefing provides step-by-step instructions on how to become a Dementia Friend and also includes a Dementia Friends record sheet which contractors can choose to use to keep a record of staff members and temporary staff, such as locums, that have become Dementia Friends.

PSNC Briefing 045/19: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – How to become a Dementia Friend

Further Guidance:

Support available for the dementia-friendly environment checklist and action plan

Virtual Outcomes Dementia Friendly Environment Checklist

Quality Criterion: PCN domain

PSNC has published two Briefings to support community pharmacy contractors and LPCs on working together to enable contractors to meet the Primary Care Networks (PCN) domain of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS).

The PCN domain requires contractors to be able to demonstrate that their pharmacy, and all of the other pharmacies within the PCN footprint who wish to engage with a PCN, have agreed a collaborative approach to engaging with their PCN. This approach must include agreement on a single channel of communication by appointing a named lead representative (Pharmacy PCN Lead) for all of the community pharmacies who wish to engage with their PCN in the PCN footprint.

PSNC Briefing 047/19: PQS – Guidance for community pharmacy contractors on the Primary Care Networks domain

PSNC Briefing 048/19: PQS – Guidance for LPCs on the Primary Care Networks domain

Quality Criterion: Patient Safety Report
Quality Criterion: Risk Review
Lithium Safety Audit 2019/20

Contractors must have started the lithium* audit by 29th November 2019 at the very latest, to be able to meet the requirement to complete the audit over a consecutive three-month period.

Lithium audit support materials published

Briefing 054.19: Decision Tree – Lithium Audit

PQS Declarations 03 Feb-28 Feb 2020

Community pharmacy contractors are now able to make a declaration for a Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) payment for the 2019/20 Scheme.

Contractors must use the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) Manage Your Service portal to make their PQS declaration between 9am on 3rd February 2020 and 11.59pm on 28th February 2020.

On the day of making their declaration, contractors will be required to declare that they meet the four gateway criteria and that they meet the domains they are claiming payment for (except if they plan to meet the Sugar Sweetened Beverages quality criterion by 31st March 2020).

PSNC Briefing 004/20: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Completing your declaration provides further information on how to make a declaration and the validation process for the gateway criteria; contractors are strongly encouraged to read this.


Providing information for Community Pharmacies about the work of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee and of the Community Pharmacy Services commissioned within Coventry


Copyright by Coventry LPC. All rights reserved.