Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF), CPCS, PQS & NHS Mail



CPCF settlement: 2019/20 to 2023/24

Following negotiations between PSNC, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I), HM Government has agreed to make a five-year investment in community pharmacies. The deal secures pharmacy funding and sets out a clear vision for the expansion of clinical service delivery over the next five years, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.

In brief, the settlement consists of the following main elements:

Funding for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF): £2.592bn per year for 2019/20, and for subsequent years until the end of 2023/24.

NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)  

NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) launched on 29th October 2019 as an Advanced Service. Since 1st November 2020, general practices have been able to refer patients for a minor illness consultation via CPCS, once a local referral pathway has been agreed.
The service, which replaced the NUMSAS and DMIRS pilots, connects patients who have a minor illness or need an urgent supply of a medicine with a community pharmacy.
As well as referrals from general practices, the service takes referrals to community pharmacy from NHS 111 (and NHS 111 online for requests for urgent supply), Integrated Urgent Care Clinical Assessment Services and in some cases patients referred via the 999 service.
To find out more about the CPCS Service, please follow the link: Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) – PSNC Website

Are you ready to deliver the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)? Click here for a checklist

Click here to view a handy locum checklist highlighting what they will need to deliver the service whilst working in your pharmacy.

Click here for service specification

Click here for Pharmacy Staff toolkit

Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS)

Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS): a new name for the Quality Payments Scheme. The gateway and quality criteria from previous years will change on an annual basis, with some becoming CPCF Terms of Service requirements from April 2020. See our PQS briefing for more information.

Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) Part 2 training – Summary

Our thanks to Bolton LPC for sharing this training summary below to support you in completing some of the requirements of Part 2 of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme

PQS Part 2 Training Summary (Word)
PQS Part 2 Training Summary (PDF)

This PQS is heavily focused on training for the whole pharmacy team, with further work to be completed once the training is complete.

NHS Mail

NHS Mail user guideclick here

NHS Mail: How to get a shared NHSmail account – Pharmacy Quality Scheme and NUMSAS

Having a shared NHSmail account for your community pharmacy is a gateway criterion for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme and it is also necessary for any pharmacy contractor that wishes to provide the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service; this will also be a requirement for contractors wishing to provide the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, which is due to commence in October 2019.

If you want to obtain a shared NHSmail account for your pharmacy, you can do this via the NHSmail registration portal. Working through this process will include the creation of up to three personal NHSmail accounts which will be used to access the shared NHSmail account. The process is explained in CPE Briefing 058/17: How to complete the NHSmail registration process – Community Pharmacy England ( During the registration process, if you are unable to locate your pharmacy within the portal, please contact and they will support you through the process (also see section below).

Once you have completed your registration using the portal, you will be sent login details for the personal accounts so that you can activate them and then log into your shared NHSmail account. When you first login to your personal NHSmail account, review and accept the user agreement which should pop up on your screen. Each NHSmail user within your pharmacy can activate their account by logging in using their individual login details; activation applies to each person. After each staff member has accepted the user agreement, each person should receive an email which explains that activation has taken place. If you are having difficulties with activating your account, contact who will support you through the process.

Already have an NHSmail account for your pharmacy?
Some pharmacies already have an NHSmail account for their pharmacy. This may be a shared mailbox, which users log into using a personal NHSmail account (i.e. the shared mailbox cannot be logged into directly), or it may be an NHSmail account which has been created for the pharmacy using a personal NHSmail account. NHS England and NHS Digital want all pharmacies to have shared mailboxes which can only be accessed by authorised users who log in using their personal NHSmail account. This is also the only type of account which will meet the gateway criterion for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme.

If you already have a pharmacy NHSmail account, but it is not a shared mailbox, follow the above process to request a shared NHSmail account.

NHS Shared Mailbox – LPC Quick Reference Guide

Click here to find some helpful advice on setting up an NHS Shared Mailbox

Transitional payments

These are monthly payments to help community pharmacy contractors meet costs associated with changes such as integration into Primary Care Networks (PCNs), preparation for Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) and implementation of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD).


Other changes:
  • Medicines Use Reviews have now been decommissioned as of 31st March 2021.
  • As previously indicated, Establishment Payments – a tiered payment made to pharmacies dependent on the number of items dispensed – will be phased out by 2020/21.
  • The Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) remains with funding of £24m a year.