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Pharmacy Bulletin - 2018 December

Welcome to the final edition of the Pharmacy bulletin for 2018.  This edition includes updates on:
Accessing the Drug Tariff from January 2019
Christmas and New Year CitySprint supplies deliveries
Round-up of Market Entry service changes and improvements in 2018
Looking forward to 2019:  Latest on service transformation
Customer Support Centre (CSC) opening hours over Christmas
National Engagement Team Restructure
Contacting PCSE
Accessing the Drug Tariff from January 2019

In line with NHS England’s sustainable development strategy and commitment to make services available online where possible, we are encouraging pharmacies to make use of the online version of the Drug Tariff.

The online Drug Tariff is available to view on the NHS Business Services Authority website here, providing timely access to the very latest information. The latest version is available three working days prior to the start of each month. You can also view any updates that have been made to the published version online.

Every pharmacy will continue to receive an annual copy of the Drug Tariff in January.

From 2019, you will only receive the printed monthly copy if you have requested to do so.

If you wish to opt-in to continue to receive the printed monthly copy of the drug tariff, please click here and complete the information requested by 10 January 2019.

If you decide to opt-in, please note the drug tariff will be delivered by a new courier firm from 2019.
Please note: There may be a slight delay in the delivery of the December Drug Tariff due to an issue in production.

Christmas and New Year CitySprint supplies deliveries

There will be no supplies deliveries during week commencing 24 December.

Your last CitySprint visit in 2018 will happen as usual during week commencing 17 December.
During the week commencing 31 December, deliveries will take place as follows:


If your usual delivery day for week commencing 31 December would be: Your delivery day for this week will be:
Tuesday 1 January Wednesday 2 January
Wednesday 2 January Thursday 3 January
Thursday 3 January Friday 4 January
Friday 4 January Monday 7 January

Deliveries will return to your normal day of the week from the week commencing 7 January.

Please take this information into account when ordering supplies for this period.

If an urgent order of supplies is required during the Christmas period, requests can be fulfilled on 27 and 28 December.


Round-up of Market Entry service changes and improvements in 2018

As we approach the end of 2018, PCSE wanted to take the opportunity to look back at the improvements made in our Market Entry service over the past year and look forward to plans for 2019.

Some of the improvements and changes we have made include:

  • Working collaboratively with the NHS England’s local teams to speed up the processing of applications from start to completion
  • Providing management information (MI) to our colleagues in the Local Teams on applications currently in progress in their area
  • Establishing good relationships with stakeholders across the sector to ensure questions, common queries and key updates can be effectively shared and communicated
  • Working with NHS Digital and BSA to share best practice and streamlining the process for capturing information to make it more straightforward for applicants
  • Building better relationships with suppliers to monitor progress when stocks are low or unavailable, so we can keep customers updated on stock availability.

The PCSE Market Entry team has also contributed to the creation of NHS England’s new pharmaceutical list and provided feedback on the new version of the pharmaceutical manual.

We have received some really positive feedback about our service from applicants over the last 12 months and we are looking forward to delivering further improvements in 2019 as we introduce our transformation plans.


Looking forward to 2019:  Latest on service transformation

In the last bulletin we shared our plans to introduce a new easy-to-use online form for Market Entry applications.

The new approach for pharmacy applications will see the replacement of multiple paper forms with one single online application, accessible via PCSE Online. We want to create a straightforward online application process that is automatically checked for completeness before applications are submitted. 

The new form has been designed and developed to intuitively guide users through the process. 
Some of the benefits of the new online form include:

  • One online form to replace the 30+ paper forms that currently exist
  • Applicant will only need to complete the fields that are relevant to their application and organisation type
  • Real time validation will prevent incorrect information being submitted. 
  • More ‘right first time’ applications
  • Acknowledgement email and reference to confirm an application has been received 
  • Ability to view and track the status of an application on PCSE Online
  • Facility to download pdfs of applications
  • Online payment facility to replace cheques being sent in the post

The new form is currently under development and is expected to be available in 2019. 

PCSE will work with NHS England and stakeholders to plan and agree the roll out of the new online form, which will be informed by significant testing to ensure it is accurate and effective.

Look out for further updates in the New Year.


Customer Support Centre (CSC) opening hours

The normal opening hours for the Customer Support Centre are:
08.00 – 17.00 Monday – Friday.
Over the Christmas period the contact centre will be open as usual with the exception of Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 December 2018 and Tuesday 1 January 2018, when we are closed for the bank holidays.


Engagement Team Restructure
Following a review of our stakeholder engagement strategy and feedback from stakeholders, PCSE has made some changes to the structure and focus of the National Engagement Team.
What’s new?
The team will:

  • Change focus, with teams aligned to customer groups: pharmacies, GPs, dentists, opticians, or the screening community, rather than being aligned to regions
  • Focus on building closer relationships with local stakeholder groups, including Local Pharmaceutical Committees, CCGs, NHS England local teams. We’ll work with these stakeholder groups to help ensure our communications and service updates reach as broad an audience as possible
  • Take a consistent approach to finding and attending national and local events, to provide updates on PCSE services and gather your feedback.

If you’d like a member of the engagement team to attend an event or meeting you are planning, please contact us at: pcse.pharmacyengagement@nhs.net

Further information about the engagement team can be found here.

Contacting PCSE
Whilst the engagement team are here to attend meetings and events, please continue to contact PCSE with queries by either:

  • Calling the PCSE Customer Support Centre on 0333 014 2884 (open from 8:00-17:00, Monday to Friday), or
  • Clicking here to send us an enquiry via our online form.

Your query can then be properly logged, tracked and get to the right team as quickly as possible.
If you need to follow up on a query, please quote the case reference number to help us quickly identify it. 
You can also try our online help for answers to the most frequently asked questions from our customers.

Best wishes
Primary Care Support England