Click on a heading below for more information. 

Aggressive and violent behavior towards staff

Community Pharmacies in Sussex and Surrey are working in challenging circumstances to ensure that everyone gets the medicines they need, when they need them, and tensions are understandably high.

But that does not mean people can go into pharmacy and abuse the staff.  Shouting abuse and swearing at staff who are doing their absolute best to keep local residents supplied with medicines is abhorrent and totally unacceptable. 

Two sized poster documents have been developed by the NPA Marketing team to support Pharmacy branches. Both carry the NHS logo. Here they are for you to download, print and display  ZERO Tolerance Poster A4    ZERO Tolerance poster A5.

For more information or for a word document that you can insert your own logo onto 

Antibiotic formularies

For the Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2021/22 you will need awareness of the local antibiotic formularies. Please find the local links below: 

  • For Surrey Heartlands Pharmacies, information here.
  • For Frimley Pharmacies, information here.
  • For Coastal West Sussex Pharmacies, information here.
  • For Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex Pharmacies, information here.
  •  For Brighton and Hove and High Weald Lewes and Havens pharmacies, information here.
  • For Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford and Hastings and Rother pharmacies areas, information here.

Ask for ANI

The Ask for ANI scheme allows those at risk or suffering from abuse to discreetly signal that they need help and access support. 

Read more about the scheme, which is voluntary. Sign up here

The Home Office has produced guidance on Ask-for-ANI-Non-participating-pharmacies.

More information and national sources of support

Blister packs / MDS / Dossette boxes

    • It is the discretion of the community pharmacist to decide if they can support requests for blister packs, taking into account Equality Act 2010 requirements. There is no funding from the NHS for community pharmacies to support the general use of medicines compartment aids (MCA). Consequently community pharmacies cannot be compelled to provide medicines in this way.
    • Available here is a reminder of the LPC and LMC joint statement on medicines compliance aids. Note this also discusses when 7-day prescriptions may be appropriate.

For more information

Email lpc@communitypharmacyss.co.uk

BP+ Surrey

The service aims to increase the number of opportunities for Surrey residents to have their Blood Pressure and Pulse Rhythm checked in community settings to prevent stroke and CVD related illnesses. 

The BP+ service will be used to identify those patients who are most at risk of CVD.

Who can be tested under this service?







The service will screen any Surrey Heartlands residents aged 35 years and

over that have not already been diagnosed or receiving treatment for

Hypertension, Atrial Fibrillation or any other CVD disease.

Inclusion criteria:

–      Any one who is aged 35 years and over

–      Without known cardiovascular disease including: High blood pressure (or

are on treatment for high blood pressure), Atrial Fibrillation, Diabetes, Chronic Kidney Disease, Angina, Stroke, Transient ischaemic attack, Heart

failure and Myocardial infarction.






The service may be delivered by an appropriately trained pharmacist or an appropriately trained pharmacy staff member who has declared the competency and completed the training in Appendix 3

Face to face training will be available to all participating pharmacies as a part of this service.

Declaration of Competence will need to be completed on PharmOutcomes after successful completion of the training.

Service Claims and payments




BP+ £14 per patient

Pharmacies will also be paid an additional £28 per patient for each NHS

health check that is completed on those identified being at increased risk of CVD.

Therefore, it is possible for practices to earn £42 per patient receiving

the BP+ and NHS Health Checks

How long is the service commissioned for? 31st March 2022


Pharmacies providing BP+ in Surrey Click here to see a map of pharmacies signed up for the service. 

For more information visit our Locally Commissioned services page here.

Branded generics (Branded medicines)

Although most generic medicines in category M are the most cost-effective way of prescribing that medicine, at times manufacturers reduce the price of their branded product to one that is cheaper than the equivalent generic product listed in category M. This is done to promote market share of the branded product.

Some CCGs encourage the prescribing of, and switching patients to, specific branded medicines or “branded” generics. Such a policy may deliver some cost savings to the CCG drugs bill; however, the savings are often unsustainable by the manufacturer.

In addition, by adopting these policies, this can impact on the financial viability of local pharmacies and put the provision of pharmaceutical services at risk. The reduction in prices at a local level may cause increased prices for the NHS as a whole, as adjustments are made to ensure full delivery of total agreed pharmacy funding. This adjustment is applied nationally, so the adjustment may not restore viability to seriously affected local pharmacies.

Frequent changes to prescribing could also be detrimental to patient care. Continually changing brands can create confusion for patients and can undermine their confidence in their medicines. There is also evidence that some branded generic products that have been subject to switching have quickly become short in supply, leading to delayed access to the medicines for the patient.

Source: The community pharmacy – a guide for general practitioners and practice staff published by PSNC and BMA in May 2019

For more information

Breach notices

A contractual breach occurs when one or more parties, who have entered into a contractual agreement, fail or refuse to perform their obligations under the agreement. 

Chapter 37 on page 304 of the Pharmacy Manual sets out the approach to be taken by NHS England when monitoring compliance and managing performance of NHS community pharmacy contracts.

For more information 

Business continuity

Use our A-Z of advice, hints, tips and links to help you save valuable time should an emergency affect your pharmacy business.

Here is a list of contact details some of community pharmacies most important external stakeholders.

For more information 

CPCS (community pharmacist consultation service)

Information under services here.

For more information 


Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are NHS organisations that bring together local GPs and experienced health professionals to take on commissioning responsibilities for local health services.

For more information 


A contractor may close a pharmacy on a temporary basis if prevented from opening by reason of illness or other reasonable cause. NHSE&I has indicated that contractors closing temporarily  must:

      • Inform your local GP surgeries of the closure and how long it will last
      • inform NHSE&I of the temporary closure (and any arrangements for continuity of service with other contractors/pharmacies)
      • update the pharmacy NHS 111 Directory of Services (DoS) profile; and
      • update the NHS Website.

In the event of a pharmacy closure particular thought should be given to patients receiving services such as supervised consumption or monitored dosage systems.

      • Ensure that your local Drug and Alcohol Team is informed as soon as a closure is confirmed – this will enable them to support your patients to safely receive services at another pharmacy without missing their medication.
      • Contact monitored dosage patients to arrange medication supply via another pharmacy if necessary.
      • Return patients EPS prescriptions to the spine, to minimise disruption for patients in obtaining their prescriptions elsewhere.

Contractor actions

      • Consider using the community pharmacy emergency closure checklist, which has been developed by PSNC with NHSE&I to ensure that all necessary parties are informed of the situation
      • See also B for business continuity at communitypharmacyss.co.uk for contact details for some of your most important external stakeholders in Sussex and Surrey
      • Check that your business continuity plan is up to date and has all the relevant contact information for people you would need to contact in the event of a closure/emergency

There are five forms for use by contractors to notify/apply for changes to opening hours and a form for the notification of premises closures. These should be emailed to ENGLAND.southeastcommunitypharmacy@nhs.net

Here’s a copy of the NHS England & Improvement Regional Pharmacy Contracts Team policy on unplanned closures in the South East

Further information on opening hours (including changes and suspension) and how NHSE&I administers opening hours for pharmacies, which is handled locally by its regional offices.

Contractual - forms

These forms relate to Chapters 36 and 38 of the Pharmacy Manual and are for contractors to advise/apply to the regional teams with regard to opening hours. Forms should be submitted to the South East (Kent, Surrey, Sussex) local primary care pharmacy contract team:  england.southeastcommunitypharmacy@nhs.net

For Market Entry forms, please see Primary Care Support England website.

For more information 

Controlled drugs, accountable officer - national / local contacts

Report all controlled drug incidents to the NHS England CDAO South East using the online reporting system at cdreporting.co.uk

For more information 

Controlled drugs - schedule 2 destructions & authorised witness applications

You must apply online for an authorised witness and then wait to receive a 28 day authorisation via email PRIOR to undertaking any Schedule 2 CD destructions in the pharmacy.  You can apply online here after a quick registration and complete an application for an authorised witness on the authorised witness module:

Once the authorised witness application has been approved, by the NHS England and NHS Improvement Controlled Drugs Accountable Officer for the South East, Julie McCann, you will be sent an email with the authorisation in the main body of the email.

The authorisation email will be sent by a member of the CDAO team in the South East so could be from Julie McCann or another member of the CDAO team following Julie’s approval. This authorisation will state:

    • the name of the person authorised as the witness
    • the premises where the destruction can take place
    • and the time period covering 28 days from the date of approval of the application.

Approval may take a week or so due to the volume of applications received from across the South East

You can ensure that the process is more efficient by checking that you are complying with all requirements on the application as having to query “no” responses can increase the time taken to process the application.

For more information 

Covid -19

  • Clearly display the COVID-19 posters and banners at entrances to your pharmacy and near your counter. 

These posters change regularly so you must access them directly from PHE website to ensure you use the most up-to-date. 

  • Keep up to date with developments in Surrey and Sussex by regularly checking your NHSmail shared mailbox regularly for updates from NHSE&I’s regional team at ENGLAND.southeastcommunitypharmacy@nhs.net (please add this email to your safe list, if not already)

More information


DBS checks

We receive frequent queries from contractors about requests from commissioners for the undertaking of enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks on pharmacy staff providing NHS services. Read PSNCs guidance.

For  more information

Data security & protection

Information and FAQs about Information Governance  and a Data and Security Protection (IG) Toolkit can be found on PSNCs website

For more information 

Deadline tracker

It can be tough to keep track of all the different contractual deadlines. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the most important ones, which we send to contractors on or around the 1st of every month. Keep these dates in mind, and you’ll avoid any last minute panic.

See all Deadline Trackers

Some colleagues print it and display on their notice boards, others allocate the tasks to team members and get them to tick when completed.

For more information

Deliveries - home delivery

It is not a requirement of community pharmacy’s contractual framework with the NHS to provide a home delivery service, although some community pharmacists do provide this service to some patients either free-of-charge, or for a small fee. 

For more information 

Dictionary of medicines and devices (dm+d)

The dm+d is a dictionary of descriptions and codes which represent medicines and devices in use across the NHS.

For more information

DMS (Discharge Medicines Service)

Discharge Medicines Service for more information click here.

The Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) has complex reporting requirements that need to be completed at the end of each month. These requirements see contractors having to enter a lengthy data set for each DMS intervention completed into the Manage Your Service (MYS) portal. This guide from Pinnacle, creators of Pharmoutcomes, will help you create a bespoke report to help with your data return. PharmOutcomes User Guide – DMS Reporting

The report effectively converts your DMS records to a format aligned with the requirements of the MYS portal. This will reduce workload for pharmacy team members. 

Please see the University Hospitals Sussex Discharge Medicines Service Webinar here.

The table below shows progress across Sussex and Surrey since go live in February 2022.

Trust Status Referrals to community pharmacy since go live Notes
Ashford and St Peters Live 552 Limited numbers presently – implementing EPMA (electronic prescribing system), numbers will then increase due to easier referral system.
ESHT Live 2429
Royal Surrey Live 195 Limited numbers presently – implementing EPMA (electronic prescribing system)  numbers will then increase due to easier referral system.
Surrey and Borders Partnership Live 375 Numbers increasing every month
Western Trust Live 2321
BSUH Live 35 Limited number presently due to wards rolled out gradually, numbers of referrals are increasing as service is expanded.
Epsom and St Helier Not live Awaiting start date
Queen Victoria Live Live via NHS mail
SASH Not live Implementing EPMA (electronic prescribing system) and will go live with DMS at the same time- expected June 2022

Contractors in areas where the system is live should remember to check every day for referrals and process them in line with their local procedure.

For more information

Domestic Abuse

This letter reminds pharmacy staff of the key signs of domestic abuse and the services that are available to help them to support patients, seek help if they are affected or support colleagues.

Following the launch of the ‘Ask for ANI’ codeword scheme that allows survivors of domestic abuse to access support from the safety of a local pharmacy we have collated contact details for domestic abuse services across Surrey and Sussex.

    • Surrey’s Domestic Abuse Helpline offers support, advice, and information on how to get help for people experiencing domestic abuse, family, friends, and professionals working with them Tel: 01483 776822 www.surreyagainstda.info
    • West Sussex. Information about services here
    • East Sussex. Safer communities partnership information here
    • Brighton and Hove. Information about services on the city council’s website here
    • The 24-hour National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247 offers confidential, non-judgmental information and support.

    • Women’s Aid – information and support, email helpline@womensaid.org.uk or use the instant messaging service.

    • Patients in immediate danger, should call 999.

More information

Dosette boxes / MCA (medical compartment aids) / Blister packs

See ‘B’ for blister pack, above

Drug tariff

If prescribers systematically increase prescription duration on all or a significant percentage of their prescription items, this could lead to dispensing contractors facing increased supplier bills in certain months (as more medicines are dispensed per prescription than usual) and then decreased prescription item volume in subsequent months.

Where a contractor’s dispensing business is affected in this way, the contractor may be entitled to make one or both of the following claims under temporary safeguarding arrangement.

Read more on the Drug Tariff website

For more information

Edibles (food products that may contain cannabis)

There is concern about the use of edibles by a small number of young people which has resulted in some requiring medical assistance.

See below (under more information) for a briefing on edibles which includes: 

    • potential signs and symptoms following consumption of edible cannabis;
    • how to ensure effective triage of these young people; 
    • ensure you have information on how to support children and young people who may have access to edibles.  

More information

Easter Opening Hours

Easter Pharmacy Opening Hours 2022 – Click here for information.

For more information 

Electronic repeat dispensing

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