Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework

The Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) is made up of three different service types:
  1. Essential Services and Clinical Governance provided by all pharmacy contractors and commissioned by NHS England.
  2. Advanced services – can be provided by all contractors once accreditation requirements have been met and are commissioned by NHS England.
  3. Locally commissioned services – commissioned by Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England (i.e. “Enhanced Services” outlined in the Drug Tariff) in response to the needs of the local population.

Contract Monitoring 2018/19

The 2018/19 Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework (CPAF) screening questionnaire was originally available for completion from 4th June to 1st July 2018 and extended to 6th July 2018.

The 2018/19 CPAF process is outlined here.

Now in its fourth year, the process asks all NHS community pharmacy contractors to complete a short screening questionnaire consisting of 10 questions. NHS England then selects a small number of pharmacies for a monitoring visit and / or to complete the full CPAF questionnaire.

PSNC Briefing 032/18  explains the changes and provides clarification on record-keeping relating to prescription-based interventions (Q6), signposting (Q7) and locums (Q9). 

  • Level 2 is the minimum standard expected to demonstrate general compliance with the terms of service.
  • The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is responsible for the administration of CPAF at a national level on behalf of NHS England.
  • This is facilitated by a secure on-line portal for contractors to complete their screening questionnaires.
  • Contractors should have received a link to complete the screening questionnaire either via email from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) or from their Head Office. 
  • A link to the questionnaire, guidance on completing the questionnaire and FAQs are available on the NHS BSA website.

NHS BSA contact:  nhsbsa.cpaf@nhs.net 

Contract monitoring visits

Within the Terms of Service, a pharmacist shall allow persons authorised in writing by NHS England to enter and inspect the pharmacy at any reasonable time for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the pharmacist is complying with the requirements of their terms of service.

A member of the LPC may be present at the inspection on request of the pharmacy contractor.

  • Visits should be planned carefully to avoid negative impact on the day-to-day running of the pharmacy.
  • Inspection teams should not expect to have the pharmacist devoted to the visit, nor should any inspection disrupt the concentration of pharmacy staff in the provision of care to patients.

Monitoring the use of SOPs

  • The Essential Service specifications require the pharmacy to have appropriate SOPs for dispensing, repeat dispensing and support for self-care.
  • Monitoring compliance requires only the determination of whether the pharmacy has an appropriate SOP. It does not require NHS England to carry out a detailed analysis of the content of the SOPs. I
  • It is deemed unwise for NHS England to carry out any detailed SOP examination because it will be unable to determine what is appropriate for the individual pharmacy concerned.
  • Any unidentified shortcomings or suggestions that cause problems in the delivery of services, could lead to NHS England being involved in litigation.
  • The most appropriate way for NHS England to determine whether the pharmacy has an appropriate SOP is to ask to see it during a monitoring visit (but without reading it in detail), then to ask appropriate members of staff suitable questions about their procedures to establish the level of understanding and compliance with the SOP.