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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

Practice Leaflet Requirements

The clinical governance requirements for pharmacies are set out in paragraph 26(2)(a)(i) of the Terms of Service which require the pharmacy to “…produce in an approved manner, a practice leaflet containing approved particulars in respect of his pharmacy”.

The Department of Health published updated approved particulars setting out the requirements for the pharmacy practice leaflet on 30th March 2012. The updated approved particulars amended the previous wording on NHS Direct.

Contractors had to update their leaflets by 1st July 2012 to reflect the requirements of the updated approved particulars.

The requirements

The practice leaflet must include the following:

  1. Name, address and telephone number of the pharmacy;
  2. If owned by a company based elsewhere, the contact details for their head office;
  3. Opening hours;
  4. List or description of NHS services available at the pharmacy (including Advanced, but not necessarily Enhanced services);
  5. Access arrangements for disabled customers;
  6. NHS Direct details as follows:
    "When the pharmacy is closed, for any health problem advice and details of other health services, contact NHS Direct, 24 hours a day. Call 0845 4647 or visit";
  7. Notice that the pharmacy is not obliged to serve violent or abusive customers;
  8. Notice that the pharmacy complies with the Data Protection Act and the NHS code on confidentiality;
  9. Detail of how to find out more about services offered, comment on those services, or make a complaint;
  10. Contact details of the local PCT; and
  11. The leaflet may refer to healthcare-related non-NHS services provided by the pharmacy, but if it does so, it must be under a separate heading "Other services we provide".

The leaflet must be printed using a plain font in minimum size 12 pt (the minimum size recommended by the Royal National Institute for the Blind), with sufficient contrast between print and background colour.

The leaflet must be branded with the NHS logo and the pharmacy descriptor line "Providing NHS Services" in the bottom right hand corner on the first page. The NHS logo must, as a registered trademark, be used in accordance with the NHS identity guidelines for pharmacies, available here. A pharmacy/practice logo can be used as well, if the pharmacy has one.

In October 2011, an amendment to the clinical governance framework required that whenever NHS services are publicised, this is carried out in a manner which makes clear that the services are funded as part of the health service. This should be considered by pharmacy contractors when updating the text of their practice leaflet. Contractors may, for example, want to list or describe the NHS services they provide under a heading 'NHS services we provide'. Alternatively they could use 'NHS' in the title of the service, e.g. NHS New Medicine Service

Template leaflet

PSNC has produced a template leaflet to assist pharmacy contractors with updating their own leaflets; this is only provided as a guide. The template was updated in early 2012 to ensure it is compliant with the clinical governance requirements published in March 2012.

Template practice leaflet (2012) (Microsoft Word)

The details of the equivalent Welsh requirements can be found here.

Future changes to the Practice Leaflet requirements (November 2012)

One element of the practice leaflet is the need to include contact details of the PCT; this reference will need to change when the NHS Commissioning Board takes over the commissioning of the community pharmacy contract in 2013.  At this stage it is possible that the appropriate contact details would be that of the NHS Commissioning Board – but there has been no decision about that yet.

Similarly, there is currently a requirement to include contact details of NHS Direct, and it is expected that this will be amended to refer to NHS 111 when that service takes over from NHS Direct.  The transition to NHS 111 is not taking place on a single date, and although the majority of areas will use NHS 111 from 1 April 2013, there will remain some areas which have not made this change until later in the year.  PSNC is discussing the requirements for the practice leaflet with the Department of Health, to ensure that the Approved Particulars recognise the different requirements that will apply in different areas of the country.

We would therefore advise contractors to allow stocks of practice leaflets to run down (as long as the July changes above have been implemented), and not to order any more than would be required for the first six months of 2013.

Please check this webpage for updates over the coming months.