Discharge Medicines Service Guidance Published

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have confirmed that the Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) will become an Essential service for contractors from 15th February 2021 and they have published guidance on the service.

The decision to launch the DMS in mid-February followed representations from PSNC recognising the pressures that contractors are under and the time needed to prepare for a new service.

Alongside the guidance on the DMS, in January 2021, NHSE&I will publish a DMS Toolkit for hospitals, Primary Care Networks, community pharmacy teams and others involved in the rollout of the service.

This new service was originally trailed in the 5-year CPCF agreement, with a formal announcement regarding the service made by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in February 2020.

The service was originally planned to commence on 1st January 2021, but due to the current pressures on contractors during the COVID-19 pandemic and delays in the publication of the NHSE&I regulations guidance, which contains the detailed service requirements, NHSE&I and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) agreed to PSNC’s proposal to delay implementation, so that contractors and their teams have time to prepare for the launch of the service.

From 15th February 2021, NHS Trusts will be able to refer patients who would benefit from extra guidance around new prescribed medicines for provision of the DMS at their community pharmacy.

Read more about the service on our DMS webpage

NHSE&I will initially adopt a light touch approach to contractual assurance with regards to the service and contractors should also note that not all Trusts will be fully ready to make referrals at the time the service commences.