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Dispensing Services Quality Scheme - England & Wales

Dispensing Services Quality Scheme - England & Wales


As part of the changes to the arrangements for dispensing doctors agreed as part of the GMS changes in 2006/07, a Dispensary Services Quality Scheme ('the Scheme') came into effect in September 2006. The Scheme rewards Practices for providing high quality services to their dispensing patients. Practices which sign up to the Scheme and achieve all the standards will receive a payment for each dispensing patient.

Participating Practices must nominate a dispensing GP who will be responsible for the dispensing service.

Overview of quality requirements

The key quality requirements of the Scheme are:

  • Dispensing staff must be appropriately trained and undertake continued training with annual appraisals. There's a draft Dispensary Staff Training/Competency Record in the Human Resources index of the Members Library*.
  • Dispensers who work unsupervised must have at least 1,000 dispensing hours work experience over the previous five years in a GP dispensary or community pharmacy, and must be trained to Pharmacy Services S/NVQ level 2
  • Minimum levels of staff hours dedicated to dispensary services
  • Staff with a limited dispensing role must be given relevant training and competency assessment
  • Standard Operating Procedures ('SOPs') which reflect good professional practice and all dispensary procedures. SOPs must be reviewed and updated at least once every 12 months and whenever dispensing procedures are amended. Our Standard Operating Procedures toolkit is in the Members section*.
  • A Significant Event Monitoring Procedure must be in place. Our Significant Events toolkit is in the Members section*.
  • An annual review must take place of the medicines use for 10% of the dispensing list (7.5% in 2006/7). There's a draft Dispensing Review of Use of Medicines (DRUM) Procedure in the Practice Operation & Development index of the Members Library*.

* If you are not a Member, click for information about the benefits of membership and how to subscribe.

Applying to participate in the Scheme

Practices should approach their PCO for details of how to participate - the PCO may provide an application form similar to this. Practices must submit an application annually - applications to participate in the scheme must be submitted by 1st July each year.

Further information

BMA/NHS Employers guidance - England

Wales NHS guidance - Wales

Dispensing Doctors Association

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