Alphega Pharmacy launched a new application through its online service designed to help its members understand the new Quality Payments System (QPS).

The Alphega QPS app is marketed as a ‘one stop shop’ for its members and hopes to help them maximize their QPS funding entitlement. It aims to simplify the complex system by providing support and advice in all areas.

The QPS is a points-based system whereby pharmacies can earn back money they will lose as a result of Government funding cuts by meeting certain criteria, such as becoming a Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP).

Alphega’s pharmacy business mentor, Richard King said: ‘The sheer volume of information [around QPS] caused some confusion among many of our members, who found the scheme difficult to unravel and to grasp the key priorities.’

The QPS became part of the community pharmacy contract in December 2016, with community pharmacies earning a minimum of £6,400 for meeting quality payments criteria.

The scheme is designed to widen the role of pharmacists beyond dispensing to improving the quality of health care for patients while at the same time helping to ease demand on other areas of the NHS.

With December’s cuts in funding for pharmacies putting many businesses at risk, the need for additional income for pharmacies is greater than ever.

Jai Parmer, from Churchill’s Pharmacy and a member of the Alphega group, said: ‘QPS has come in so abruptly to the industry and has caused a lot of confusion. It is a really important subject all pharmacists need to understand.’

Information provided on the application includes an introduction to QPS, gateway criteria and quality payments criteria.

Alphega members can also access support and action plans via the member intranet, links to websites with further information, templates to submit information and data for each of the criteria pharmacists need to meet to access the QPS funding.

The company will be soon be running a QPS roadshow across the UK for its members, focusing on QPS and how to meet the standards required for HLP accreditations.