Registered area teams can enter contractor payments for locally commissioned services using the local payments application (LPA).
Log in to LPA
Available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).
Register to use LPA
You'll need to be authorised by us to use the application. If you need access, contact Information Services by:
Key payment and input dates
We have dates that users can enter data using LPA.
Outside these dates, previously entered payment data can continue to be viewed for up to 24 months.
|Payment date||Date web window is open||Date web window is closed|
|30 December 2022||2 December 2022||14 December 2022|
|1 February 2023||3 January 2023||13 January 2023|
|1 March 2023||2 February 2023||15 February 2023|
|3 April 2023||2 March 2023||15 March 2023|
|28 April 2023||4 April 2023||14 April 2023|
|1 June 2023||2 May 2023||15 May 2023|
|Payment date||Planned date of schedule dispatch||Prescription month paid|
|30 December 2022||20 December 2022||October|
|1 February 2023||24 January 2023||November|
|1 March 2023||21 February 2023||December|
|3 April 2023||24 March 2023||January|
|28 April 2023||20 April 2023||February|
|1 June 2023||23 May 2023||March|
Responsibilities: submitting information
- Area teams - for the calculation and accuracy of input, by the specified deadline, of all local payment information
- Prescription Services - for making payments to contractors on the basis of the information provided by area teams
Permissions to use LPA
- required to be authorised by NHS Prescription Services
- either area teams or agencies acting on behalf of area teams.
- issued with a secure user id and password - it’s the responsibility of the authorised user to make sure that the integrity of their password is maintained at all times
Once all local payment data is input for the relevant month, written authorisation (via email to firstname.lastname@example.org) on the appropriate authorisation sheet is required to facilitate payment by NHS Prescription Services.
Making sure satisfactory controls are in place relating to this authorisation process is the responsibility of the Area Team.
Access to data
View only data
Using the option 'show me all my contractors', users are able to view:
- pharmacy OCS code
- pharmacy name
- pharmacy address
- date pharmacy started trading
- date pharmacy ceased trading
Users are able to view and amend data where necessary for:
- individual contractor Levy indicators
- local payments/deductions to contractors
- Before you start, have the 6-digit area team user ID (in the format Q__00.A Q__00B) and your password ready for the area team you want to access
- You should be able to access the system through any of the user ID's set up. Use the 'enter' icon on the main page.
- The area (Team)[md1] user ID's are a 6-digit code made up of the 5-digit area team code (as allocated by the Organisational Code Service) and an A, B etc for each user
- It’s recommended that you always have 4 user ID's per area team in case of absence.
- If you need the password to be reset, contact NHS Prescription Services.
Save as you go
Once you have logged into the LPA, the system will automatically 'time out' after 30 minutes of inactivity and return you to the area team login screen.
If you’re entering payments, as long as you have 'saved' after entering the payment, then the payments are safe within the system.
Cross boundary advice to homes and additional pharmacist access services require manual data entry.
Contact our customer payments team for advice. There are no other cross boundary payment types agreed by the Department of Health & Social Care.
Print and complete a cross boundary form (Word: 279KB), making sure it is authorised by your local payments authorised signatory and email the customer payments Team at email@example.com.
Navigating the system
'Help' button - to allow you to see help information behind each screen when the system is live.
'Home' button - to allow you to return to the 'welcome' screen at any time.
'Exit' button - to allow you log out of local payments i.e. return to the login screen.
'Payment Date' which displays the next pharmacy payment date.
'Final Input Date' which displays the deadline for input and authorisation of payments.
'Status' which indicates the status of the local payment cycle:
- 'open' - open for input of payments
- 'finished' - input has been authorised by you
- 'extracted' - data has been extracted from the web system but not yet authorised by NHS Prescription Services customer payments
- 'authorised' - input has been accepted by NHS Prescription Services customer payments after checking the area team faxed authorisation sheet
- 'closed' - web window closed for input of payments for that payment date
There are options to choose from:
Summary / authorisation sheet - This will show you a summary of payments / deductions or any indicators input, which can be viewed at any time. This option also allows you to authorise your payments, which will allow them to be extracted from the Web system into the NHS Prescription Services payments system.
Input contractor data - This allows you to select a contractor and input the individual payment / deduction or indicator. Levy indicators will be carried forward.
View LPC levy - This option allows you to see the amount or percentage of levy for your responsible Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC). This is now being maintained by customer payments team.
Contractor list: This option shows you the contractors in this area team, including leavers. You'll also be able to list payments input by payment category using this facility, as well as listing payments by individual contractor. This option has been enhanced to include the facility for you to view contractors without a levy indicator. Choose the correct indicator either statutory or voluntary and click select.
Historical payment details: This option will have history of web system input and will build up to 24 months history.
General tip: To move around you can either use the options listed or the 'tab' names across the application toolbar. You can also use the home button in the application to return to the 'welcome' screen. The home button on the Explorer toolbar will take you out of the local payment system.
If you click on the option 'show me all my contractors', you'll see a list of contractors in this area team, including the start & ceased dates of each account.
This option is only available whilst the web window is 'open' for input - this list will only show leavers relevant to the previous 6 months.
To print this list, select file and print. You can return to the 'contractor list' page by using the Explorer 'X' button.
If there are any discrepancies in the contractors shown, contact organisational data team by telephone on 0191 203 5112.
New contractors will be available for input on the web on the day after the organisational data team have allocated the new contractor's OCS code, so it is unlikely that you'll have to manually notify payments for new accounts.
Not all account changes are going to be allocated OCS codes.
Guidance is being issued to all contacts by the organisational data team, advising that new OCS codes are required only where the new pharmacy company requires prescription payments to be processed totally separate from the old company.
In the past, new account codes have been requested when it was not necessary. For example, multiple buyouts.
Later in the processing month when the input window is no longer 'open' the contractor list shows ceased contractors for up to 6 months only.
You can view the payments input by payment category from this option, after you have completed some data input. Decide which payment category you want to see from the input you have done then choose that 'payment category' from the drop-down box and use the 'go' button. You'll now be presented with a list of all your contractors, including those with ceased dates and any payments input for that category. To print this list, select file and print.
You can also select a particular contractor by using the 'select' button next to that contractor on the contractor list. You'll now see a summary of all payments input, including high-cost drug advances and pre-reg trainee amounts, or levy indicators input/carried forward for that contractor. To print this list, select file and print. To exit this summary, use the Explorer 'X' button. This will take you back to the contractor list.
Later in the month, when the web window is no longer open, you'll be able to choose the payment date for which you want to see payments made. This history will build up to a maximum of 24 months payment dates.
Inputting contractor data
Payment and / or deductions
The system will take you to the screen for entering most payments under the tab name 'payments and / or deductions'.
Select any 'payment category' from the drop-down box called 'select payment category to update' and enter a payment or deduction amount, and then use the 'save' button.
As payments are saved, a list of payments input for that contractor will build up on the screen under the heading 'current period'.
To choose a payment category, enter the first letter of the payment title and use the up and down arrow keys to move up and down the list.
To choose another contractor, use the tab 'input contractor data' and select another contractor.
If you want to alter the payment later, select the contractor and the payment category and type in the revised amount or zero if you wish to negate the payment made. This revised entry overwrites the first entry.
Refunds of previous payments already made to the contractor on a past payment date can be deducted by entering the amount as a negative.
Under the tab called 'pre-registration trainee', amounts payable for pre-reg trainees can be entered.
If you have more than one trainee in the same pharmacy, you'll have to add the amount together and enter them as one payment.
There's also a facility for entering the trainee name. This name will appear on the contractors' schedule of payments, alongside the payment.
Where there's more than one trainee, there's only one field to enter details. After entering the amount and / or the name, use the 'save' button to save the data.
Where the amount or name input is to be altered, enter the revised amount or zero and this will overwrite the previously entered amount.
If you have entered zero, as no payment is now due, remember to delete the trainee name if you had entered one.
High Cost Drug Advances
Under the tab name 'High Cost Drug Advances', advance amounts for expensive prescription items, under your scheme where you have one, can be entered against the required recovery dates.
The minimum advance is normally £500.
The amount is entered in the box alongside the most appropriate recovery date, but this should be based on the date the prescription batch including this expensive prescription is to be processed.
Once the required amount is entered, use the 'save' button.
For your information, prescription processing dates are included in the key dates web page.
If you have more than one advance to pay to the same contractor for the same recovery date, you'll need to add the amounts together to input.
If you've already entered one amount and need to change it, type in the new amount and this will overwrite the previous input.
Under the tab name 'levies', indicators for individual contractors statutory and / or voluntary levy can be entered or taken out and they to be attached to the correct LPC from the drop-down list.
The levy indicators will all carry forward each month unless you take them out.
Make sure that indicators are maintained for both new and ceased accounts in liaison with your LPC.
The indicator allows the appropriate calculation and deduction of levy to take place, based on the LPC requirements that month.
There's also a facility on this screen to enter a manually calculated levy deduction amount or a payment where a refund is due.
Once the required indicators have been entered / removed, use the 'save' button to save the data.
Local Payment Application Enhancements
Pharmaceutical levy setup and calculation process
1. How much to deduct
The LPC decides whether they require a fixed amount to be shared pro rata over all contractors or a percentage to be deducted from each contractor.
This information is notified to the customer payments team.
There are facilities to deduct a levy described as a statutory and / or voluntary levy. The customer payments team set the amount or the percentage up in the contractor payment database and this will stay in the system until notified otherwise by the LPC.
If the LPC is not operating a monthly levy system, they'll need to advise the customer payments team when they require a deduction to be made and over what period.
2. Who should pay levy
The LPC notifies the area team of the contractors who should have a statutory and/or voluntary levy indicator set.
The area team input or delete the statutory and / or voluntary levy indicators through the local payment application.
The indicators, once input, will carry forward to the next month unless the area team delete them.
The area team can check the indicators held on the system.
The number of indicators is also shown on the LPA sheet they sign each month.
The area team must make sure that they set the indicators against the correct levy deduction type - statutory or voluntary and select the correct LPC from the drop-down list.
The area team will need to monitor and maintain the indicators for new and ceased accounts, with reference to the valid prescription month as shown on the local payment application under 'key dates'.
3. Calculation of levy
A levy will be calculated and deducted where:
- there's a percentage or amount set for a voluntary / statutory levy
- the contractor has an indicator set by area team correctly, as voluntary and / or statutory where appropriate
- the contractor has prescription payment due on that month's priced account
Fixed amount levy calculation:
The LPC may require a fixed value per period. For example, monthly of statutory and / or voluntary levy. On receiving an instruction of the amount required, the customer payment team can input the net value to be deducted from the contractors. This value is then calculated pro rata per contractor. This fixed value will carry forward each month until otherwise instructed by the LPC. Due to fluctuations in monthly dispensing patterns this will mean that on equating to a percentage, the percentage will also fluctuate.
Percentage levy calculation:
The LPC may require a percentage deduction per month. For example, 10p per £100 - this is equivalent to 0.1p (one tenth of one pence) per £1.00, and therefore as a percentage equals 0.10%. This percentage will carry forward each month until otherwise instructed by the LPC. Due to fluctuations in monthly dispensing patterns this will mean the total amount paid to the LPC will fluctuate.
4 Contractor Schedule of Payments
The contractor levy deduction is shown under the section for local payments authorised by the area team, statutory and/or voluntary levy, as appropriate.
5 LPC remittance advice
The LPC is provided with a total of actual levy deductions with a breakdown of the number of contractors who have had a levy deduction made (or refunded on rare occasions that the net prescription payment is negative).
There can be differences between the number of contractors defined on the remittance versus the number of indicators on the area team local payment authorisation sheet, due mainly to leavers still having indicators set but no payments are now due.
6. Levy holiday
Where the LPC requires a levy holiday, they should notify the customer payments team to temporarily remove the fixed amount and / or percentage.
The levy holiday is applied per LPC structure - to all the area teams associated with that LPC.
In this instance the Area Team does not need to remove the indicators.
In the rare instance of a levy holiday to be applied to only one area team within a group of area teams associated with an LPC.
The only way that this would be possible, would be the removal of the indicators by the area team. This would also mean the necessity to make sure the indicators were reinstated when the levy is required. However, where the levy is a fixed amount calculation, this will result in a higher levy payment being made by the other contractors in the grouping.
7. Adjusting/backdating levy calculations
If a contractor has missed having a levy deduction, then a manual amount can be input through the LPA.
This can be calculated by the area team using the data sent on the management information file.
If the area team needs any assistance with this, they can contact the customer payments team.
Refunds of levy can also be input this way.
8. Levy calculations
On the rare occasion where the net value of the priced account that month is negative, such as the contractor owes the NHS Prescription Services money, a refund of levy would be calculated and repaid.
This is usually where a ceased contractors final account, after the advance has been recovered from the final months priced prescriptions leaves a balance to be repaid.
9. Time scales
In order to process any amendments to levy requirements, the LPC need to inform the customer payments team by the 16th of the month, prior to the payment date.
Where the LPC wish to amend indicators, such as changing from voluntary to statutory or vice versa, the area team have access to the local payment application for the approximately the first 10 working days of the month and would therefore need to be informed within that time frame.
10. Area team advice on levies
The levies process is outlined in the web help as part of the local payment application and is updated in line with user feedback.
Pharmacy and appliance contractor payment data
A management information file detailing community pharmacy and appliance contractor payments is compiled each month.
The file contains every payment made to every pharmacist and appliance contractor, broken down by pharmacy and type of payment.
- drug costs
- patient charges
- locally authorised payments
Other details, such as the numbers of items dispensed, patient's charges collected are also included.
A list of data items included in the file, including the spreadsheet column name, is enclosed.
This information is released onto the Information Services Portal (ISP) on a monthly basis.
This information is provided to fulfil a number of requirements including:
- pharmacy and appliance contractor payment monitoring
- contract management
- reconciling Itemised Prescribing Payment (IPP) reports
- fraud prevention