COVID-19 VACCINATIONS: If, in addition to indemnity for your main employment, you would like cover for delivering COVID-19 Vaccinations please apply for our standalone extension Apply Today

Home  »   Latest News   »   Medicines Information and the SPS Transformation in England

Medicines Information and the SPS Transformation in England

The Specialist Pharmacy Service (SPS) is currently commissioned and funded by NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) and joins together experts to provide a source of advice for pharmacists and other professionals involved in all aspects of buying, making and using medicines.

Fri 16th September 2022 The PDA

In the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was thought that the SPS service could be more efficiently delivered if fully and directly commissioned by NHSE&I. In essence, this meant that service delivery would be brought into a formal contract, with a new service specification setting out an integrated structure reporting to the Head of Service. The process of transformation moves to a centralised model with the aim of producing a more united and integrated service that provides streamlined access to all healthcare professionals. The transformation plan indicated that host organisations would be consolidated from around 16 to 6 with a new staffing structure and a national head allocating Medicines Information (MI) work to 3 or 4 fully funded SPS regional MI centres.

Although the transformation programme started three years ago, it was paused from 1 April 2022 by NHSE&I to enable further discussions to take place. The pause was lifted during June 2022 and the SPS then worked towards an implementation date of 1 September 2022, from when a contract will be in place for the remainder of the three-year period to March 2025.

You can read more about the plans here. 

The PDA has received queries from individual members concerned about their split roles and the impact this transformation will have on their jobs. There is reasonable anxiety around what this transformation means on a more local level and how secure these pharmacists are in their current roles.

The PDA reached out to the SPS and has learnt that individual host organisations with successful bids will be contracted and funded to provide a specified SPS service. It will be a Trust level decision to determine whether to progress split roles taking into consideration local performance and SPS service objectives. The SPS have informed the PDA that locally agreed job plans can help to overcome this.

It is understandable that affected members may have doubt over how their roles will look in the future. However, the PDA would encourage open dialogue with managers and senior leadership teams to understand the direction the Trust is hoping to take.

If you are a member impacted by these proposals, please contact the PDA service centre should you require further advice.

The PDA is currently scoping issues face by hospital pharmacists, please take the opportunity to have your say by completing the following survey:



Not yet a PDA member? 

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists, and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.





The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

Cookie Use

This website uses cookies to help us provide the best user experience. If you continue browsing you are giving your consent to our use of cookies.

General Guidance Resources Surveys PDA Campaigns Regulations Locums Indemnity Arrangements Pre-Regs & Students FAQs Coronavirus (COVID-19)