Compliance with Patient Nomination Consent Protocols

CPNEC has been informed of instances where patients, after visiting a non-regular pharmacy, later discovered they had been unknowingly nominated to that pharmacy. Such actions not only cause significant inconvenience and confusion but also directly violate the principles of explicit consent, thereby undermining the integrity of the nomination process.
The LPC would like to take this opportunity to remind all contractors of the essential principles governing patient nominations. Every pharmacy must adhere strictly to these protocols; any breach of these principles brought to the attention of the ICB will be reviewed and may result in an investigation.
Key Principles of Patient Nomination:
  • Explicit Consent Requirement:
    • According to the Core Principles of Nominations published by Community Pharmacy England, it is mandatory to obtain explicit consent from patients before any nomination is recorded or altered. Patients must be fully aware and agree to their pharmacy nomination.
  • Prohibited Practices:
    • The NHS England document “Nomination – What You Need to Know clarifies that any change to a patient’s pharmacy nomination must be initiated by the patient themselves. Unsolicited changes are strictly prohibited.
    • Under the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Service Covid-19 Vaccination specification, pharmacy contractors are explicitly instructed not to use any service interaction as an opportunity to alter a patient’s existing nomination without clear consent. This specification states:
        • 4.7 The Pharmacy Contractor must not use provision of this Enhanced Service as an opportunity to attempt to influence or seek to persuade a Patient to:
          • 4.7.1 change their choice of pharmacy;
          • 4.7.2 seek to change any prescription nominations the Patient may already have in place with other Pharmacy Contractors under the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework; or
          • 4.7.3 participate in, or obtain, a Patient-funded service provided by the Pharmacy Contractor.
  • Data Protection and Privacy:
    • Unauthorized changes to nominations can lead to breaches in data protection laws, as the handling and use of patient data in this context would be without their consent. 
Reporting and Complaint Procedures:
Patients wishing to complain about nomination issues have a couple of options. They can complain directly to the provider, alternatively, they can submit a complaint to the Northeast and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (NENC ICB); the relevant contact details are:
Postal Address:
The Complaints Department
North East North Cumbria ICB
Pemberton House
Colima Avenue
Please note that if a patient complains to the pharmacy, and is not satisfied with the response received, they cannot then complain to NENC ICB. The next step would be to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The PHSO can review the complaint and may decide to undertake an independent review. The PHSO can be contacted by telephone on 0345 015 4033, on email
poster has been produced as a resource; the message to patients is Your prescription: Your Choice.