Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

NHS commissioning and funding

Community pharmacy contract funding frozen at £2.59bn for next five years

The community pharmacy framework contract details plans to phase out medicines use reviews over the next two years, end establishment payments and introduce a payment of £5.35 for items supplied under the new serious shortage protocols.

NHS contract document

Source: JL / The Pharmaceutical Journal

Under the community pharmacy framework contract, community pharmacies are set to receive £2.59bn each year, which represents a freeze in the community pharmacy funding package

Community pharmacies in England are set to receive £13bn over the next five years under the latest national contract, with a planned spend of £2.59bn each year.

This represents a freeze in the community pharmacy funding package, with a £2.59bn annual funding pot also agreed during negotiations in 2018. 

The community pharmacy framework contract, which was published on 22 July 2019 jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), also revealed that medicines use reviews (MURs) will be phased out over the next two years, with the number of MURs community pharmacies can each carry out to be capped at 250 in 2019/2020 and 100 in 2020/2021.

Instead, so-called “clinical pharmacists” will take on “structured medicines reviews” in primary care networks (PCNs), where the pharmacist will have access to patient records and be able to adjust prescribing.

The new contract also details plans to phase out establishment payments, paid to all pharmacies that dispense a certain number of prescriptions annually, from the £164m paid in 2018/2019 to £123m in 2019/2020, with no funding thereafter.

The £94m currently spent on MURs and the establishment payment funding will be reinvested into new initiatives set out in the contract, including the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS), which NHS England says will launch in October 2019.

The CPCS, which will combine the Digital Minor Illness Referral Service and the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service into one service, will see pharmacists receive £14 per consultation. Overall funding for the CPCS will increase from £4m in 2019/2020 to £19m in 2023/2024.

Pharmacists who sign up to the CPCS by 1 December 2019 will receive £900 to help them implement it. Those who sign up to participate in the CPCS by 15 January 2019 will receive a £600 payment.

Pharmacists will also receive £5.35 for each item supplied under the serious shortage protocols, which came into force in July 2019.

The funding breakdown also includes “unallocated funding for future clinical services to include transition payments”, which will include payments for monthly transitional payments to recognise the cost of PCN integration, preparation of serious shortage protocols and the implementation of the falsified medicines directive.

However, the PSNC, which agreed the contract with the DHSC and NHS England following negotiations which began in the spring of 2019, said the exact level of funding for engagement with PCNs was still to be determined following further discussions with the government.

At a briefing on the contract, the PSNC said there were also plans to launch pilot projects in 2019/2020 to implement point-of-care testing in pharmacies to support efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance, as well as a smoking cessation referrals pilot from secondary care services.

In a series of answers to frequently asked questions published by the PSNC, it said its members did not accept the deal unilaterally.

“Not everyone was in favour of this deal, given the considerable asks that it makes of community pharmacy, but the settlement was carried with the support of more than two-thirds of PSNC members,” one of the answers said. “The deal was felt to be the best scenario, and the vision for service delivery included within it aligns with the sector’s own vision for its future as set out previously in the ‘Community Pharmacy Forward View’.

simon dukes smiling

Source: Jeff Gilbert 18

Simon Dukes, chief executive of the PSNC, says a “crucial part” of the community pharmacy contract deal is the agreement to review its allocated funding each autumn

Commenting on the contract, Simon Dukes, chief executive of the PSNC, said: “Over the past four months, the PSNC has put a considerable amount of data [to the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement] to demonstrate the rising cost base of the sector, as well as continually highlighting the value of pharmacy services, in order to try and persuade government to reverse that planned downwards trajectory of pharmacy funding.

“While we have not succeeded in getting an increase in the overall sum, we have secured a commitment from the government to a protected £13bn over five years.”

He added that “a crucial part” of the deal was an agreement “to review the situation on an annual basis each autumn”.

“These built-in reviews will provide real opportunities for us to monitor and consider crucial factors, such as costs, service volumes, pharmacy income and sector stress, and the PSNC will be using this evidence to make the case strongly for further investments in the sector,” he said.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206846

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 1 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £138.50Buy now
  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 2 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £262.50Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Statistics

    Pharmaceutical Statistics

    This book on basic statistics has been specifically written for pharmacy students.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Patient Care in Community Practice

    Patient Care in Community Practice

    Patient Care in Community Practice is a unique, practical guide for healthcare professionals or carers. Covers a range of non-medicinal products suitable for use at home.

    £22.00Buy now
  • Clinical Pharmacokinetics

    Clinical Pharmacokinetics

    A practical guide to the use of pharmacokinetic principles in clinical practice. Includes case studies with questions and answers.

    £33.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.