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NHS commissioning and funding

NHS England incentivises pharmacists to nominate PCN lead for community pharmacies

Under the new pharmacy quality scheme, pharmacists can access funding by being able to provide details of the primary care network they are part of.

Independent pharmacy


Community pharmacies must demonstrate that they have agreed a collaborative approach with other pharmacies within their PCN to access 12.5 points towards to the updated pharmacy quality scheme.

Community pharmacists working in a primary care network (PCN) will have to nominate a lead pharmacist by 31 March 2020 to access a portion of funding under the updated pharmacy quality scheme (PQS).

The PQS replaces the community pharmacy quality payments scheme and was first announced as part of the new community pharmacy contractual framework in July 2019.

Under the new scheme a total of £75m will be paid to pharmacies which will earn a maximum of £128 for each point, or a minimum of £64 for each point if all pharmacy contractors achieve maximum points. Pharmacists will be able to access 12.5 points if they can provide the name of the PCN they belong to, and the name and pharmacy details of their appointed pharmacy PCN lead.

According to guidance published by NHS England on 30 September 2019, the “pharmacy must be able to demonstrate that their pharmacy, and all of the other pharmacies within the PCN footprint who wish to engage with a PCN, have agreed a collaborative approach to engaging with their PCN”.

“This approach must include agreement on a single channel of communication by appointing a named lead representative for all of the community pharmacies who wish to engage with their PCN in the PCN footprint,” it added.

Pharmacy PCN leads will receive 22.5 points under the PQS scheme for declaring their role, having notified the local pharmacy committee in which the PCN lies, and providing evidence of having started the engagement process with the PCN.

Other targets under the updated quality scheme include cutting back on sales of sugary drinks sold by pharmacies to no more than 10% of the total volume of drink sales.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207137

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