CPCF settlement: 2019/20 to 2023/24
CPCF settlement: 2019/20 to 2023/24
In July 2019, PSNC, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) agreed a five-year deal for community pharmacies, guaranteeing funding levels until 2023/24. The deal secures pharmacy funding and sets out a clear vision for the expansion of clinical service delivery over the next five years, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.
Year Three: 2021/22
Formal negotiations on the arrangements for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) in 2021/22 are now underway. The discussions will cover all service, funding and other arrangements for pharmacies in 2021/22, in line with the five-year CPCF deal, taking into account the progress to date, which has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contractors will be updated on the outcomes of these negotiations as soon as possible.
About the CPCF
In each section below we have outlined that element of the five-year CPCF agreement in more detail.
This checklist contains important dates for the CPCF which relate to services, contractual health campaigns and other NHS requirements.
Funding and payments
The community pharmacy sector will receive £2.592bn per year from 2019/20 to 2023/24. The briefings below provide an overview of the distribution of funding during the course of the four years and more detail for 2020/21.
Drug Tariff changes
To ensure delivery of the correct amount of funding to contractors in 2019/20, Category M reimbursement prices increased by £15 million a month and the Single Activity Fee (SAF) was increased by 1p to £1.27 per item from August 2019.
For 2020/21, the overall funding for dispensing fees is forecast to remain the same for SAF and other item fees.
Monthly payments will be paid to help community pharmacy contractors meet costs associated with changes such as integration into Primary Care Networks (PCNs), preparation for Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) and implementation of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD). The budget allocations are outlined in the Drug Tariff. See the levels for 2020/21 here.
In an extension to the phasing out of this payment, it will continue to be paid during 2020/21 but at a reduced level. See the level for 2020/21 here. The payment ended on 31st March 2021.
Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS)
Both the budget allocation and the payment will be maintained at the current level until April 2021. The PhAS was due to be reviewed and revised by the end of March 2021, but this work has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that an update will be made in 2021/22.
PSNC will continue to publish indicative income tables when changes are made to help contractors to predict what their income is likely to be.
Payment deadline and timetable tracker
A tool to help keep track of how and when to claim for new services, including details of how these payments will appear on the Schedule of Payments.
NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)
CPCS is a new Advanced service where patients are referred into community pharmacy by other NHS providers. Launched in October 2020 with NHS 111 referrals, it replaced the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) and local pilots of the Digital Minor Illness Referral Service (DMIRS). CPCS was soon extended to include referrals from NHS 111 Online to aid the COVID-19 response and, from 1st November 2020, referrals from GP practices were introduced.
Funding for the service in 2019/20 included an initial Transition payment supplement if claimed before 15th January 2020. Similarly, contractors registered to provide the CPCS can claim a £300 engagement and setup payment if they undertake a range of actions to get ready for rolling out the GP referral pathway in their area by 30th June 2021 (further details can be found on the pages below).
Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS)
PQS is a new name for the Quality Payments Scheme. The gateway and quality criteria will change on an annual basis, with some becoming CPCF Terms of Service requirements during 2020/21.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020/21 PQS focused on the response to and the recovery from the pandemic. Following PSNC’s request for more flexible timings, contractors have until 30th June 2021 to meet the PQS domains they declared as having met.
Due to the extension of the PQS Part 2 2020/21 until 30th June 2021, the PQS 2021/22 will not start until July 2021 at the earliest. Negotiations on this are ongoing.
Discharge Medicines Service (DMS)
The DMS is a new Essential service that enables NHS Trusts to refer patients who would benefit from extra guidance around new prescribed medicines to their community pharmacy. The service has been identified by NHSE&I’s Medicines Safety Improvement Programme to be a significant contributor to the safety of patients at transitions of care, by reducing readmissions to hospital.
Whilst its introduction was delayed due to the ongoing pandemic, the Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) is became an Essential service for contractors from 15th February 2021. NHSE&I will initially adopt a light touch approach to contractual assurance with regards to the service and contractors should also note that not all Trusts will be fully ready to make referrals at the time the service commences.
Hepatitis C testing service
Hepatitis C testing is a new Advanced service focused on provision of point of care testing (POCT) for Hepatitis C antibodies to individuals who inject illicit drugs, e.g. steroids or heroin, but who haven’t yet moved to the point of accepting treatment for their substance use.
The planned introduction of this Advanced Service in April 2020 was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but commenced on 1st September 2020.
Medicines Use Reviews (MURs)
To free up capacity and funding for the CPCS, and also in recognition that NHSE&I does not consider them to offer good value for money, MURs were phased out over the first two years of the five-year deal. The service was decommissioned on 31st March 2021.
A range of new services will be piloted and introduced over the course of the five years to support the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan. Whilst the pilots will be funded by the Pharmacy Integration Funding (PhIF), the introduction of new nationally commissioned services will be allocated funding from the overall contract sum as they are launched.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the three pilots announced in February 2020 (blood pressure testing; stop smoking support; and point of care testing) have been postponed until further notice.
CPCF service development grid – a matrix document setting out when each of the agreed CPCF service development pilots may be implemented during the five-year deal.
A commitment was made to considering a range of reforms to reimbursement arrangements. A public consultation on reforms to reimbursement ended in September 2019 and a commitment has been made to progress discussions on, and implement, reforms during 2020/21. Whilst this work has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PSNC, DHSC and NHSE&I are still due to discuss the detail and mechanics of these proposals in greater detail at the second stage of the consultation process (now expected to take place in 2021/22).
Terms of Service changes
The regulations required to enact several changes to the Terms of Service due to commence in July 2020 – including the requirement for all community pharmacies to be Healthy Living Pharmacies – were delayed due to the Government focusing on the COVID-19 response. However, the new NHS regulations were laid on 20th October 2020 and PSNC issued a series of 14 Regs explainer articles to help pharmacy contractors and their teams to understand the new requirements – access them all here.
Shortly after the five-year deal was announced, PSNC ran a series of free roadshow events across England to explain the context of the new CPCF agreement and what it meant for pharmacies. A recording of the Digital Roadshow is available to watch on-demand.
The online event followed the same format as the regional roadshow events, with presentations from the PSNC Chief Executive and his team, followed by a Q&A session. It provides an opportunity to explore what the future holds for your pharmacy and to help prepare yourself and your team for that.
For external audiences
The PSNC Communications and Public Affairs Team has created the following resources to help in explaining the five-year CPCF to external audiences. These may be particularly useful for LPCs engaging with local healthcare organisations or other stakeholders.
Community pharmacy presentation – a PowerPoint about community pharmacy reflecting changes to the CPCF.
CPCF summary for external stakeholders (Word document, so it can be edited for localisation)
Summary of the Five-Year Pharmacy Deal for general practice teams (Word document, so it can be edited for localisation)
Template letter to GP practices on five-year CPCF – LPCs may wish to ask their LMC to send this letter/email out to local GP practices.
An infographic describing the five-year CPCF settlement – this outlines the journey that community pharmacy will take between now and 2023/24.
Also see our webpage Community Pharmacy: Information for GPs.
If you have a query that isn’t addressed by this webpage, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This page will be updated as more details and resources become available.