CPCF settlement: 2019/20 to 2023/24

CPCF settlement: 2019/20 to 2023/24

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the arrangements below have been put on hold. Please click here for more information.

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.

The announcement: Funding negotiations result in five-year CPCF deal

The CPCF agreement document: The Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework for 2019/20 to 2023/24: supporting delivery for the NHS Long Term Plan

PSNC’s summary of the agreement document: PSNC Briefing 026/19: A Summary of the Five-Year Deal on the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework

PSNC answers key questions: PSNC Briefing 027/19: Five-Year CPCF Deal – Frequently Asked Questions

PSNC email series highlighting key actions for contractors: CPCF Checklist emails archive

Year Two: 2020/21

The arrangements for the CPCF in 2020/21 have been agreed between PSNC, NHSE&I DHSC, in line with the five-year CPCF deal. These have been outlined in a joint letter to contractors and in a Negotiations Progress Update from PSNC.

To support contractors in understanding the different elements of the announcement, PSNC has compiled a series of FAQs and further information on funding for 2020/21:

PSNC Briefing 010/20: Community Pharmacy Funding in 2020/21

PSNC Briefing 011/20: CPCF in 2020/21 – Frequently Asked Questions

About the CPCF

PSNC Briefing 007/20: CPCF services – Important dates and checklist (v3)

In each section below we have outlined that element of the five-year CPCF agreement in more detail.

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.

PSNC Briefing 028/19: Information on the community pharmacy contract settlement and funding for 2019/2020 to 2023/24

PSNC Briefing 010/20: Community Pharmacy Funding in 2020/21 (new)

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.

Transitional payments
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). These payments will be linked to dispensing volumes and paid to contractors from October 2019 through to March 2021. Learn more about the agreed levels for 2019/20 here.
For 2020/21, the budget allocation will be increased, but revised payment bands linked to dispensing volume will be introduced. Note, the payments will reduce over the course of the year as new services launch and funding is re-allocated to them.

Establishment Payment
In an extension to the phasing out of this payment, it will continue to be paid during 2020/21 but at a reduced level and with a planned phase out by the end of 2020/21.

Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS)
Both the budget allocation and the payment will be maintained at the current level until April 2021. By the end of March 2021, it is expected that PhAS will have been reviewed and a revised scheme announced.

PSNC will publish indicative income tables for contractors in due course to help contractors to predict what their income is likely to be.

Contractor Notice – Payment changes to Schedule of Payment

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). Funding for the service in 2019/20 included an initial Transition payment supplement if claimed before 15th January 2020.

CPCS has already been extended to include referrals from NHS 111 Online and is in the process of being extended to include referrals from GP practices during autumn 2020.

CPCS webpage

CPCS webinar now on-demand

Final CPCS service spec published

CPCS: Final version of toolkit published

CPCS: CPD opportunities

CPCS Update: Progress and Early Learnings

CPCS: Are you ready to get IT access in your consultation room?

CPCS: Urgent supplies of Controlled Drugs

Providing CPCS: A Pharmacist’s Perspective

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.

It has been announced that, for 2020/21, the PQS declaration period will be February 2021 with an aspiration payment available for contractors to claim between mid-April and May 2020. PQS payments will vary depending on prescription volume. The revised payment bands, and the points allocated to each criterion, are being finalised and will be announced in due course.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Following the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, PSNC agreed the requirements for a new Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) for 2020/21 with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I). Full details can be found here.

PQS webpage

PSNC Briefing 041/19: The Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2019/20

Pharmacy Quality Scheme webinar now on-demand

PQS: The Aspiration payment window is now open

NHS England and NHS Improvement Pharmacy Quality Scheme guidance published

PQS: First gateway dataset report published

PQS: Assessment framework now available

PSNC Briefing 059/19: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – PSNC resources

PSNC Briefing 060/19: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Evidence checklist

PSNC Briefing 004/20: Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Completing your declaration

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 will be phased out over the next two years.

In 2020/21, the budget will be reduced with a maximum of 100 MURs permitted per pharmacy, but fees associated with the service will stay the same. In the first quarter, 70% of MURs should be targeted at high-risk medicines or patients who have recently been discharged from hospital but, once the NHS Discharge Medicines Service is introduced in July 2020, 70% of MURs will be targeted solely at high-risk medicines.

New MUR target requirements from 1st October

Medicines Use Reviews (MURs): Frequently asked questions

Service developments

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.

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.

Pharmacy heart checks service pilot announced

Reimbursement reforms

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. PSNC, DHSC and NHSE&I will discuss the detail and mechanics of these proposals in greater detail at the second stage of the consultation process.

Consultation on drug reimbursement reforms

PSNC responds to consultation on community pharmacy drug reimbursement reform

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.

CPCF Roadshow

PSNC had been running free roadshow events across England to explain the context of the new five-year CPCF agreement and what it means for pharmacies. These have come to an end, but contractors can now access a recording of our Digital Roadshow.

This 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.

Watch our Digital CPCF Roadshow on-demand

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 (PDF)

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 (PDF)

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 cpcf@psnc.org.uk

This page will be updated as more details and resources become available.


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