Community Pharmacy Funding Announcement: Interim Arrangements


Community Pharmacy Funding Announcement: Interim Arrangements

March 8, 2019

Announcement summary

Contractor information

Community pharmacy funding levels will remain the same from 1st April 2019, set to deliver the current agreed funding envelope of £2.592 billion per year.

At the same time Category M prices will increase by £10 million per month, as the reductions to recover excess margin which had been in place since November come to an end.

PSNC and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have agreed this as an interim arrangement pending the start of substantive negotiations on future pharmacy funding. The arrangement will apply until the negotiations have concluded.

The Single Activity Fee (SAF) will be set to continue to deliver £2.592 billion in funding annually; the level of the SAF is still under discussion with DHSC and as such may be adjusted later this year.

During the interim period, contractors will be paid for a maximum of 200 Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) from 1st April to 30th September 2019.  This is because further discussions about the service will form part of the wider negotiations which we expect to begin in the next month.

No discussions have taken place on the future of the Quality Payments Scheme, so contractors do not need to do any work for a checkpoint until further notice. The future of the scheme will again be a part of the upcoming negotiations.

The NUMSAS pilot will continue to be commissioned until 30th September 2019, ahead of discussions on this service as part of the wider negotiations.

Pharmacies currently receiving Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) payments will continue to do so with monthly payments from April 2019 being the same as those made in the last financial year.

The interim arrangements have been put in place to cover the period from April until negotiations on future pharmacy funding have concluded. We expect to begin these negotiations before Easter and hope that any substantive changes to the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) will be agreed in time to be implemented from October 2019.

Read the article on the GOV.UK website

PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes said:

“We are pleased that DHSC and NHS England expect to be in a position to begin negotiations on community pharmacy shortly and we are looking forward to exploring with them developments that will ensure that community pharmacies can play a key part in the developing primary care systems for the benefit of patients. In the meantime, this interim funding arrangement will protect current funding levels for pharmacies and we welcome the £10 million monthly increase in Category M prices.”

Pharmacy Minister Steve Brine said:

“The NHS Long Term Plan sets out a renewed vision for primary care. One in which all providers work together, making best use of their unique skills, for the benefit of patients. Community pharmacy, embedded at the heart of communities, has an important role to play. I look forward to discussions with PSNC on how the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework can support community pharmacy’s further integration into primary care networks and enable us to better utilise the skill set and reach of pharmacy teams.”

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