Contractor Announcement: Interim Funding Arrangements for 2018/19


Contractor Announcement: Interim Funding Arrangements for 2018/19

March 27, 2018

Community pharmacy fees and allowances will remain unchanged from April as part of interim funding arrangements, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed.

The arrangements have been agreed to protect current funding distribution systems pending the start of substantive negotiations with PSNC on community pharmacy funding for 2018/19.

For now, funding levels will be maintained at the 2017/18 level, with no changes to the Single Activity Fee (SAF), Establishment Payments or Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) payments.

This means that the SAF will remain unchanged at £1.29, and pharmacies receiving PhAS payments will continue to do so with monthly payments from April 2018 the same as those made in the last financial year.

NHS England is, however, making two changes to the gateway criteria for Quality Payments:

  • Opening hours on NHS Choices must include Bank Holidays; and
  • The requirement for the pharmacy to be able to send and receive NHSmail should be from a shared NHSmail account.

Contractors must read the briefing on these two changes here.

As previously announced, NHS England has confirmed that the Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced service will be re-commissioned for 2018/19. Further information will be posted on the PSNC website as soon as it is available.

NHS England and DHSC also wish to have discussions with PSNC about moving forwards with the implementation of EPS Phase 4. It is expected that a pilot take place later during 2018/19.

The interim arrangements have been put in place because the DHSC and NHS England are not yet in a position to begin negotiations for 2018/19. PSNC has put forward proposals about how it wishes to develop future community pharmacy services, and we hope to begin formal negotiations soon.

PSNC discussed the DHSC’s proposals for interim arrangements at its January meeting, noting that many of the elements had formed part of the imposition to which PSNC remained opposed.

PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe said:

“We hope to commence negotiations with the NHS for 2018/19 community pharmacy funding very shortly, and we hope this will include discussion on PSNC’s proposals for the development of community pharmacy services. As yet we cannot speculate on the negotiations, but we are continuing to press the benefits and value of community pharmacies to the NHS.

Community pharmacy contractors are under enormous financial pressure at the moment and PSNC’s priority in the negotiations will be to seek the best financial result possible for all community pharmacy contractors. Our objective will be to agree arrangements that will safeguard the future of this invaluable network of healthcare providers.”

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