Negotiations on CPCF arrangements for 2021/22 commence
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Formal tripartite negotiations on the arrangements for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) in 2021/22 have now begun.
The negotiations are taking place between PSNC and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I).
The negotiations are beginning later than planned due to the volume of urgent COVID-19 work which has been prioritised by HM Government.
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.
All negotiating partners are keen to continue the rollout of a wider range of clinical services from community pharmacies, who we recognise have made a huge contribution to healthcare in the first two years of the five-year CPCF deal, including throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alongside this process, separate negotiations on funding to recognise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on contractors are also ongoing between PSNC and the Government.
We will update contractors on the outcomes of both negotiations as soon as we can.
PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes said:
“Contractors have been waiting many months for news on COVID-19 funding and on the CPCF for 2021/22 (Year 3 of our five-year deal) and it is frustrating that we are yet again beginning to negotiate CPCF arrangements in-year.
Contractors who have been following our negotiations updates will know what we are up against – PSNC has already rejected one Government offer on COVID costs, and we received no response to our autumn bid for a broader funding uplift. I have talked of the blocks we repeatedly face – with officials challenging us on costs at every step and refusing to reward us based on the value we deliver – and despite the phenomenal efforts of pharmacies in the past year, I do not expect these negotiations to be any easier.
The PSNC Committee is deeply concerned about the lack of resolution on COVID costs and they are worried about workload and finances in the year ahead: we will do all that we can to make this as manageable as possible for contractors. The Committee has also made clear to HM Government that while we will now commence negotiations, it is unlikely to be able to make any final decision on the CPCF until we have clarity on COVID costs: resolving these costs has been urgent for many months, and contractors’ questions must be answered and a satisfactory deal reached before we can move any further forwards on other matters.
I know that contractors will be keen to know more about our discussions – unfortunately we will remain bound by HM Government confidentiality rules until their completion. The full PSNC Committee will ultimately decide on whether any negotiated outcome is acceptable, and we will update contractors as soon as we can.
Thank you to all contractors who have provided data and other evidence to help our representations and business cases in the past year – we will be using these once again to put forward reasoned and evidenced arguments during these negotiations. We have an amazing story to tell about how community pharmacy has supported both patients and the NHS throughout the COVID-19 pandemic: HM Government must listen to this, recognise it, and it must pay contractors fairly for it.”