Negotiation Updates

Published on: 30th March 2021 | Updated on: 28th June 2022

PSNC negotiates the elements of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I). These negotiations include reaching agreement on matters relating to pharmacy funding, regulations and services.

Below is an index of negotiation updates published by PSNC. Additionally, please visit the PSNC Blog for regular updates from the PSNC Policy Team in the form of written articles and videos.

2021 updates

15th December – Contractor Update: PQS deadline extension and further measures
PSNC reaches agreement with NHSE&I and DHSC on a number of measures to help ease the immediate pressures on community pharmacies, including an extension to the deadline for meeting the requirements of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme.

6th December – PSNC Planning Meeting: Renewed evidence drive and Year 4 negotiations
PSNC met to both consider the ongoing pressures facing the community pharmacy sector and to plan for upcoming negotiations which will set the arrangements for the CPCF in 2022/23 – Year 4 of the five-year CPCF deal.

3rd December – PSNC urges Government to support all pharmacies through COVID-19 booster push
PSNC warns HM Government and the NHS of the need to provide further support for all community pharmacies as we head into what will be an extremely challenging winter period.

30th November – High level talks under way on community pharmacy workforce shortage
The chief executives of the national community pharmacy bodies in England meet with senior NHSE&I officials to discuss the current limited availability of pharmacists for community pharmacy roles.

21st September – COVID-19 Cost Claims: DHSC sets out arrangements for payment
The arrangements for payment of contractors’ COVID-19 cost claims in October are finalised. All contractors that made a claim during the summer claiming window, even those identified as needing pre-payment verification, will receive a payment at the start of October.

26th August – Early advance payments for all contractors following an end to PEPS
From November 2021, all community pharmacy contractors will have the chance to receive earlier advance payments, following agreement between PSNC and DHSC. The agreement came as part of discussions on the Pharmacy Earlier Payment Scheme (PEPS), which DHSC decided to end following the collapse of Greensill Capital.

23rd August – CPCF arrangements for 2021/22 agreed
Arrangements for the CPCF in 2021/22 are agreed between PSNC, NHSE&I and DHSC, in line with the five-year CPCF deal.

12th August – New Pharmacy Quality Scheme for 2021/22 announced
PSNC, DHSC and NHSE&I agree the arrangements for the 2021/22 Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS), with a focus on priorities supporting recovery from COVID-19.

28th June – COVID-19 costs deal reached
PSNC accepts a revised, and much improved, HM Government offer on COVID costs. Under the agreed deal, contractors will receive payments for their COVID costs on 1st October, following a claiming period between 5th July and 15th August 2021.

24th May – PSNC and MPs continue to press on C-19 loans and sustainable funding
PSNC continues to work to highlight the value that community pharmacies have delivered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for sustainable funding for the sector.

18th May – May video update from PSNC’s CEO
PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes addresses the situation that community pharmacy currently finds itself in – awaiting a decision from HM Treasury on the costs the sector incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

5th May – PSNC CEO issues new blog
PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes sets out his expectations on negotiations for Year Three of the Five-Year CPCF, highlighting the key issues that the Committee with face.

28th April – Negotiations on CPCF arrangements for 2021/22 commence
Formal tripartite negotiations on the arrangements for the CPCF in 2021/22 begin.

5th March – Briefing MPs on COVID-19 costs
PSNC briefs Parliamentarians to update them on the funding situation for pharmacies, asking them to call on HM Government to cover contractors’ COVID-19 costs.

3rd March – PSNC calls on Chancellor to write off pharmacies’ COVID loans
Ahead of the Budget, PSNC writes to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking him to intervene in the ongoing COVID-19 funding negotiations and ensure that pharmacies do not have to pay back any of the £370m in emergency loans they received last year.

9th February – Update on PSNC Funding Negotiations
Ahead of further rounds of Ministerial meetings, PSNC once again underlines its position that community pharmacy contractors must be compensated for the full impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their businesses, and warned of the impact on patient services if this does not happen.

2020 updates

9th December – Funding Negotiations Update: Video message from PSNC CEO
PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes releases a new video message for pharmacy teams explaining the current situation regarding community pharmacy funding negotiations. In the video, Simon outlines PSNC’s two-pronged approach to money – to cover all COVID-related costs and a bid for an uplift to the annual contract sum – both of which require urgent resolution.

26th November – PSNC seeks to address workload pressures during second wave
PSNC publishes an update on the action points that we have been discussing with the NHS and Government to address contractor workload and staffing pressures during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the action points have been in discussion for many weeks and, yet, as we saw in the first wave of COVID-19, decision-making remains slower than we would like.

13th November – COVID-19 Cost Negotiations Update: PSNC rejects initial offer and makes counter-proposal
PSNC restates its position that community pharmacy contractors must be compensated for the full impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their businesses. PSNC says it has rejected an initial funding offer as too limited and put a counter-proposal to DHSC, asking for the £370m in advance payments to be written off.

26th August – PSNC Negotiations and CPCF Services Update
PSNC publishes an update on its ongoing negotiations related to funding and services. In particular, PSNC has made a case to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, for an urgent uplift to the agreed CPCF funding.

21st August – PSNC asks contractors to reconsider free provision of non-CPCF services
PSNC CEO Simon Dukes has called on community pharmacy contractors to stop the free of charge provision of services that fall clearly outside the CPCF. The call follows reports from contractors who are increasingly being asked to pick up primary care work which would normally fall outside of pharmacies’ funded services.

20th and 21st May – May PSNC meeting
The PSNC Committee holds detailed discussions on which activities community pharmacies should stop, start or continue to do in the current and coming environment. Immediate priorities such as the NHS Flu Vaccination Service were considered as well as the role that pharmacies could play in future COVID-19 services such as testing.

15th May – PSNC CEO video message
PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes confirms that negotiations on additional funding for the sector are ongoing, and describes how discussions with DHSC and NHSE&I are now also turning to the expected next phases of the pandemic in the UK.

15th April – COVID-19 webinar for pharmacy contractors
A new webinar explains how PSNC is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including working with others and negotiating for additional funding for the sector. Click the link to watch the on-demand version.

31st March – PSNC CEO video message
PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes reacts to the £300 million of advance funding agreed by Ministers in recognition of the significant cashflow pressures facing the sector at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic.

27th March – PSNC Briefing 016/20: COVID-19 Response – PSNC Negotiations Action List
A new briefing lists the possible action points that PSNC is in urgent negotiations with the NHS and Government about. We will update contractors on these points as and when decisions are reached.

23rd March – PSNC CEO video message
PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes releases a video message for community pharmacy teams to explain the work that he and his team are doing on behalf of the sector.

23rd February – Contractor Announcement: CPCF Negotiations Progress Update and Arrangements for 2020/21
The arrangements for the CPCF in 2020/21 agreed between PSNC, NHSE&I and DHSC were announced.


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