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Nearly £5m increase for Scottish pharmacies in new funding deal

Funding for Scottish pharmacies will increase by almost £5 million in 2020-21, Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) has announced.

Under the latest funding agreement, the global sum for community pharmacy will increase to £188.148m in 2020-21 – up from £183.559m in 2019-20 – CPS confirmed yesterday (February 26). 

This means that funding for the next financial year will increase by £4.6m, more than doubling last year’s and 2018-19’s increases of £2.6m. This follows two years where the global sum stood at £178.4m.

The “non-global sum” – which is dependent on factors such as margins – will remain at £1.3m.

This amount “will be repurposed towards funding infrastructure to support the joint Scottish Government and CPS strategy of increasing the number of [the] independent prescriber workforce within the community pharmacy setting”, according to a circular the Scottish government shared with pharmacy contractors today (February 27).

Three-year deal

CPS and the Scottish government have negotiated a three-year deal for community pharmacy, which covers the financial years from 2020-21 to 2022-23.

As part of the deal, the global sum will be “subject to a fixed percentage uplift of 2.5% in each of the three years”, according to the circular.

The Scottish government said the deal “aims to deliver contractors and health boards with the continued stability and predictability established in recent years”.

NHS Pharmacy First

The Scottish Government confirmed its commitment to allocating £10m over the next three years to the new NHS Pharmacy First service, which will be introduced from April.

The service will see pharmacists offer free advice, treatment or supply of medicines – supported by national patient group directions (PGDs) – to patients presenting with urinary tract infections or impetigo.

Independent prescribing

Pharmacy owners will be able to use a £3.258m budget to support their pharmacists completing the NHS Education for Scotland foundation programme and training programmes for pharmacists to become independent prescribers.

Welcome investment

CPS director of operations Matt Barclay told C+D that a three-year deal felt like the “correct decision for the pharmacy network”.

“Significant service developments starting with the NHS Pharmacy First in April of this year, followed by supporting independent prescribing in community pharmacy and creating a career framework in community, can be the focus over the coming years," he said. 

“The Scottish Government has supported community pharmacy with extra investment, which is welcome, and this will be the platform with which we can ensure that community pharmacy service provision continues to be an invaluable part of the changing primary care landscape in Scotland.”

What do you make of the new contract for community pharmacies in Scotland?

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