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Sector positive over national minor ailments negotiations

Numark and Pharmacy Voice say PSNC's negotiations for a national service could "empower" the sector

Pharmacy bodies have celebrated PSNC’s announcement that it is negotiating a national minor ailments scheme.

PSNC was “in discussions” with negotiator NHS Employers over a national service, it said yesterday (May 7). The news should come as “no surprise” because it had been a “key policy for PSNC...for sometime”, it said.

Numark director of marketing Mandeep Mudhar told C+D he “sincerely hoped the negotiations were successful”, because a national minor ailments service could "genuinely add value" to the sector. The service should “cover a wide range of minor ailments” and provide “sensible remuneration” for pharmacists, he stressed.

“The service must not be compromised either through inadequate funding or by limiting the range of ailments covered, as this will imply that there is still not sufficient trust in community pharmacy’s capability,” Mr Mudhar added. 

'Empowering' pharmacists

Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott said a national service could “empower” pharmacists to care for a greater number of patients.

“We know that when these schemes are supported by local commissioners and communicated to the public they can be incredibly successful. Not only do they demonstrate to the public the valuable healthcare that community pharmacy can provide, such schemes also have a knock-on effect of reducing visits to GPs and A&E services,” Mr Darracott said.

PSNC said it had “long believed” that the service would “benefit patients, pharmacies and the NHS by giving patients access to advice and treatments without the need for them to visit their GP or another urgent care service". The service would require pharmacies to capture “high quality data to ensure clinical records are adequate and assess the impact of the service”, it said.

NHS Employers told C+D that a national scheme was “one of a number of potential changes” it was considering for 2015-16.

Both PSNC and NHS Employers told C+D they were unable to provide further details on the ongoing negotiations, including whether the national service would be including in the next funding settlement and which ailments it would cover.


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