‘Critical’ transitional payments extended by another year in 2021/22 contract
PSNC has lauded the extension of transitional payments to pharmacies in England for another year as a “financial win”, following the government’s rejection of its demand for a funding boost.
The automatic monthly payment, based on how many items pharmacies dispense each month, was due to stop in March 2021 after being introduced in October 2019 to support the sector’s move towards services.
The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced the extension to the payments today (August 23) following the outcome of the negotiations on year three of the five-year community pharmacy contractual framework.
PSNC clarified that the payments had been agreed on the basis that they will help contractors engage with primary care networks and integrated care systems, but they will also support the implementation of “enablers” such as “hub-and-spoke dispensing, original pack dispensing, and better use of skill mix in pharmacy teams”.
“Critical monies not lost”
Announcing the 2021/22 package, the negotiator hit out at HM Treasury’s “flat rejection” of its bid to boost funding, calling it a “key disappointment” that it will “continue to pursue”.
“Against that backdrop, the extension of the transitional payments for a further year was an important financial win so that these critical monies are not lost to contractors,” it said.
Independent contractor and PSNC negotiating team member Jas Heer said: “The agreement of government to continue the transitional payments – recognising the impact that COVID has had on our ability to find efficiencies – is an important success, protecting much-needed funding for us all.”