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'Challenging discussions' ahead as 2022/23 pharmacy funding talks start, PSNC says

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) expects funding discussions for the fourth year of the five-year pharmacy contract to be “very challenging”, it has said as negotiations officially begin.

Formal negotiations for the 2022/23 pharmacy contract for England have begun ahead of the start of the financial year, although slightly later than planned due to the volume of recent urgent COVID-19 work, PSNC explained in an update this afternoon (February 25).

"The discussions will cover all service, funding and other arrangements for pharmacies in 2022/23, in line with the five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF)," PSNC added.

The talks will take into account progress made to date, as well as the outcomes of the annual review revealed last month in which PSNC raised "serious concerns around the capacity available within community pharmacy, and the sector’s funding".


PSNC must make "strong case" for funding


PSNC vice-chair and contractor Bharat Patel commented: "As we approach the end of year three of the five-year CPCF arrangements, many contractors find themselves in an extremely difficult situation trying to balance spiralling costs, capacity pressures and the increasing workforce issues.

"Some of the immediate pressures of COVID-19 may appear to have gone away, but like most of the health service, pharmacies are not feeling any relief."

PSNC shares the same ambition as the government and NHS England and NHS Improvement "to continue to embed community pharmacies within the wider NHS" and "keep expanding the sector’s role and show the very great value that pharmacies offer", Mr Patel added.

"But this must be balanced with what is reasonable... we must continue to make a strong case for investment in the sector, and to seek fair funding for the walk-in advice that so many people are relying on from pharmacies.

"We are actively gathering evidence as we begin what we expect, once again, to be very challenging discussions,” he concluded.


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