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CPCS: 1,800 pharmacies given £200 boost to partially offset IT costs

Some 1,800 pharmacies in the north-east and Yorkshire region will each receive a one-off £200 payment to help pay for IT services for the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS).

The CPCS will switch to a “provider pays” model from April 1, under which contractors offering the service will be responsible for paying for the IT systems they adopt to deliver it.

 Gateshead and South Tyneside local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) and the regional north-east and Yorkshire NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) regional team agreed that contractors would have access to a pot of money set aside to partially offset these costs and ensure the continuity of the service, an LPC spokesperson told C+D last week (March 9).

 

Read more: New CPCS conditions: scratches and grazes, teething, and sinusitis

 

Eighty-three LPC contractors will benefit from the sum, but it is estimated that over 1,800 will receive the payment across the NHS region, they said.

 

“Willingness” to support service

 

This monetary support shows NHSE&I’s “willingness” to ensure the service remains successful, the LPC wrote in a statement last week.

The regional NHSE&I team will share more details on the payment with contractors directly, but payments will be made directly via the NHS Business Services Authority to contractors who are still offering the service, the LPC understands.

 

Read more: CPCS referrals from GPs still a ‘slow burner’ due to COVID pressures, say LPCs

 

The LPC’s chairman Dave Carter said: “Pharmacies have shown resilience over the past two years and have shown that they are an essential primary care resource.”

“CPCS is a great service that utilises the pharmacy teams skills and helps patients. Its continued success will demonstrate how valuable community pharmacies are to the NHS and ultimately to patient care.”

Money from the Pharmacy Integration Fund was used to fund CPCS IT systems licences, with NHSE&I initially extending this support until October 2021 and later further until the end of this month.

This decision was “driven by the relatively short time in which to get the service implemented ahead of the winter period” and “the need for data to be available to the NHS from all pharmacies providing the service to support implementation of the service and its evaluation”, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee wrote on its website

 

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