PSNC stance on contraception service ‘unchanged’ despite funding pledge
The pharmacy negotiator has said it is reserving judgement towards the pharmacy contraception service pending negotiations that will give a clearer idea of its "affordability" for the sector.
The controversial NHS pharmacy contraception service, which has come under fire from the sector over a lack of funding, looks set to benefit from a two-year £645-million investment in community pharmacy services announced today (May 9) by NHS England (NHSE).
Negotiations between the government and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) will determine how much of this new funding will be moved to the contraceptive service, among other details.
PSNC, which represents the interests of community pharmacists in England, said it will wait for the conclusion of consultations with NHSE before coming out in full support of the service.
In a statement released in response to the funding announcement today, the negotiator said it was “very positive” that the government had “listened to and responded to” its concerns over the contraception service’s affordability.
But it said that “until the detailed negotiations have concluded we won’t fully know what this means for the service and its affordability, so for now PSNC’s position is unchanged”.
The negotiator pledged to “review this position in due course”.
Primary care recovery plan
The funding announcement came with the release of the long-anticipated primary care recovery plan.
According to the plan, the pharmacy contraception service will be expanded from “late 2023, dependent on findings from initial pilots currently underway and consultation”.
“Almost half a million women will no longer need to speak to a practice nurse or GP to access oral contraception and will instead be able to pop into their local pharmacy for it,” according to NHSE .
The delivery plan estimates that “a quarter of women taking oral contraceptives could be using this service by 2024.”