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CPE ‘hopes to have concluded’ £645m funding negotiations by November

Community Pharmacy England (CPE) has said that it hopes to have finished negotiations on the promised £645 million pharmacy funding by its next committee meeting.

In an update to the sector following its September committee meeting, CPE said yesterday (September 28) that its committee had “considered the latest position” from the government and NHS England (NHSE) on the £645m cash injection promised for pharmacies earlier this year.  

It added that the September 13-14 meeting had seen the committee consider this “in detail”, including “identifying where [its] priorities should be”.

“We hope to have concluded negotiations” on the £645m investment “before” the next committee meeting, which will be held in November, CPE said.

Read more: Progress on £645m funding negotiations ‘slower than we hoped’, CPE admits

The negotiator said that its committee “remains committed to reaching a conclusion quickly” so that “additional funding can be released as soon as possible”.

It added that there was a “desire to continue to do whatever [it] can on [its] side of the negotiations to move fast – including holding additional committee meetings at short notice”.

Read more: Pharmacies should deliver five more mandatory services, report finds

The briefing also pointed to “a number of key issues” that “the committee had previously identified” and “put to the government and the NHS”.

CPE said that it was “clear” it needed to “ensure that funding is put on the right footing” and that “the proposition includes a fair structure of payments that work now and in the future”.

“It will also be important to shape how the [Pharmacy First] common conditions scheme is marketed to the public and how we monitor and manage delivery against potential demand”, it added.

 

“Intense negotiations”

 

Speaking at a conference earlier this month, CPE’s chief executive Janet Morrison refused to provide a timeline for the £645m pharmacy funding promised by the government, saying only that CPE was “in intense negotiations” and was “bound by confidentiality”.

She pointed to the government’s original announcement that it “wanted to get [the Pharmacy First] service up and running in the winter”.

Read more: ‘Enormous pressures’: MPs flag pharmacy funding, workforce and drug supply woes

Previously, Ms Morrison admitted that “progress” in negotiations had “been slower than we had hoped”.

Meanwhile, a report commissioned by CPE to inform negotiations last week recommended that pharmacies should deliver five more mandatory services within the next five years.

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