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The contract verdict

How do your opinions of England’s 2015-16 funding settlement compare with the rest of the sector?

£2.8 billion global sum

The global sum for 2015-16 will remain the same as last year. PSNC reported that negotiations with the government had been “extremely difficult”.

Result

Is a flat global sum a good result considering the NHS efficiency savings targets of 4 per cent?
Yes
33%
No
67%
Total votes: 82

 

EPS costs review

The NHS has committed to review the costs of the electronic prescription service (EPS), in light of PSNC receiving reports that it is “more time-consuming and costly” than dispensing paper prescriptions.

Result

Do you find EPS more costly than paper prescriptions?
Yes
88%
No
12%
Total votes: 78

 

Exemption advice

Pharmacists will have to tell patients who claim free prescriptions without evidence that the NHS routinely checks claims, either verbally or through written information. PSNC will be producing template leaflets for contractors.

Result

Will you feel comfortable informing patients of exemption checks?
Yes
56%
No
44%
Total votes: 79

 

Publishing earnings

Under the 2015-16 agreement, contractors will need to publish their earnings from the NHS. PSNC felt it “could not object” to the new requirement because this type of data disclosure was already happening elsewhere in the NHS.

Result

Should contractors have to publish their NHS income?
Yes
40%
No
60%
Total votes: 77

 

Flu vaccination

The new service will start in September. Pharmacists will receive £9.14 for every vaccination they deliver as well as reimbursement for the cost of the vaccine. on top of the £2.8 billion funding pot.

Result

Was flu vaccination the right choice for national commissioning?
Yes
64%
No
36%
Total votes: 72

 

Service business cases

The NHS has agreed to help PSNC produce joint business cases for pharmacy services, which is likely to make them more successful. PSNC says it is “too early to say” which services will be considered first.

Result

Are you confident joint business cases will lead to the commissioning of more national service?
Yes
42%
No
58%
Total votes: 62

 

National audit

As per last year, pharmacists will need to take part in a national audit. The subject has not yet been agreed.

Result

Based on this year’s experience, are you happy to take part in another national audit?
Yes
66%
No
34%
Total votes: 65

 

No minor ailments service

Negotiations over a national minor ailments service for England have come to a dead end despite lengthy discussions. NHS England revealed it could not reach an agreement on the “price, specification and service model” with PSNC. 

Result

Are you disappointed about the lack of a national minor ailments service?
Yes
80%
No
20%
Total votes: 243

 

 

3 Comments

Yo Palumeri, Community pharmacist

good on the PSNC, not capitulate. The blame lies firmly with all those contractors providing an MAS for a pittance

Really? Wow, Superintendent Pharmacist

Its a valid point, as in reality the cost of the training is £200-400 when you count in other costs. Then you also need to keep in Adrenaline etc. This means that the first 40 you do are free......So for it to be a profitable service you really need to be doing a min of 100. Can a small pharmacy do that many especially when the GP's are going to pushing their service more than ever?

John Alan James Robinson, Superintendent Pharmacist

I am even more disappointed that NHS England have chosen to suggest that minor ailments were potentially too expensive to commission. Perhaps if we had accepted peanuts, there would have been a different outcome ? NHS in general are to get a 1 % increase in pay. Scotland have negotiated an increase. The 4 % efficiency is nonsense when pharmacies are generally dispensing more prescriptions for less , year on year. I suspect that average savings from pharmacy are in excess of 4 % pa and still no money. The excess profit retention is also the same as last year. It remains to be seen whether or not rural pharmacies can make a fair return on flu jabs. The devil will be in the detail. The surrounding governance and paperwork requirement could be a problem. Smoking cessation springs to mind. GP reporting for flu is a simple batch number and date given entry on their systems. How will we report ? Pharmabase / Sonar / Excel.

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