The points-based Quality Payments Scheme was introduced alongside the pharmacy funding cuts in England in December 2016, and offered pharmacies a maximum of £6,400 for meeting certain requirements, such as healthy living pharmacy accreditation.
The scheme included the potential for a “reconciliation payment”, which would distribute any remaining money from the £75 million fund allocated for the scheme, NHS England said at the time.
Earlier this month, the NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) revealed that 11,410 pharmacies took part in the scheme, with 7,981 achieving the maximum 100 points for meeting all the quality criteria.
The pharmacies that took part in the scheme will receive a share of the “remaining money” from the scheme, which it calculates amounts to an estimated £7.71 per point achieved, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced yesterday (March 25).
This means nearly 8,000 contractors are likely to receive an additional £771, the negotiator confirmed to C+D.
Contractors will not have to claim for the payment, as it will be paid automatically with March’s Pricing Authority submission, PSNC added.
PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton said that the quality payments data “is a testament to [pharmacy teams'] hard work and commitment to continuously improving the quality of the services they provide to patients and the public”.
Pharmacies participating in the scheme were reviewed in April 2017 and again in November 2017 to determine how many points they qualified for. The Department of Health and Social Care is yet to confirm whether the scheme will be extended to 2018-19.
PSNC has been in discussions with the DH and NHS England about “transitional arrangements for 2018-19, including the Quality Payments Scheme”, Mr Buxton said earlier this month.
PSNC reiterated this point to C+D today and said “an announcement on interim arrangements [for the scheme] will be made shortly”.