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CPS seeks greater acknowledgement of services in Scottish funding

Exclusive Community Pharmacy Scotland has challenged the Scottish government's funding offer for 2013-14, claiming it does not financial recognise pharmacy's growing role

Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) has challenged the Scottish government's 2013-14 funding offer over the need to provide to more support for services, C+D has learned.

The Scottish government had made an offer following several months of negotiations and the Scottish contract negotiator had raised "various different issues", it told C+D this week, particularly "that pharmacy needs to be supported... with all these services they're providing".

"We're in negotiations about whether the offer is appropriate or not" Harry McQuillan, CPS

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"We're in negotiations about whether the offer is appropriate or not," said CPS CEO Harry McQuillan stressing that he would push for financial recognition of pharmacy's growing role despite public finances being "very tight". CPS was looking for a single-year deal that would start this April, he said.

Rolling out Scotland's chronic medication service to all repeat prescriptions would be a "big focus" of future work, he revealed. In November, the payment structure for the service changed to put a greater focus on quality.

Mr McQuillan also voiced support for recommendations for pharmacies to supply contraceptives more widel, made last week in response to the government's consultation on teenage pregnancy rates last week.

"We're getting more involved in providing emergency hormonal contraception, so the next logical step is to provide full contraceptive services, and we can," he argued.

Mr McQuillan added that the Scottish government would aim to make its decisions consistent with findings from the government review of community pharmacy's role. The Wilson review was launched in October 2011 and sought evidence on a range of topics affecting pharmacy, including the provision of patient care, the needs of care home residents and how technology could be used in the sector.

The Wilson review was expected to come out in autumn last year, but the findings have yet to be published. In January, CPS said it had so far been "encouraged" by the report's findings, saying there was a "real recognition of the essential and increasing role" the sector could play.

Contractors in England are awaiting a funding deal for 2013 onwards, while PSNC seeks a multi-year agreement.

What aspects of pharmacy service provision would you like to see recognised in contract funding?

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