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DH pauses early payments scheme for new joiners after Greensill crisis

From March 18, new applications to join PEPS will not be processed until further notice
From March 18, new applications to join PEPS will not be processed until further notice

Pharmacies wishing to join an NHS scheme to receive early payments for their pharmaceutical services will not be able to do so “until further notice”, the DH has said.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) announced last week that, from March 18, it is no longer accepting applications from new pharmacies wanting to sign up to the Pharmacy Earlier Payment Scheme (PEPS) – a “privately financed, voluntary arrangement” managed by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA).

New applications will not be processed “until further notice”, the DH said. However, applications to join the scheme the NHS BSA had already received by March 17 will be “processed as usual”, it clarified.

An NHS BSA spokesperson told C+D today (March 23) that the DH has confirmed that no new pharmacies will be added to the PEPS “in light of the administration of Greensill Capital”.

Greensill Capital, which was the PEPS’s funding provider, filed for administration earlier this month, leaving NHS BSA to shoulder the early payments to pharmacies on the scheme.

“We remain committed to supporting pharmacy contractors and our priority is to ensure that they continue to receive their PEPS payments,” the NHS BSA spokesperson said.

C+D asked the NHS BSA if it is looking for a new funding provider for PEPS and for a timeline on when a new provider might be appointed. The NHS BSA spokesperson said discussions are ongoing with the DH “to determine the future of funding for the scheme”.

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