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Give warning of new services agreed in contract, members tell PSNC

The future of MURs are being discussed in the funding negotiations

Pharmacy teams will need as much warning as possible about any new or amended services agreed in the ongoing contract negotiations, PSNC’s members have said.

Negotiations for a new pharmacy funding contract, which began in April, are covering areas as diverse as the future of the medicines use review (MUR) service, the healthy living pharmacy (HLP) programme and the possibility of a national minor ailments service.

But the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee’s (PSNC) members told the negotiator in a meeting last week that any changes to pharmacy services resulting from the negotiations need to be relayed to contractors and their teams “as early as possible, to allow the preparations needed to implement them”.

While the details of the negotiations remain confidential, PSNC reiterated that the topics currently being discussed include:

  • How NHS England and the government want to better utilise the skillset and reach of community pharmacies to help deliver the NHS long-term plan – including proposals for urgent care, prevention and medicines safety
  • The possible rollout of a national minor illness referral service via NHS 111, and the piloting of referrals to community pharmacy from other settings, such as GPs and NHS.UK
  • The future of the HLP programme
  • Medicines safety interventions and the future of MURs.

PSNC’s committee spent “a considerable amount of time considering aspects of the negotiations in detail to inform the process” last month, it said.

You can read PSNC CEO Simon Duke’s blog for C+D about how he is approaching the negotiations, as well as an in-depth analysis of how pharmacists would like the MUR service to change.

Shortages powers reimbursement

The negotiator also used its meeting to consider “how best to remunerate” contractors for their part in sourcing medicines, should a “serious shortage protocol” ever be put in place by the government.

PSNC has been working with the Department of Health and Social Care and patient medication record (PMR) system suppliers “to agree the endorsements, fees and paperwork” that will be associated with pharmacies delivering these protocols, it added.

What services would you like to see added or changed in the new contract?

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

Is this actually news? Just get on with it please. 

Community Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Dear PSNC , Please include for a start - Provision for time protected trainingfor the service (as per GPs),professional fees (not the usual insulting peanuts i.e in line with Doctor/Dentist levels), Realistic service testing in a busy pharmacy before extended trial and roll out, (NOT the usual super quiet pharmacy with nothing else to do then claim that it's feasible for all ), Allowance for time/second pharmacist to provide the service at the pharmacy at the very least.... Then away we go when Pharmacy is ready to add it to their already ridiculous burden.Anything less....then say 'Thanks,but no thanks Paymasters as we're up to our eyeballs already and on the bread line as it is despite all the graft,stress and paperwork'....

Chicken Little , Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

I don't understand.

Give warning...? The contract under negotiation relates to a period that started 2 months ago.

Two contracts. A bricks and mortar face to face contract with services that go with this and a distinct distance selling contract. 

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

And in a time where short term gains at any cost are paramount, where do you think bean counters at CCGs and NHSE are going to prefer prescriptions to go...? In fact, I'd say this is exactly what the next plan of our esteemed Chief Pharmaceutical Officer is. Closing 3,000 pharmacies? There may be less than 3,000 left if this happened!!!

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Yes. Also, this will be one more step closer to privatising NHS. Just imagine, all smaller independents close their business due to not enough scirpts to dispense to get the minimum amount to survive. Leading to Bigger chains forwarding all their script business to HUBS and then closing all their non-performing branches just enough to keep one shop in a town centre where patients have to pay for any and all services including for advice from a Pharmacist (US model not French model) 

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