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.
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.