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New requirements for contractors in 2015-16 funding package

PSNC "could not object" to the publication of contractors' earnings, it says

The settlement will require contractors to publish their earnings from the NHS and give extra advice to patients claiming free prescriptions without evidence

Contractors will need to publish their earnings, inform patients of prescription fraud checks and take part in another national audit as part of the 2015-16 funding settlement.

PSNC had agreed “in principle” that pharmacy businesses would need to disclose their earnings from the NHS, it announced as part of the funding settlement yesterday (July 20).

The 2015-16 package will also require pharmacists to inform patients who claim free prescriptions without evidence that the NHS undertakes fraud checks. Similarly to last year, pharmacies will need to take part in a national audit.

The negotiator felt it “could not object” to the publication of contractors’ earnings, because this type of data disclosure was “already happening elsewhere in the NHS and the wider public sector”, it said.

Once the agreement came into effect, any failure to publish earnings could result in a contract breach notice by NHS England, PSNC warned.

PSNC stressed that the requirements would be “in line” with those of other healthcare professionals, and that it would set up a working group with NHS Employers and NHS England to establish the details. It did not give a timeframe for publishing the details, but said it would aim to finish the work “as soon as possible”.

The negotiator also did not have a final date for the requirement to inform patients of fraud checks, but pledged to keep contractors updated.

The requirement “should not change the relationship between pharmacists and patients”, given that pharmacists were already required to ask for evidence, PSNC said. It specified that contractors could make patients aware of the fraud checks verbally or in written form, and said it would publish template leaflets “in due course”.

The subject of the national audit is yet to be confirmed, but PSNC said it would look to ensure the workload was “manageable as possible” for pharmacists. It also pledged to stress the importance of giving contractors enough preparation time to NHS England.

The requirement for a national audit was first introduced in last year’s funding package. The results of the audit into emergency supplies are not yet known, but PSNC said it believed they would demonstrate the impact of pharmacy in “keeping patients from attending urgent and emergency care services”.


How do you feel about the requirement for contractors to publish their earnings?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


Mumtaz Jivraj, Community pharmacist

Well! the requirement is to disclose earnings from the NHS, which is only one element of revenue for the business, If other healthcare providers already do that, then its only fair to expect pharmacies to do so too. Why the worry!. Regarding the exemptions, yes I believe all pharmacists ask to see the evidence, and I must say, there is always a problem for patients, to provide a medical exemptions cards/certificates. I believe this, is an area our fellow colleagues, GPs may need to address so that, patients can show certificates for them, when asked at the pharmacies.

Dave Downham, Manager

This seems to have been slipped in. I'm sure there are accountants out there rubbing their hands at the prospect of extra fees. As usual with this kind of thing, it's the "professionals" who'll be able to charge special rates for special services/

Brian Austen, Senior Management

Accountants should already be able to provide this information as part of their current role. No special service about it. If they charge extra, ditch them!

John Alan James Robinson, Superintendent Pharmacist

I have just read the requirements for GP's agreed in April 2015. Jeremy Hunt suggests that it will remove suspicions that some GP's cream off money and spend less on staff or services. The total figures spent by NHS are published by HSCIC. The GP's publish mean earnings after removing premises reimbursement and other items not related to pay or profit. Cynical naming and shaming cloaked as transparency. Perhaps our MP's and so forth could learn a few lessons. Seems that transparency is OK for some. Also seems that pay rises are in order for some and not for others. Perhaps the country is in a worse mess than we are led to believe. Transparency ,regulation and governance seem to be higher priorities than getting on with the job and treating people. Oh and I almost forgot., competition. No lowest common denominators in groceries , garages,newsagents and little regulation. I doubt if they know or care that Regaine is unlicensed for anyone over 65.

John Alan James Robinson, Superintendent Pharmacist

Contractors will need to publish their earnings. Does this mean Gross, before/after tax , after overheads ? Lots of commercially sensitive information. This will inevitably inform NHS England of the potential or not for further cuts. The Independents will publish. The multiples are likely to employ teams of accountants to minimise NHS earnings impact. No minor ailments even though money can be saved. Flu service which is bound to antagonise GP's. Same settlement as last year ? Crazy. Perhaps NHS England want to nationalise community pharmacy. Pharmacy contractors hold stock, own /lease premises and get no pension. PSNC PHARMACY STUFFED NO CHANGE

Mark Ashmore, Superintendent Pharmacist

As NHS dispensing figs now in the public domain it's not going to make much difference especially to Ltd Cos that have to publish their accounts.

Really? Wow, Superintendent Pharmacist

When they say publish earnings...what do they mean? Turnover? This has no relevance to actual profit. Also, with the advent of hub and spoke dispensing, how will that be sorted out? Also, what other private contractors have to publish their NHS earnings? Do GP's?

Brian Austen, Senior Management

Yes GPs do publish NHS earnings.

SP Ph, Community pharmacist

"""The 2015-16 package will also require pharmacists to inform patients who claim free prescriptions without evidence that the NHS undertakes fraud checks."""" ----------- HOW????

Gareth Crawley, Community pharmacist

We do this already - and upset some patients and carers - until they realise they've been saved the risk of a fine! Anyone who hasn't got a card - especially diabetics and those taking thyroxine - gets asked if they've got a card. If they say they don't pay because of their illness , we remind them that's not what they are signing. They are signing to say they have a valid exemption certificate... Get your local GP to give you a few to get them started, and you'll be helping patients avoid fines.

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