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PDA pushing government for CCG-led contracts

Mark Koziol: PDA discussed proposals with DH in meeting last week

Locally-decided contracts would lead to better clinical services, says PDA

EXCLUSIVE

The Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA) is lobbying the government to introduce CCG-led commissioning of local pharmacy contracts.

These service-led contracts would be decided by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), and would sit beside the national pharmacy contract.

CCGs would decide what services to commission through the local contract by carrying out their own assessment of local populations’ health needs.

The PDA discussed the proposals with the Department of Health (DH) last week during talks on the 6% cut to pharmacy funding in England, the union’s chair Mark Koziol told C+D this week (March 15) in an exclusive interview.

CCG-led pharmaceutical needs assessments (PNAs) would be a “rock solid” way of ensuring patients get the pharmacy service they need, he said.

“We recognise the advantage of having a standard national contract, but we also very strongly embrace the idea of allowing the contract to also have a local flavour,” he said.

“I strongly suspect the DH are going to have a balancing act between having a national contract with the ability for a CCG to give it a local flavour.”

 

Are local contracts a good idea?

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12 Comments

Alchemist 1948, Locum pharmacist

You REALLY want to hand pharmacy money over to be controlled by a bunch of GPs ? 

Brian Austen, Senior Management

If you have CCG led PNAs and allocate funding for local services (to save reinventing the wheel lets bring back LES) you will have no need for the Local Authority PNAs and funding of local services. It was taken away from the predecessors of CCGs (PCTs) to give to the LAs during the last reorganisation. Nice to see Pharmacy representative organisations are so keen on recycling!

Mahesh Sodha, Superintendent Pharmacist

Totally disagree Mark. CCG are still amateur organisations and the Pharmacy teams with the power and authority but no accountablity are still in charge. I would not hold my breath. Even commisioning no-brainer services tht keep patients away from out of hours services and A&E are beyond most of these organisations.

In fact, their idea of medicines optimisation is to spend their time in brand switching with branded generics.   

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

Mahesh,  The problem in most cases, as you have found, is that many pharmacists (especially those that worked within PCT's and medicines management) looked down on community pharmacists and diverted budgets from sound initiatives that worked for the patients benefit. . Many of these teams were our own 5th column and working against our interests just so that they could preserve theirs.  The concept that the PDA has outlined is sound, the devil is in the execution and thus some element of ringfencing would be needed. The whole local profession would need to be involved THUS every employee. locum and ANY pharmacist on the GPhC register would be part of the process. Not just existing medicines management teams and contractors.

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

The 'Leaders' do not want the whole profession involved in anything important. Patient benefit is no where near the top of any list of theirs. PDA are the only only ones that exhibit any sort of interest in locums/employee pharmacists.

A Hussain, Senior Management

Until there are pharmacists on CCG's I have no confidence in it benefiting pharmacies. Well unless they have links to doctors that is. 

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

At present, locums and employees are TOTALLY out of the loop when PNA's are constructed. They are as dodgy as hell and serve entrenched interests. ALL pharmacists living within the CCG should be consulted on services that are going to be provided and the market opened up so that enterprising young pharmacists are not consigned to their intellectual property and knowledge being pimped for a handsome profit (on which little corporation tax will be paid) by large off shore multinationals.

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

Harry, as an employee involved in the development of the PNA for Worcestershire, I take great exception to your comments. All PNAs request input and feedback from interested parties. I assume all locums, employees and other non-contractors took their opportunity to put forward their point of view. If not, it is due to their own omissions that create the PNAs they now have.

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

Well, the fact is that the majority of PNA's are rubbish. You can accept or not. But that IS the fact. ................................................................................................................................................................................ The consensus is that PNA's were designed to prevent rather than facilitate innovation and to protect entrenched interests. How did you engage with ALL local pharmacists ? How did you contact them (as you did contractors) about the PNA process. Did you invite them to meetings ?  ..................................................................................................................................................................................

http://www.pharmacyvoice.com/press/pharmacy-voice-expresses-serious-concerns-about-quality-and-accuracy-of-cur   ..................................................................................

http://www.charlesrussellspeechlys.com/insights/latest-insights/healthcare-new/pnas-and-market-entry/

Chris Mckendrick, Community pharmacist

Stephen is right, all pharmacists had the chance to contribute to PNAs, and asserting something still doesn't make it a fact. A National contract is the only way you can guarentee services and get a standard rate for the job. Local CCG tendered services would likely be for "any willing provider" to tender for ( why pay a pharmacist to do something when a nurse could do it cheaper or the service has been slanted to favour bids from GPs?) so I wouldn't want any "pharmacy money" devolved to the CCGs. At a time when all our efforts should be in constructing robust intellectual arguments against ALL of the ill considered Government proposals I feel PDA flights of fancy are more about PDA self promotion than anything else. 

Mr Pharmacist!, Pharmaceutical Adviser

This is a promising line of discussion.  I think the majority of contractors have no faith in the multiple-centric PSNC.  The multiples hate local and love national, because they find it difficult managing the a local fragmented model which they can administer from a head office.  However, what Mark is suggesting seems reasonable and we cant detract from our core goal of addressing local needs.  Its where independents strive and multiples fail.  Well done Mark & PDA

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

Glad to see C&D giving appropraite column space to the grass root Union. Well done.  ..................................................................................................................................................................  """"""""These service-led contracts would be decided by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), and would sit beside the national pharmacy contract.""""""""

 

We need a whole different way of looking at how best to use the skills and talents of pharmacists. One could argue that local commissioners know best (is this not the whole reason why CCG's were created ?) We also need some element of ringfencing.  This is one proposal. Lets have others. Nothing should be decided until the WHOLE profession agrees on a way forward.  .....................................................................................................................................................................

 

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