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Pharmacy funding negotiations 'already in the diary', PSNC reveals

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PSNC looks to build on positive comments from ministers as it enters funding negotiations
PSNC looks to build on positive comments from ministers as it enters funding negotiations

The first meetings with government officials to negotiate England’s pharmacy funding for 2018-19 are “already in the diary”, PSNC has revealed.

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee's (PSNC) new CEO, Simon Dukes, suggested to C+D in June that the government may have been delaying the start of negotiations until the Court of Appeal gave its verdict on the pharmacy funding cuts case.

With the court dismissing the appeal – which was brought by PSNC and the National Pharmacy Association – last week, PSNC told C+D yesterday (August 30) that it “looks forward to returning to a collaborative working relationship with the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) and NHS England”.

“PSNC has kept the lines of communication open throughout the judicial review process, and meetings with senior officials and government ministers are already in the diary.”

“In recent months it has been particularly encouraging to hear ministers and the Prime Minister speaking positively about community pharmacies and we will be looking to build on that as we move forward,” it added.  

PSNC would not tell C+D when the meetings are scheduled to begin, or how long it expects the negotiations to last.

What can pharmacies expect from the negotiations?

In October 2016, the government imposed a £170 million cut to the sector’s funding in England, spread over a two-year period ending in March this year.

Pharmacy minister Steve Brine told C+D last September that the government intends to “work with PSNC to produce a fair, realistic and sustainable funding settlement for 2018-19 and beyond”. However, it is not yet clear whether this will involve funding returning to pre-2016 levels, further degrees of cuts, or even potentially an increase.

Meanwhile, PSNC has said it will use the negotiations to lay out a new service-based pharmacy contract to the government.

4 Comments
Question: 
What would you like to see in the funding settlement for 2018-19?

Here we go, preparing the ground...

However, it is not yet clear whether this will involve funding returning to pre-2016 levels, further degrees of cuts, or even potentially an increase.

£2.592 bn in 2017/18
£2.687 bn in 2016/17
£2.800 bn in 2015/16
£2.486 bn in 2014/15

The senior officials on the other negatiating side may well be thinking that even with the cuts 17/18 was still up on 14/15.

We have to have a vision of a new contract that is outside the global sum. Pharmacy DIGITAL clinical services. Simple as that. The future of the NHS depends on what is known as "digital first". Pharmacy has to be a core part of that offering or we are doomed. 

This is the last chance saloon to get a new deal around a new type of service. I read today that "GP practices are unable to compete with online providers". It makes no sense to have 1 single type of pharmacy contract.

Sort it quick or we are dead. Please. 

Sue Per, Locum pharmacist

Compare that with the locum rates -

£23.00 p.h. 2008 

£21.00 p.h. 2009-10

£20.00 p.h. - 2010-2016

£19.00 p.h 2016- present.

£18.00 p.h. ---

Cost of living up 33% in  a decade.

Suppy & demand always cited a a reason for the drop in the rates.

DOH, please note the supply of pharmacists is rising, therefore rate paid to locums will drop, and hence solid reason to reduce the global sum soon and fast.

 

 

 

Watto 59, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

No chance of paying as little as £18/hr in my neck of the woods, minumum is around £23/hr.. Cost of locums though is the least of my worries. There is little or no gross profit from drug sales combined with a significant reduction in fees that I can't afford to employ locums other than when strictly necessary.

Dave Downham, Manager

Limbo then.

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