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Pharmacy2U NHS contract revoked following Lloyds appeal

Pharmacy2U has had the contract for its second dispensing hub in Leicester revoked
Pharmacy2U has had the contract for its second dispensing hub in Leicester revoked

The NHS contract for Pharmacy2U’s dispensing hub in Leicester has been revoked by NHS Resolution following an appeal made by Lloydspharmacy.

The online pharmacy business was previously granted an NHS contract for its second dispensing hub in Leicester by NHS England, but this decision has now been refused by NHS Resolution following an appeal by Lloydspharmacy.

A document published by NHS Resolution on January 21, but only made public yesterday (February 5), reveals that its pharmacy appeals committee has decided to quash the application.

Some of the reasons given for the refusal were that the committee was not satisfied that all essential services were “likely to be secured without interruption during the opening hours”, “secured for persons anywhere in England”, “secured in a safe and effective manner” or “secured without face-to-face contact”.

Pharmacy2U has said that it does not wish to comment further on the decision. Last week (January 27) it told C+D it was “disappointed” that the contract had been held up on appeal.

Lloydspharmacy appeal

According to the NHS Resolution document, Lloydspharmacy appealed against NHS England’s initial decision to grant the application in a letter on September 19 last year.

The grounds of appeal included that NHS England “applied the wrong test” to Pharmacy2U’s application, and that it is “not lawful for NHS England to have approved the application”.

Another reason Lloydspharmacy gave in its appeal was a lack of information around how Pharmacy2U will deliver cold chain items to patient’s homes, and where parcels will be left if a patient is not in.

Commenting on the successful outcome of the appeal, Lloydspharmacy told C+D that it is “important for any new distance selling pharmacy to meet all the regulatory requirements as set out in the relevant regulations and terms of service.”

“If an application fails to meet the standards required it should be refused. We therefore respect the decision of the pharmacy appeals committee,” it added.

The full document outlining NHS Resolution’s decision can be read here.

13 Comments
Question: 
What do you make of the decision to refuse Pharmacy2u an NHS contract at the hub?

R G, Pharmacy Buyer

As well as not complying with the Essential Service of "Disposal of Unwanted Medicines" when requested by customers do Pharmacy2U comply with DT ptVIA stated staffing levels for prescription numbers >11,000. Wonder if they rely on hours worked by the robotics used. Not sure where robots are mentioned in DT but then who checks on pharmacies outside normal office hours.

 

R G, Pharmacy Buyer

Pharmacy2U do not provide any solution to collecting returns of CDs from any clients when requested. They rely solely on community pharmacies to provide this service. Not sure why CCGs do not enforce this essential service from Phramacy2 U. This reeks of favouritism.   

s8chy P, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Well done Lloyds Pharmacy. Thank you to all the appellants who were involved in the reversal of the erroneous decision. I would also like to mention that Charles Russell Speechlys who were representing P2U may not actually be friends of community pharmacy after all.

Saj Raja, Primary care pharmacist

Charles Russell will represent someone one day and then appeal against someone another day for the same regulation as long as the money comes in- typical lawyers

O Singh, Community pharmacist

Does that mean that the existence of all DSP contracts are now open to legal challenge?

 

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

Unlikely from my limited understanding - from the linked document the issue seemed to be more about how poor/complacent the application from P2U was, rather than Lloyds coming up with some new angle on the exisiting regs.

 

If other DSP applications were more competently filed then I suspect there wouldn't be same grounds for objection Lloyds raised here.

As a brief flavour, the initial application had the wrong superintendent listed, some sections were illegibly written in hand and P2U had to be asked to submit these typed, and the single submitted SOP dealt entirely with controlled drugs, with no mention of how non-CD prescriptions would be dispensed (nor the provision of any other services).

 

There are a number of more nuanced points raised by Lloyds, but the above illustrate how poor the application must have been.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Does that mean Cyst, P2U could very well rewrite their application properly this time around, and may try again, in your opinion?

A B, Community pharmacist

Why on earth did NHS England approve this application in the first place? And surely the shortcomings in this application apply to their current location i.e. the procedures and SOPs would have been the same ones they use now.

 

anti-depressed Pharmacist, Manager

Because the whole thing is a corrupt sham, you have made an excellent point, if the SOP is the same why are they still able to operate at another site.

 

Let us look hypothetically, if we assume amazon and p2u dominate and control all the prescriptions in the UK, that will result in all pharmacies  going out of business, that means no pharmacy premises fee/tax for the GPhC, no Pharmacist fee/tax for the RPS/GphC as most Pharmacists will be unemployed and most likely retrain in another field.

It means massive job loss for the HR team in multiples as they no longer have employees to manage.

If patients need medication urgently, they will have to go to their Hospital Pharmacy putting a strain on the Hospitals, the very thing they have been trying to stop.

No longer any need for all the many CCGs.

No longer any need for the PSNC as well.

The slave masters have realised killing the slaves puts them out of a job too, now they are back pedalling to save their own skins.

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

use of the word corrupt use to get you barred from the site I understand. Seems the penny has finally dropped.

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Well done Lloydspharmacy! 'Nuff said

Pharma Tron , Community pharmacist

I was just wondering where our request for representations was- I'd have thought a DSP application was notifiable to all pharmacies in england as it is an England-wide service...

Paul Guest, Manager

Pharmacy2U's application reeks of arrogance and complacency. Well done to Lloyds and the NHS Resolution Committee for their forensic tearing down of both Pharmacy2U's application and procedures. 

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