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PSNC CEO: Funding talks may be delayed until cuts appeal resolved

Simon Dukes: A good relationship with government is essential
Simon Dukes: A good relationship with government is essential

The government may not begin its long-awaited pharmacy funding negotiations until the judicial appeal against the cuts is resolved, PSNC’s new CEO has speculated.

Simon Dukes – who joined the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) as chief executive last month – told C+D the organisation is “ready to start negotiations” on the sector’s funding for 2018-19.

“We await the green light from the government,” Mr Dukes said in an exclusive interview on Tuesday (June 26).

PSNC’s stated aims for the negotiations include pushing for a services-based contract, with pharmacies funded for managing medicines reconciliation post-discharge, and for checking the cost-effectiveness of medicines.

PSNC was one of two pharmacy bodies to appeal the cuts to England’s pharmacy funding in court last month. No date was given at the time for when the judges would reach a decision on the appeal.

While the government has not given PSNC a reason for its delay launching the 2018-19 funding negotiations, Mr Dukes told C+D he “wonders whether the judicial review has caused them to hold until we get the results”.

Judicial review outcome “irrelevant”

Mr Dukes stressed he wants a “fresh start” between PSNC and the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) following the High Court challenge to the pharmacy cuts in 2017 and the subsequent appeal.

“[The outcome] is sort of irrelevant,” he told C+D. “We need to start moving forward with our relationship with the government.”

Initial conversations with government officials since he has started working at PSNC have been “very positive”, said Mr Dukes, who added he has “scheduled in regular meetings” with them.

“My approach is very much about collaboration and working together, and that means getting a good relationship with government is essential,” he added.

In February, Mr Dukes’ predecessor Sue Sharpe told C+D the judicial review “must not interfere” with the pharmacy contract negotiations.

Scotland’s funding for 2018-19 was announced earlier this month, with the country’s pharmacies receiving a £2.6 million increase in their global sum.

What do you think about the funding negotiation delays?

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

So if the outcome of the JR is ‘irrelevant’, why did they bother with it?! We are hardly going to get a u turn and given our money back!


Imran Achar, Community pharmacist

My thoughts exactly.

Brian AUSTEN, Administration & Support

Government Position: If we lose appeal, which means reimbursing cuts, the next funding round is ZERO! 

If appeal is dismissed: It shows that we can get away with anything, the next funding round is ZERO.....What you complaining about its not cuts!

PSNC Position: Roll over and play dead!

Richard MacLeavy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Maybe thats what Simon Dukes means when he says the outcome is irrelevent

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

too many yes sir no sir folk , no one at the top wants to upset the hand that feeds them, too many of these cushy little number roles , free lunch , gym membership , car ,phone , pension , and what to they actually do for us ?

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

"" free lunch , gym membership , car ,phone , pension , and what to they actually do for us ?""

They make sure we get value for (OUR) money, by using all these facilities judiciously till the last penny is spent ;-)) pun intended

Imran Achar, Community pharmacist

It's funny how delaying funding cut talks is seen as a massive victory for pharmacists. I wonder if other professionals would put up with this garbage?

Dave Downham, Manager

Sounds like a cushy few months then for the CEO. Plenty of thumb twiddling - hope someone's monitoring his web history with so little to do...

Mina Patel, Community pharmacist

I don’t feel they have left much to work collaboratively with them all the goodwill has been eroded I can’t see how with the way we’ve been treated to turn the other cheek 

N patel , Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Dispensing at a loss ....even

Mina Patel, Community pharmacist

Which profession does extra work dispenses more prescriptions but get paid less ? Doubles the work takes back money raises the stakes (quality payments)and gives you the same money or rather less back but double the work as contract monitoring has to be done to . 

N patel , Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Dont hold your breath
gonna be a long wait and in the meantime the psnc is powerless to do anything about the fact that contractors are now dispensing a lot of both branded and generics at a
wonder how many pharmacies will have gone under by the time rhe next funding cuts have been announced

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