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5-year deal may mean more pharmacy closures and mergers, warns PSNC

PSNC: Urgent negotiations on the distribution of funding are still ongoing
PSNC: Urgent negotiations on the distribution of funding are still ongoing

Pharmacy owners will have to make some “difficult decisions” to adapt to the five-year funding deal, including the possibility of closing or merging branches, PSNC has warned.

It is “clear” that the next five years under the funding contract for England is going to involve “significant changes” for community pharmacies, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said.

“For all businesses, this will involve difficult conversations and decisions – including the possibility of branch closures for larger businesses or consolidations for smaller businesses,” PSNC director of pharmacy funding Mike Dent told C+D.

When asked by C+D what PSNC is doing to help contractors manage their finances under the new contract, Mr Dent said the negotiator will publish indicative income tables once “urgent negotiations” with NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) on the distribution of funding have been finalised.

Responding to the news that north-east London local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) has created its own tool for contractors to determine how much profit and loss their pharmacy will make over the next five years, Mr Dent said: “Any tool developed prior to the conclusion of these negotiations is unlikely to be able to deal with the huge number of variables in a changing economic landscape.”

This is the reason PSNC has refrained from creating its own calculator tool, he added.

The indicative income tables are designed to help contractors predict what their income is likely to be over the next financial year, Mr Dent explained. “But of course, this is all highly dependent on dispensing and product mixes and factors such as local services will also play a part.”

On a positive note, “there are opportunities for those who are able to adapt”, he added.

Mr Dent recommended contractors “sit down with their accountants and get a professional, bespoke view of their businesses”.

C+D takes pharmacy pressures to parliament

C+D – in partnership with Pharmacist Support – is heading to parliament on September 9 to highlight to MPs the growing issue of pressures on pharmacists.

Find out more about the event, and share your own experiences with C+D’s features editor by emailing [email protected], or tweeting @ChemistDruggist.

Are you concerned about your pharmacy's finances under the five-year funding deal?

Sunil Patel, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Lost for words....

ComPharm Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

These (PSNC) are the guys who were upbeat after negotiating the new contract who are now warning us of the disastrous consequences.. why do we put with them?? i would rather join the trade unions and let go of the worthless professional status at least we'll have power to strike

Richard MacLeavy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

I don't think theres much point in attending parliment on 9th September. In all likelihood you might be the only ones there. If parliment isn't suspended outright, most MP's will still have been fired and those that are there can't decide which party they represent, let alone anything else

Chris Locum, Locum pharmacist

The MPs will be fighting their interests - not yours or mine.

SP Ph, Community pharmacist

Learning from our MPs in Parliament, can we not have a vote on whether to accept the new Contract or reject or delay the negotiations till we get what we want??

How come Pharmacy is the only place where the people who pay fees to organisations to either repesent or negotiate on behalf of them do not have a vote or a say in what we accept??

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

can i ask do contractor have to pay fees to the psnc or can they opt out since they do such a bad job i would refuse to pay basically with the new contract they have put thousands of business at risk of closing and livehoods destroyed  would not be surprised if some take their lives if in big debt

Charles Whitfield Bott, Pharmacist Director

Volantary levey as I recall

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

"""Volantary levey"""

You mean Voluntary Levy??

Yes, and trust me it is not Voluntary but deducted from your FP34c payments from the PPA. All contractors have to pay a monthly Levy to the local LPCs which then goes to the PSNC, as PSNC is the main organisation and then branches in to regional LPCs.

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

I don’t think we need you to tell us we are on the way out. Thank you very much for making sure contractors who have served the NHS for decades leave with nothing. Absolutely shameful. 

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

*******Breaking News******

The chancellor (god knows for how long) has announced the END TO AUSTERITY. Which means no more CUTS.

They must have realised that, they have squeezed everyone so much that any more squeeze would result in death (closure) So, they have decided to announce end to Austerity when Election seems inevitabel.

He also made it clear that End of Austerity does not mean More Funding but only that no more cuts.

Would PSNC use this opportunity to go back and re-negotiate a better deal?? Don't think so!!

V K P, Community pharmacist

Mr Dent when has the PSNC ever even come close to calculating the operating cost of a pharmacy prior to agreeing abysmal fees of £14 for services. how was that figured reached? it fell from the sky right.

So when someone else develops a tool which makes everyone realise of the incompetency of the PSNC and its personnel, you come out and say the the negotiations have not concluded???? what are the road shows for then? wasting the levies again????

Chicken Little , Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

On that note @editor, do you know when the 2017/18 PSNC financial statements will be made available. The 2016/17 accounts were signed in November 2017. The delay is 'unusual'.

I would like to know (and the accounts will tell us), how much we are paying the PSNC staff for these negotiating skills.

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