Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) has secured a two-year funding hike and a national service trial in a settlement that it has described as the "best possible deal" for contractors.
An extra 1.74 per cent will be added to the global sum for both 2013-14 – £3.3m from this October – and 2014-15 – £3m from October 2014. The uplift will include payment for a 12-month trial of a gluten-free prescriptions dispensing service from October.
The £171.9m agreement for 2013-14, which will increase to £174.8m in 2014-15, was reached after "lengthy and at times challenging" negotiations with the Scottish government since December last year, CPS announced on Friday (July 26).
"The board was unanimous in its view that this was the best possible deal for contractors at this time" James Semple, CPS
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The government said last week that the agreed funding increases reflected the salary and cost pressures that pharmacists face.
"The board was unanimous in its view that this was the best possible deal for contractors at this time," said CPS vice chairman James Semple.
CPS also said the deal would give the negotiator time to measure the effects of taking the "final steps" away from old remuneration models.
Pharmacists will from October face new remuneration arrangements, which are still being finalised between the government and CPS. The changes will be rolled out in two stages and see the phasing payment for the chronic medicine service replaced by an operations and development payment.
This will include a fixed monthly payment towards the gluten-free service and a variable payment depending on how contractors perform on patient care targets. CPS said it would continue to negotiate with the government on the details of the gluten-free scheme.
Pharmacists will have to make 75 per cent of their claims electronically and will be given a one-off regulatory support payment of £200 not included in the global sum.
PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe told last month's (June 18) British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers conference that she does not expect to secure a 2012-13 funding agreement in England until autumn.
Do you agree that CPS has secured the best possible deal?