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Scottish pharmacies face funding cuts for CMS quality shortfalls

Practice Pharmacies in Scotland will face 25 per cent cuts to their CMS payments for failing to meet quality standards from January, CPS chairman Martin Green (pictured) has announced.

Pharmacies in Scotland will face penalties for failing to meet quality standards from January, Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) has announced.

In a move towards quality, which was "unanimously" agreed by the CPS board, pharmacy businesses will lose 25 per cent of their chronic medication service (CMS) phasing payments if they do not meet certain standards of safety and patient care.

By January 31, pharmacies must complete a risk assessment for 95 per cent of patients registered by the end of October or will lose out on a quarter of their CMS phasing payments for January. The same amount being deducted in February and March if they still have not complied, according to CPS.

"The change in emphasis... recognises the importance that [we] place on the delivery of a quality service" Martin Green, CPS

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A 25 per cent deduction will also hit pharmacies that have not completed four high-risk medicine interventions and four new medicine interventions by the end of March 2013.

The focus on quality would highlight "the abilities of community pharmacy to deliver key patient-care outcomes in local communities", argued CPS. "The board was unanimous in its view that the time was right to move to a level of resource to recognise and underpin the delivery of quality care," said CPS chairman Martin Green.

"The CMS is rightly the platform in the years ahead for contractors and pharmacists to deliver patient-centred, safe and clinically effective care to the patients using our pharmacies across Scotland," Mr Green added. "The change in emphasis for the CMS phasing payment recognises the importance that [we] place on the delivery of a quality service."

CPS highlighted that its ePharmacy helpdesk would provide contractors with performance data to help them assess whether they would meet their targets. The organisation has also produced guidance on new medicines and high-risk interventions, which form part of the requirements.

Are these penalties a fair response to failure to meet standards?

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Harry McQuillan, Community pharmacist

The headline should read "Funding increase for meeting quality outcomes". Interesting that C+D should choose to look at the negative aspect. This funding was always intended to be released and targeted at service delivery and this is now being introduced in the final quarter of the financial year.

Emma Weinbren, Marketing

Hi Harry, thanks for your comments - we did not look to take a negative angle but aimed to fairly reflect the information CPS provided, which said if contractors did not complete the requirements they would “lose 25 per cent of their CMS phasing payment”. I’d be more than happy to discuss further the positive implications of this focus on quality – does it in fact represent an uplift in funding? – and how this will be driven through other funding arrangements.

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