While contractors in England are normally paid by the NHS on the first of the month, the Easter bank holiday means they will not be paid until April 3.
In a letter to wholesalers, published by the NPA last Friday (March 23), chairman Ian Strachan wrote: “Some wholesalers are due to take payment from contractors on March 29. Due to the delayed NHS payment date, this will potentially cause issues for NPA members who may struggle to meet this wholesaler payment date.”
Mr Strachan stressed that the financial challenges faced by contractors have been “exacerbated by cash flow problems…due to funding cuts imposed by the government”.
“In light of this situation, we request that you please consider moving this payment to after April 3, in order to ease the pressure,” he added in the letter.
Alliance Healthcare told C+D yesterday (March 27) that it had received the letter and will be “taking these payments on April 4”.
Speaking on behalf of AAH, Celesio UK sales director Rupert Newman said: “We have received the letter from the NPA and understand the concerns of contractors.”
Mr Newman pointed out that AAH customers who pay by direct debit – “which is the vast majority” – will have payments collected on April 4, “due to the bank holidays”.
Phoenix has since confirmed to C+D it is also delaying its payment requests until after the Easter bank holiday.
Update from the NPA
The NPA told C+D today (March 29) that “most wholesalers have confirmed they will not take payment until after April 3, including all the full-line wholesalers”.
“Others are yet to reply,” the NPA added. Contractors experiencing cash flow issues should “check payment dates with their short-line wholesaler”, the organisation advised.