The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England, and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have agreed a new Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework. The DHSC has also issued a press release. The joint document describes a vision for how community pharmacy will support delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.
In August 2021, DHSC, NHS England and the PSNC reached an agreement for Year 3 of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework which commits to the vision in the 5-year deal for pharmacy to be more integrated in the NHS, provide more clinical services, be the first port of call for healthy living support as well as minor illnesses and to support managing demand in general practice and urgent care settings.
In February 2020, DHSC, NHS England and the PSNC announced the detail of Year Two (2020/21) of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework five-year deal in this open letter to community pharmacy contractors.
- Commits almost £13 billion to community pharmacy through its contractual framework, with a commitment to spend £2.592 billion over five years from 2019-2024. This significant investment recognises the contribution that community pharmacy has committed to making towards the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.
- Is in line with the GP contract, providing 5-year stability and reassurance to community pharmacy. This should allow businesses to make long term business decisions.
- Builds upon the reforms started with the introduction of the Quality Payments Scheme to move pharmacies towards a much more clinically focused service.
- Confirms community pharmacy’s future as an integral part of the NHS, delivering clinical services as a full partner in local primary care networks (PCNs).
- Describes new services which will immediately be offered through community pharmacy as well as a programme to develop evidence-based additions to those services. Foremost amongst the new services is the new national NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, connecting patients who have a minor illness with a community pharmacy which should rightly be their first port of call.
- Underlines the critical role of community pharmacy as an agent of improved public health and prevention, embedded in the local community.
- Recognises that an expanded service role is dependent on action to release pharmacist capacity from existing work.
- Continues to prioritise quality in community pharmacy and to promote medicines safety and optimisation.
- Underlines the necessity of protecting access to local community pharmacies through a Pharmacy Access Scheme.
- Commits to working on a range of reforms to reimbursement arrangements to deliver smoother cash flow, and fairer distribution of medicines margin and better value for money for the NHS.