Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework 2019-2024

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and NHS Improvement, 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.

NHS England and NHS Improvement has published a letter to commissioners and a  short briefing about the deal which:

  • 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.