RPS England Chair responds to emergency funding settlement

RPS has responded to the news that the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has accepted an offer from the UK government that will allow all community pharmacy contractors in England to claim for their COVID-related costs.

Thorrun Govind, Chair of RPS England, said: “It’s positive to see a deal has been done over the emergency funding pharmacies received last year to ensure premises were Covid-secure.

"The money was spent on essentials like PPE, social distancing measures and extra staff so pharmacies could continue providing vital and critical services to patients during the pandemic. Pharmacy teams went above and beyond for patients, opening early and staying late to look after their local communities. At times they often suffered from unnecessary abuse. 

“PSNC made a strong case for reimbursement alongside MPs, APPG and national pharmacy organisations, and whilst this is not the ideal arrangement, it’s much improved. Funding not only impacts the mental health of pharmacy teams but also patient safety. 

"It has been a really uncertain time for many and the delay on this decision has caused enormous stress as many contractors feared having to repay the money would put their livelihoods at risk.

“Pharmacy teams have worked extraordinarily hard during the pandemic and, as well as the short term relief the emergency funding provided, we want to see a more sustainable long term funding solution for community pharmacy to enable the sector to continue to provide essential health services for patients.”