RPS responds to Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework funding update

Funding for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) has been announced for the year 2020/21, in line with the five-year settlement.

The deal, which was established in 2019, was agreed between the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Some of the key announcements include:

  • Funding will remain at £2.592bn but this includes an increase for Transitional Payments from April
  • The Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) will continue for another year in its current format
  • Pharmacy Quality Scheme review point in February 2021
  • An extension to the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) and the introduction of a new Discharge Medicines Service, to build on referral services
  • Discussions on the introduction of NHS travel vaccination services from pharmacies, subject to negotiation
  • Hepatitis C testing services from April
  • NHS England will start pilots in April on blood Pressure testing, point of care testing and smoking cessation referrals

Claire Anderson, Chair of the English Pharmacy Board, said:

“The five-year framework announced last year offered some certainty for pharmacists planning ahead and it is important that this settlement is being expanded. The Community Pharmacist Consultation Service shows great promise for referral services that will be rolled out and we need to build on this platform to show what a key role pharmacy plays in providing urgent patient care.

“It is great to see a proper way of utilising the pharmacy integration money to support the transformation of community pharmacy and the acknowledgement of the hub and spoke challenge for independents. We also welcome the recognition of the role that pharmacy plays in supporting the safer use of medicines through the new Discharge Medicines Service.

“Nonetheless, it is frustrating that money remains at the same rate for new services and the limited details on some of the updates in the deal, particularly regarding the review of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme. 

“Pharmacists and community pharmacy teams work incredibly hard every single day but they are already extremely stretched financially in terms of resources and capacity. The wellbeing of the workforce needs to be a priority to ensure they can deliver on this deal. We would like to see this integrated into future agreements between PSNC, NHSE&I and DHSC.

“With the expansion of the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, we will continue to work with the Government, NHS and pharmacy stakeholders to get more details on these services and explore new ways of improving these funding models for the future.”