A new five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework has been published to support the delivery of the NHS Long-Term Plan.
The global sum will remain at its current level of £2.592 billion a year. Protected funding settlement over five years
The agreement sets out a clear vision for the expansion of clinical service delivery through pharmacies over the next five years, in line with the NHS Long-Term Plan
Clinical and integrated future with wider NHS for community pharmacy with three key focus areas urgent care, prevention, medicines optimisation/safety
Development of Primary Care Network testbeds sites through the Pharmacy Integration Fund to test new models of care and approaches
Establishment payments will cease in April 2020, while Medicines Use Reviews (MUR) will end in 2021
This funding will be replaced with payments for new services, some of which are yet to be announced – but need to be able to demonstrate outcomes and value.
Claire Anderson, Chair of RPS in England, said:
“A shift to a major clinical future is encouraging and is absolutely the right direction for community pharmacy. We have long called for pharmacists in the community to play an expanded clinical role and there is much to welcome in the new contract with focus areas on urgent care, prevention, medicines optimisation and safety. The exploration of innovative and new services will showcase the enhanced roles that community pharmacy can play, such as enabling earlier detection of cardiovascular disease, Hepatitis C testing and supporting public health.
“Referring patients with minor illnesses who would have otherwise required an appointment with their GP to community pharmacists will be game-changing for our primary care systems. If successful, the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service will support the delivery of the NHS Long-Term Plan and make the best use of the clinical skills of community pharmacists through better integration. It will also have a positive impact on relationships within the multidisciplinary primary care team and in educating patients about the types of support and expertise that pharmacists provide.
“Medicines optimisation across the health service should be central to patient safety. As Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) are phased out, it will be vital that pharmacists in all settings, including within Primary Care Networks, are enabled to help people get the most from their medicines.”
“A five-year settlement will offer some certainty for contractors who want to plan for the future, although with funding remaining flat and contractors potentially facing rising costs, the sector will no doubt be keenly watching how further details on services and payments are negotiated each year.
“It will be vital for pharmacy leaders to engage with new NHS structures to co-create the design and delivery of local services, and so we welcome transitional payments to help meet costs associated with changes such as integration into Primary Care Networks.”
Community pharmacy teams work tirelessly day in and day out to support patient care. These changes are making a shift and showcasing how the NHS wants to make better use of the clinical skills of pharmacists on the frontline.
We look forward to working with the Government, NHS and partners on how these new services are designed, implemented and evaluated to ensure they are sustainable.
Further information is available on the PSNC website.