Community pharmacy contractual framework changes


20 / 7 / 2015 2pm

The NHS Employers organisation, on behalf of NHS England, leads on negotiations with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), on changes to the pharmaceutical services, clinical governance and fees and allowances elements of the community pharmacy contractual framework.

This page summarises the key service developments from 2014 onwards.

Any agreed contract changes are underpinned by the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations, the Pharmaceutical Services (Advanced and Enhanced Services) (England) Directions and the Approved Particulars for community pharmacies.

Changes by year

Summary of 2015/16 changes

On 20 July 2015 NHS Employers, on behalf of NHS England and the PSNC announced changes to the community pharmacy contractual framework (CPCF) for 2015/16

The most significant development is the introduction of a new seasonal flu vaccination for eligible adult patients defined in the annual flu letter.

In addition, we have agreed the following:

  • the establishment of a joint working group (to include representation from PSNC, NHS Employers, NHS England and Health and Social Care Information Centre) to review the costs and any functionality issues with the electronic prescription service (EPS)
  • a requirement for pharmacy staff to inform patients claiming exemption from prescription charges without proof, that the NHS routinely checks exemption claims and may take action where a claim is found to be fraudulent
  • an agreement that PSNC will work with NHS Employers and NHS England to take forward an agreement in principle to publication of earnings.

More detail on the 2015/16 CPCF changes can be found in the Summary of 2015/16 community pharmacy contractual framework agreement

Finally, the NHS England agreed audit for 2015/16 will be nationally specified, as was the case in 2014/15. Further information on the topic of this audit will be announced shortly.

Summary of 2014/15 changes

On 22 September 2014 NHS Employers and the PSNC announced changes to the community pharmacy contractual framework for 2014/15. These changes include the following:

  • changes to Medicines Use Reviews (MURs), including
    • an increase in the proportion of targeted MURs from 50 per cent to 70 per cent from 1 April 2015
    • the inclusion of a new MUR target group for patients with cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk factors taking four or more regular medicines from 1 January 2015
  • changes to be made to the Approved Particulars for incident reporting, clarifying the reporting requirements for patient safety incidents and requiring pharmacies to submit reports on a non-anonymised basis
  • the national audit will be on emergency supplies of medicines made by pharmacies. This will be in place of the NHS England specified clinical audit
  • a requirement for pharmacies to advise eligible patients about the benefits of the repeat dispensing service.

In addition, it has been agreed that the New Medicine Service (NMS) will be continued, following the publication of the report of the evaluation of the service.

To support these service developments, funding of £2.8 billion has been agreed with NHS England comprising £2 billion from fees and allowances and £0.8 billion from medicines margin. To this end, agreement has been reached to reduce practice payments by £70 million from November over a period of five months. In parallel, medicine margin is being increased by £10 million per month from October 2014. NHS England, the Department of Health (DH) and PSNC have committed to seek to deliver the £2.8 billion funding in 2014/15, if possible, with principles established for handling any under or over delivery.

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