Pharmacies in Scotland to receive a further £4.5m for COVID-19 costs

Community Pharmacy Scotland has secured additional funding from the Scottish government to cover extra staffing costs incurred during the pandemic.

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The Scottish government’s package provides extra support for the sector, but negotiations on further funding increases are still ongoing

Pharmacy contractors in Scotland will receive a further £4.5m in COVID-19-related financial support.

The Scottish government has agreed the payment with Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS), in recognition of additional staffing costs for May and June 2020. Under the payment scheme, every contractor will receive a flat payment of £1,200. The remaining balance of £3m will be allocated as a share of total dispensings, over the period from March to May 2020.

The latest payment follows a £5.3m COVID-19-related support package announced in April 2020.

Matt Barclay, director of operations at CPS, said the financial support measures were “in recognition of captured costs to the pharmacy network as a direct result of the pandemic and the tremendous community pharmacy response to it. To keep the pharmacy network going, costs were incurred to maintain services for the public at an important time. Scottish government recognise that this was the case.

“We are still negotiating with them on areas where we believe further recognition is appropriate.”

In England, pharmacies were given advance payments totalling £370m to help with COVID-19-related cash flow pressures, andThe Pharmaceutical Journal 
reported on 12 November 2020 that the government was considering writing off the payments.

During the summer of 2020 the government put a proposal on extra pandemic-related funding to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), which rejected it, and the PSNC has now put a counter proposal to the Department of Health and Social Care.

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Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ December 2020, Vol 305, No 7944;305(7944):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2020.20208610