Pharmacies to receive up to £833 each month in contract ‘transitional payments’

The ‘transitional payments’ will be paid with money saved from the withdrawal of establishment payments and medicine use reviews, which are being phased out as part of the community pharmacy contract.

Prescription charges in England are set to increase from £8.80 to £9 as of 1 April 2019, the government has announced.

Community pharmacies can expect to receive up to £833 per month from October 2019 to help prepare for a more service-based role under the five-year national community pharmacy contract.

On 26 September 2019, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced in a statement on its website that it had agreed with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England the amount of money pharmacies can expect to receive in ’transitional payments’.

The payments were first promised in the ‘Community pharmacy contractual framework: 2019 to 2024’ as “being made in recognition of costs associated with changes such as implementation of the falsified medicines directive and integration into primary care networks”.

Under the agreed dispensing volume bands, pharmacies that dispense up to 2,500 items per month will receive £100 each month, those that dispense between 2,501 and 5,000 items will receive £700, pharmacies dispensing between 5,001 and 19,167 will receive £780; and those dispensing more than 19,168 items will receive £833 each month.

The size of the payments have been set for the remainder of the financial year, with the funding distribution for the payments in 2020/2021 still under negotiation.

The 2019/2020 payments are being funded through the repurposing of money from the withdrawal of establishment payments and medicine use reviews, both of which are being phased out under the new contract.

Simon Dukes, chief executive of the PSNC, said the payments “recognise the work that all pharmacies will have to undertake to deliver the range of new services that have been agreed”.

The payments will be made automatically through NHS Business Services Authority as part of the usual monthly payment process.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, October 2019, Vol 303, No 7930;303(7930):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20207121

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