Pharmacy negotiators ‘disappointed’ as fee for autumn 2022 COVID-19 boosters is cut

Alastair Buxton, director of NHS services at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, said the negotiator was "disappointed that NHS England and Improvement has not recognised the increasing costs that contractors are experiencing".
man giving vaccine to older woman

The fee that community pharmacies will be paid to deliver each COVID-19 vaccination in the autumn 2022 booster programme will fall from £12.58 per vaccination to £10.06, NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) has announced.

The service, which is due to start on 1 September 2022 and run until March 2023, marks the fifth phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, with eligible cohorts to be announced at a later date. Contractors should aim to co-administer the COVID-19 vaccination alongside seasonal flu and any other vaccinations where possible, NHSE&I added.

The service specification, published on 30 June 2022, details how much contractors will be paid for each COVID-19 vaccination administered: a fee of £10.06, with an additional £10 per vaccination of patients who are classed as housebound.

The basic payment is a reduction on the current payment of £12.58. In an update published by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) on 30 June 2022, the negotiator said that NHSE&I proposed the reduced fee to “transition the COVID-19 vaccination programme onto a more business as usual footing”, with the aim of bringing the service in line with the fees associated with other vaccinations.

“In discussions with NHSE&I, [the] PSNC highlighted the inflation in all costs being experienced by healthcare providers and made the case for the fee to be increased or as a minimum, remain at the current level. NHSE&I was not willing to increase the funding further or retain the fee at the current level and PSNC was therefore unable to agree to their proposed fee,” the negotiator added.

Alastair Buxton, director of NHS Services at the PSNC, said: “Community pharmacies have already played an amazing role in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to support the national efforts and the autumn programme will hopefully present an opportunity for more contractors to get involved in providing this important service.

“However, the item of service fee that NHSE&I has determined may discourage some from seeking to provide the service.

“[The] PSNC is disappointed that NHSE&I has not recognised the increasing costs that contractors are experiencing in providing services when setting the fee for the service.”

Contractors who are currently commissioned to provide COVID-19 vaccinations and would like to take part in phase five should express their interest by 17:00 on 14 July 2022, the service specifications state. Those who are not currently commissioned but want to take part in the autumn should confirm by 17:00 on 20 July 2022.

NHS England was approached for comment.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, July 2022, Vol 309, No 7963;309(7963)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2022.1.148446

    Please leave a comment 

    You may also be interested in