Pharmacy negotiators have discussed proposals to take “a patient registration-based approach” to the community pharmacy contractual framework, meeting minutes have said.
The minutes for the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) meeting in November 2020 said it had received the proposal “earlier this year”, adding that the committee “looked at progress and the next steps”.
The proposal formed part of wider discussions on “new business/funding models” undertaken by the PSNC that month.
Discussions on new funding models were said to be “ongoing,with the PSNC office working closely with interested committee members”, according to minutes from a later meeting in February 2021.
A spokesperson for the PSNC would not comment on the specifics of the patient registration model but said the negotiator is considering a number of funding models as part of its ongoing work.
The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) added that it supports the discussions around patient registration.
A spokesperson for the NPA told The Pharmaceutical Journal: “With a number of changes in recent years, such as [electronic prescription service] nomination with patients identifying their preferred pharmacy, and the enhanced role that pharmacy has played during the pandemic, it is right that we look at whether patient registration is the right model for community pharmacy.”
Patient registration with community pharmacies was previously proposed by the PSNC in 2016 in response to government plans to cut funding to the sector by £170m.
The PSNC had suggested that patients would be registered “with an individual pharmacy to allow a patient centred/holistic approach to supporting their use of medicines/management of [long term conditions]”.
It added that these proposals had set out to meet government “aims of developing a more clinically focused community pharmacy service while also meeting the other ‘efficiency and productivity’ requirements”.
Patient registration with pharmacies was also suggested as an alternative to “volume-based contracting” in an NHS England-commissioned review of community pharmacy clinical services, published in 2016.
The review noted that patients were required to register to access the chronic medication service and the minor ailment service in Scottish pharmacies, with funding paid on a capitation basis linked to patient registration.