The NHS Employers organisation has reached agreement on a number of changes to the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) in return for a funding package of £2.8bn for 2015/16.
The agreed changes to the CPCF follow complex but constructive negotiations between all the interested parties (NHS Employers, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and NHS England).
NHS Employers and PSNC have agreed to a new advanced service for influenza vaccinations. Adult patients, aged 18 and over at the time of vaccination, who are defined in the Annual Flu letter will be able to receive their seasonal influenza vaccination at participating community pharmacies from September 2015. Funding for the flu service will be in addition to and outside of the £2.8bn.
“We are very pleased to have reached agreement with PSNC on a national influenza service”, said Felicity Cox, lead negotiator for the NHS Employers organisation. “This new service expands the role of Community Pharmacy, making better use of the clinical skills of pharmacists and delivering improved choice and access to services for people.”
Other changes include: (i) changes to the contractual framework that will in future require pharmacists to point out to patients who claim exemption from prescription charges, where no evidence is presented, that the NHS routinely checks claims for exemption and takes action whenever inappropriate claims are made; (ii) agreement to establish a joint working group to review the costs and system issues for the Electronic Prescription Service; (iii) a requirement for pharmacies to participate in a national audit that will take place in 2015/16. Further information on this will follow at a later date; and (iv) agreement to work together to develop business cases for new community pharmacy services for consideration in the 2016/17 discussions.
“The introduction of a national service for influenza vaccinations is good news for community pharmacy, the NHS and most importantly, the public”, said Sue Sharpe, PSNC chief executive. “There are many other opportunities for the NHS to benefit from developing community pharmacy and we hope to make more progress in the near future.”