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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

General News

Funding negotiations update to contractors

PSNC has announced that it is unlikely to finalise funding negotiations in the immediate future as it continues its work to secure a multi-year funding agreement for community pharmacy based on the findings of the Cost of Service Inquiry (COSI) published in 2011.

PSNC, and in particular the negotiating team, which includes three independent and three multiple contractors, has been working hard to secure the best possible future funding deal for all contractors and to reach an agreement on this with the Department of Health and the NHS Commissioning Board.

There is no lack of will on either side to do this, but the negotiations based on the findings of the COSI are complex and time must be taken to get them right given the sums of money involved. As the current negotiations are intended to apply to 2013-14 and beyond, it is essential that the NHS Commissioning Board, which assumes responsibility for national pharmacy services contracting in April, accepts the settlement.

PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe said:

"PSNC has been hoping to conclude the COSI-based funding negotiations for some time now so the ongoing delays are extremely disappointing and will understandably cause frustration and concern for both the contractors on PSNC and all those they represent.

However, the message from pharmacy has been very clear: community pharmacy contractors need some certainty in future funding; a settlement at this point for 2012-13 alone would not be in the sector's best interests.

It is with this in mind that PSNC is seeking a multi-year agreement on funding, and we believe this is achievable. We had been optimistic that an agreement could be reached in late 2012, but is now clear that more time will be needed to ensure the agreement of the emerging NHS Commissioning Board as well as the Department of Health.  It may not be possible to complete the negotiations before the end of March, although of course funding adjustments that result from the eventual outcome can be made at a later date.

As we have said before, it is a tough time to be negotiating with the NHS, so it is vital that we take the time needed to ensure that the findings of the COSI and contractors' true costs are fairly reflected and that we secure the best possible outcome for contractors."

For more information on the funding negotiations, read PSNC's frequently asked questions here.

Posted 31 January 2013

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