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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

General News

PSNC contractor representatives comment on funding negotiations

PSNC committee members and subcommittee chairs comment on the announcement that PSNC 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. 

Bharat PatelBharat Patel, independent contractor and member of the PSNC Negotiating Team, said:

“Independent contractors will be all too familiar with the pressures on community pharmacy businesses at the moment. It is tough, and this is no surprise given the difficult economic climate and the increase in pharmacy numbers in recent years – something that PSNC and others worked extremely hard to prevent.

On the negotiating team we are of course frustrated by the amount of time the negotiations on funding are taking. However, given the financial consequences the agreement will have on all our businesses, we need to take as much time as we need. It is far more important to get this right than it is to get it done quickly.

It is also vital that we stay focussed on securing a multi-year agreement. One of the main challenges for pharmacy businesses, and in particular independents, is planning, so having certainty in funding for a number of years would be extremely welcome. We must have that longer-term confidence in our businesses if we are to rise to the many new challenges that the reformed NHS will present.”

Peter CatteePeter Cattee, independent multiple contractor and chair of the PSNC Funding and Contract Subcommittee, said:

“The Funding and Contract Subcommittee is comprised of 10 PSNC members, all of whom either own themselves or represent a community pharmacy business. It therefore goes without saying that the financial interests of community pharmacy contractors are at the forefront of our minds in everything that we work on.

Of course we would have liked to reach an agreement on funding a long time ago, but given what is at stake it is essential for both our own and all other pharmacy businesses that we reach an agreement that is the best possible and will give us certainty for a number of years. Opting for a quick settlement that did not achieve this would not have helped our businesses.”

Gary WarnerGary Warner, independent contractor and chair of the PSNC Service Development Subcommittee, said:

As all healthcare providers will be aware, the NHS is undergoing a period of radical change with immense pressures on it and all those providing services for it. To survive in this environment community pharmacy must keep delivering a high quality service, making a real difference for patients and delivering savings for the NHS.

On the Service Development Subcommittee we are working hard to find manageable ways for pharmacy to do this, focusing at the moment on extending our role in medicines optimisation, minor ailments, public health and supporting independent living. We have also been involved in discussions around quality measurement because without being able to prove the value of what we are delivering, pharmacy will not be able to develop as it needs to.

But implementing new services to a high standard in any community pharmacy requires hard work and simply isn’t possible without longer-term business confidence – another reason why PSNC must seek a multi-year agreement.”

More information on the funding negotiations including PSNC's full announcement and frequently asked questions

Posted 31 January 2013

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