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Get to grips with practice profitability during COVID-19

DDA/Takeda webinar tackles political and financial pressures facing rural GPs

November 13th 2020

Tagged: DM Zone news DDA news England COVID19

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Political and financial pressures affecting dispensing practice were among the issues discussed by the DDA in its latest webinar, entitled:  What’s Good For the Patient, Good For the NHS & Good For your Dispensing Practice?

Among the political issues facing rural general practice is the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination in rural areas. Dr West explained that due to geographical challenges in rural areas, the DDA will lobby for the delivery of the vaccination through rural general practices – as well as via ‘vaccination centres’ – and to ensure stock can be moved easily between practices.

In the webinar, which was supported by Takeda, Dr West also called on practices to ensure they have adequate paracetamol in stock, to support vaccinating patient groups, and to maximise vaccination clinic capacity by completing the flu vaccination programme as soon as possible. He advised practices to ensure purchased stock was used, and claimed for (FP34D), before central stock is requested.

When planning the COVID-19 vaccination delivery, Dr West told practices to note that roll-out of the programme will be determined by vaccine availability, which is expected to be around 1.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year – enough to vaccinate 600,000 people. “This may cause a delay in the short term,” he said.

Other issues also on the DDA’s political agenda include prescription charge wrong group movements due to unsigned prescriptions during the first COVID-19 lockdown, the Electronic Prescription Service, and the Falsified Medicines Directive.

In the second half of the presentation, DDA Board member Dr Philip Koopowitz tackled Personally Administered items, and other tips for improving profitability.

Content includes:

  • How to determine which items are considered ‘PA’ by the NHS BSA, and thus, which attract the PA allowance – and how to deal with prescription charges
  • Factors driving profitability down, including generics’ prices, loss of discount on brands and Tariff reimbursement and Category M.

Acknowledging that declining profitability is a complex issue, he advised practices to start by focusing on aspects within their control, such as high cost generics. Dr Koopowitz explained: “Saving £10 on a single high cost generic is equivalent to hunting out a 2p saving on a low cost, very high volume generic.”

Importantly, he said: “Inertia is not an option. You can blame lack of time, or interest, but the survival of the practice depends on the dispensary. If you can’t help yourself, get the help you need.”

Further information:
Slides  download

Video recording (coming soon) can be downloaded