The Treasury is “not interested” in the costs of providing a dispensing service, dispensing practices were told at the DDA 2019 annual conference.
The audience also heard that the Department was “hell-bent” on changing the system of reimbursement, on which a consultation has just finished. A joint goal shared by community pharmacists in England and dispensing practices is that the system of reimbursement should be improved, and not just changed,
In his presentation to the DDA 2019 annual conference, Simon Dukes, chief executive officer of pharmacy negotiator the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, said the new deal guaranteed a future for pharmacies that are “up for change” and he outlined changes to the contract which bring in, from October 29, a new NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS). This will enable community pharmacies to take referrals from NHS 111 to connect patients who have a minor illness or need an urgent supply of a medicine with a community pharmacy. There are also plans to pilot referral to the CPCS from general practice.
He said that the challenge for community pharmacies would be to build capacity in a business that was already flat out and which was seeing workforce ‘vacancies’ as newly qualified pharmacists seek more clinical positions in hospital or GP practices. On the subject of the potential for increased competition with dispensing practices, he said that the two professions “would have to make it work”.
View the full presentation: The Future of Community Pharmacy: How pharmacies fit into the NHS Long Term Plan