Community Pharmacy from 2016/17

The DDA has responded to the Department of  Health’s consultation into proposed changes to community pharmacy from 2016/17.

The DDA’s response makes clear that while dispensing doctors are not within the scope of the consultation – as they are part of the NHS GP Contract – certain aspects of the consultation could affect dispensing doctors. The consultation closed on Friday, February 12, 2016. The DDA’s points are discussed below:

Reimbursement

  • Should proposals affect the Drug Tariff, the DDA expects to be involved in the subsequent negotiation.

The Pharmacy Integration Fund

  • This is described as an excellent means to fund the introduction of pharmacists working in GP practices

Modernising the system

  • ‘Click and Collect’ requires a decent internet connection, which is sadly lacking in many rural communities.
  • Many dispensing practices already offer home delivery services to their patients, as part of a personalised service that their patients value and trust.
  • The Innovation Fund should be used to fund the implementation of EPS in dispensing practices.

Making efficiencies

  • To promote innovation in the dispensing process, the DH may wish to examine minimum staff levels of the current contract in order to be able to stimulate innovation.
  • ‘Hub and spoke’ legislation relating to dispensing doctors should be amended in line with amendments affecting community pharmacies, so that rural patients are not disadvantaged.
  • Longer prescription durations: 28 days is still the norm for most patients and we are not aware of any significant demand to increase this.

Access to pharmacies

  • The Access Scheme must take into account patients’ access to dispensing practice
  • Final agreements on elements including the Access Scheme must be ‘rural proofed’ by means of an Impact Assessment.