COVID-19_ update_ |_ Advanced_ funding_ of_ £300m_ for_ community_ pharmacies
To address the “significant cashflow pressures” on community pharmacies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced on 31 March 2020 that HM Government have agreed to a total of £300 million of ‘advanced funding’ will be made available to community pharmacies.
The cash injection will be spread across two months – £200 million on or around 1st April 2020 and £100 million on or around 1st May 2020. The NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) is “working to recalculate FP34 payments with the intention that the initial £200m will be paid alongside the planned April 1 payment.”
As advised by the PSNC, whilst the funding gesture is welcomed it is “not enough” and campaigning for additional funding. To add, it is not “new money for the sector” but instead a form of uplifts to contractors’ January and February payments (payable in April and May) which “must be reconciled at a later date”.
The PSNC along with other pharmacy bodies including; Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIM), are working in conjunction to negotiate with HM Government to push for long-term increased funding for the sector, in recognition for the rising costs and pressures associated with COVID-19 such as “increasing prescription numbers, staffing costs, one-off costs and rising drugs bills” and to continue its “vital frontline services” with the NHS.
The Pharmacy department at Silver Levene LLP will continue to observe and communicate any new developments to you. Should you require any advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.