Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework arrangements 2020/21 – NPA reaction

24 Feb 2020

The arrangements for England’s Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) in 2020/21 have been agreed between PSNC, NHS England & NHS Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care, in line with the five-year CPCF deal.

As in 2019/20, overall funding for community pharmacy will be set at £2.592bn for the year.

Within the funding envelope a number of new services will be rolled out including:

  • An extension of referrals to the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS), to include referrals for urgent medicine supply from NHS 111 Online and – subject to successful piloting – referral of minor illness from GP surgeries
  • A new Essential Service – the Discharge Medicines Service – from July 2020, for patients being discharged from hospital
  • A Hepatitis C testing service, from April 2020. This service will see community pharmacies referring those people found with positive antibodies into a local treatment service. While all pharmacies can offer the service, PSNC says it will generally only be of interest to those pharmacies offering a locally commissioned needle and syringe programme

The Pharmacy Access Scheme will continue in its current design with the current funding allocation of £24 million per annum until 31 March 2021.

Also announced are:

  • A renewed Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) with a single review point in February 2021. An aspirational payment will once again be available. A new banded payment structure for the PQS will recognise the heavier workload for pharmacies seeing larger numbers of patients
  • Exploratory discussions on the introduction of NHS travel vaccinations from pharmacies
  • The introduction, from July 2020, of a number of new requirements under the Terms of Service. These include ensuring that there is an NHSmail shared mailbox for every community pharmacy with linked personal NHSmail accounts for pharmacy staff and ensuring all pharmacy professionals are trained to safeguarding Level 2

A spokesperson for the National Pharmacy Association said today:

“The announcement implies further integration of community pharmacy clinical services within NHS pathways, which we welcome.  A well-developed and properly integrated role in clinical services is a more secure basis for our future than is dispensing alone.

“The current core funding for England’s pharmacies isn’t enough to achieve the transformational improvements the Secretary of State says he wants over the coming years.  This is a fact that NHS chief Simon Stevens really must respond to, in order to meet policy objectives like improved access to primary care.

“The outcome of the first annual review of funding under the contractual arrangements will affect the extent to which pharmacies can successfully take the path that’s being laid.  That is why, to inform the review, the NPA has commissioned an expert economic analysis of the sector’s capacity to deliver new services and sustain improvements over the five years of the contract and beyond.”

The NPA will issue guidance to help its members implement the CPCF developments.

Meanwhile, further information is available on the PSNC website.