NPA requests wholesalers to delay taking payments from contractors, to avoid cash flow crunch in March/April

23 Mar 2018

You will be aware that the next payment date from the NHS for pharmacy accounts is not until 3 April 2018 (see explanatory note from PSNC below).
The NPA has written to wholesalers requesting that they do not take payments from pharmacy contractors until after that date – given the cash flow problems which many independent pharmacies are facing due to funding cuts in England. At this moment, we cannot say what the replies will be.

We are taking this unusual step because the delayed NHS payment coincides with a period of immense financial pressure on our members.  We are getting frequent reports of independent pharmacies spending more each month to obtain NHS medicines than the NHS payments they receive.  If the wholesalers do the right thing by their independent customers, it will help pharmacies get over this month’s hurdle.  However, the situation is clearly unsustainable if the underfunding persists.  The Government needs to take urgent action to avoid pharmacies going out of business.

The letter from NPA Chairman Ian Strachan to wholesalers is pasted here:

I am writing with regard to the final NHS payment of 2017-18 to community pharmacy contractors. As you may be aware, due to the end of the NHS financial year this payment will be made to contractors at the later date of 3rd April 2018.  We understand that some wholesalers are due to take payment from contractors on 29th March 2018, therefore due to the delayed NHS payment date, this will potentially cause issues for NPA members who may struggle to meet this wholesaler payment date. This situation is exacerbated by the cash flow problems which many NPA members are facing due to the funding cuts imposed by the Government. In light of this situation, we request that you please consider moving this payment date to after 3rd April, in order to ease the pressure on NPA members.  I look forward to your response.

Ian Strachan

PSNC Contractor Update – April 2018 pharmacy payment date

March 7, 2018

Contractors are reminded that the next payment date for pharmacy accounts is 3 April 2018.

Contractors are normally paid on the first of the month unless this date falls on a bank holiday or weekend, in which case the payment date is brought forward to the nearest prior working day. The exception to this is when 1 April falls on a weekend or bank holiday, as payment will be made on the next available working day. This is to meet Department of Health and Social Care’s requirement for a maximum of 12 payments to be made in any one financial year. If the payment date was brought forward to 31 March or earlier, this would result in 13 payments in the financial year 2017/18. Read more at PSNC.