The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England have announced a five-year funding framework for community pharmacy.

The framework agreement for community pharmacies announced funding of almost £13 billion over the five years to 2023-24, with £2.592 billion per year, for pharmacies.

The announcement also states that a new NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) will be introduced nationally as an advanced service in October 2019, as well as a new Pharmacy Quality Scheme, under which pharmacies can earn additional payments for meeting quality criteria. Funding for the scheme will continue at £75m a year.

Gian Celino, group product director, Cegedim UK said that the settlement brings a “much needed stability that will allow pharmacy businesses critical time to plan, whilst giving a clear indication of what the NHS expects from its relationships with pharmacy businesses and community pharmacies in the future.”

He continued, “At the heart of the funding settlement is the clear recognition that closer collaboration between primary care and community pharmacy is key to delivering the changes that the NHS in England expects. In order to grasp this opportunity, we need to leverage the benefits of technology, automation and the skills of the pharmacy workforce.

“The aim should be to use this settlement period to build a business model, aligned to the underlying funding, whilst accelerating new opportunities to bring in additional clinical services revenue.”

The report confirmed that pharmacies will also receive monthly transitional payments in the second half of 2019/20 and in 2020/21 to meet costs associated with changes such as integration into Primary Care Networks (PCNs), preparation for Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) and implementation of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD).