CPE aiming to wrap up service negotiations ‘later in July’
Community Pharmacy England is seeking to wrap up negotiations on soon-to-launch services “later in July,” it has said as concerns mount among contractors.
In a statement yesterday (July 3), CPE chief executive Janet Morrison said that although the negotiator is “bound by Government confidentiality protocols” and cannot comment publicly before service terms are agreed, the process is “on track with the Government’s original timescale i.e. waiting for agreement in July, with cross-government clearance later in July and implementation from July through to September”.
Ms Morrison’s comments came in the wake of some contractors expressing their concerns regarding a lack of certainty around new services such as the pharmacy contraception service and Pharmacy First. Liverpool pharmacist Waqas Ahmad tweeted on July 1: “This better not be like every other recent service commissioned – thrown upon us with about a week’s notice with no real opportunity to plan and prepare appropriately. CPE needs to ensure we have enough time to implement the service.”
Ms Morrison said negotiations are centred around topics like the expansion of the hypertension case finding and contraception services, as well as “service design for the Common Conditions Service” and “in-depth negotiations on payment models”.
“These discussions critically look at the balance between funding core capacity and activity payments, how the funding streams will be distributed and how we will measure delivery and impact,” she commented.
On the forthcoming Pharmacy First service, Ms Morrison said NHS England has “been leading on the development of the PGD pathways for each of the seven conditions,” with input from pharmacy owners.
“Discussions are clinically led to ensure they comply with NICE principles and concur with antimicrobial stewardship policy,” she said, adding that work is also ongoing to ensure interoperability between GP and pharmacy IT systems – which as “essential” to the success of the upcoming minor ailments service.
“The negotiations are complex and critical since we hope they will have implications for the foundations of the next contractual framework,” she said. “We are working at pace but the process and timing of negotiations are not in our gift.”
Taking to Twitter, Ms Morrison added: “In short, we want to get the new money out to hard pressed members as soon as possible but we want to make sure the way we are funded is future proofed and fair – to build on in the next contractual framework and long term.”