Community Pharmacy England (CPE), the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England (NHSE) have finally reached an agreement after many months of complex negotiations on the primary care recovery plan.
Janet Morrison, the chief executive of Community Pharmacy England (CPE) confirmed that they are “preparing for the negotiations on the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) to discuss what it will look like from April 2024.”
Also, they are working on developing a longer-term strategy to help create a better future for the pharmacy sector.
“This will be essential as we look to take forward the Vision for Community Pharmacy and influence all political parties ahead of the next General Election,” she said.
CPE will be communicating further information and outputs of this work on an ongoing basis as soon as data becomes available.
The new Pharmacy First service which includes providing advice and NHS-funded treatment for seven common conditions will be launched on 31st January 2024.
Under the agreement, an expanded Pharmacy Contraception Service will be launched from 1st December 2023.
The Hypertension Case-Finding Service will be relaunched on that same date with additional funding.
Commenting on the deal, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy England, said: “Though it will not be an easy agreement to deliver on, it is the most significant investment into community pharmacy in many years and it was no surprise that the Community Pharmacy England Committee were united in their unanimous decision to accept the final deal.”
“Our focus will now turn to getting the money flowing to pharmacies and to preparing our long-term strategy to improve the sector’s future,” she added.
A tripartite implementation group has started working on communications, digital requirements, roll-out support for pharmacy teams and for NHS 111, as well as advising on plans for monitoring, delivery and evaluation of services.
Morrison stated: “There is a lot of work going on to support the implementation of today’s agreement – the tripartite implementation group are working hard on the roll-out of the services, their technical infrastructure and funding as well as planning the national public communications campaigns for Pharmacy First.
“We are working hard to ensure that we can actively jointly manage the roll-out of the service to ensure it achieves its potential,” she added.