The specification for the Pharmacy Contraceptive Service has been launched for pharmacy contractors to download from the NHSBSA website.
However, the service will not start on 11th January 2023, as originally planned, but it is expected to commence in early 2023, revealed the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC).
It added: “The exact start date is yet to be agreed, as now the service specification has been published, community pharmacy IT system suppliers need time to develop support for the service, so this is available to contractors from the service commencement date.”
Commenting on the publication of the service specification, Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services, at PSNC said: “When time in their busy professional lives allows, the publication of the service specification ahead of the start of the new service provides contractors and their teams with an opportunity to learn more about it and to consider whether it is something they will have the capacity to provide in due course.
Understanding the massive pressure of patient demand, a funding squeeze and workforce shortages on pharmacies, the committee don’t expect many pharmacies will have the capacity to provide the service as soon as it commences.
“We sought a delay to the start of the service to allow time for the necessary IT support to be developed, so where contractors do have the capacity to provide the service, they can do so with fully functioning IT to support its delivery.”