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The PSNC has reassured community pharmacy contractors that it will continue to push the government to inject more cash into pharmacy in 2021 as the entire sector keeps struggling due to severe cash crunch compounded by a persisting pandemic.

Pharmacy Services negotiating Committee (PSNC), in its annual report 2019-20 published on Monday (Feb 8), pledged: “It is clear that the Covid pandemic will be with us for some time, and at PSNC our focus is going to remain on supporting contractors through that: battling for the funding and support that you need, while also making sure that you can take advantage of all the opportunities it presents.”

It  added: “The pandemic has highlighted more than ever the important role that NHS community pharmacies play at the heart of the NHS: patients need and value your advice and open-door policy; GPs and other health services want you to keep patients from their doors; the public want you to have a role in vaccinations. We will be fighting for recognition of all of this, and more.”

Sharing its view on the five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) deal, the PSNC stressed the need for further cash injection to implement the scheme as the deal promises new opportunities for community pharmacies around the country.

Bharat Patel, PSNC vice-chair and independent community pharmacy contractor said: “The coming financial year will see a number of really positive service developments for community pharmacies, not least the launch of a new national service focused on helping people to understand and use their medicines post-discharge. But for pharmacies, none of this will be easy. The challenges in delivering all that government wants from us within a flat funding envelope are already evident.”

Clare Kerr, Head of healthcare policy and strategy at McKesson UK said: “‘Year two will be another crucial year for the sector. We need to build on the platform that we have built and continue to show Government that we are serious about helping them to meet their objectives.

‘’The new Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) and the extension of referrals to the CPCS will give us some key opportunities to do that, while also continuing to build an important evidence base giving us leverage for the future.”

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