Scottish government will invest a total of £10 million of new funding to NHS Pharmacy First Scotland service over three year period

Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) on Thursday confirmed agreeing on the first-ever three-year funding settlement for pharmacists with the Scottish government.

The deal, which is for the period of 2020-21 to 2022-23, has increased the global sum for community pharmacy to £188.148 million in 2020-21. This is an increase of 2.5 per cent or £4.59 million from 2019-20 sum £183.559 million.

The global sum will be subject to a fixed percentage uplift of 2.5 per cent in each of the
three years.

“The non-Global Sum will remain at £1.3 million and will be repurposed towards funding infrastructure to support the joint SG (Scottish Government) and CPS strategy of increasing the number of independent prescriber workforce within the community pharmacy setting,” Rose Marie Parr, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Scotland, said in a circular.

As part of the deal, the government will invest a total of £10 million of new funding to NHS Pharmacy First Scotland service over three year period.

The service, which replaces the existing Minor Ailment Service and Pharmacy First, will be introduced from April 2020. It enables pharmacists to give advice to, and if necessary treat or refer, patients with uncomplicated urinary infections (UTIs) and Impetigo.

A further £3.258 million will be available for pharmacists as a support to the Independent Prescribing Strategy and Career Pathway while £1.44 million will be available to pharmacy owners in 2020-21 increasing to £4.32 million in 2022-23 to support pharmacists completing the NES Foundation Programme.

The total guaranteed funding to be delivered in 2020-21 will be £258.148 million.

Calling the announcement “a vote of confidence in Scottish community pharmacy”, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) said it “will lead to a significant improvement in patient access to NHS healthcare.”

Mark Lyonette, NPA Chief Executive, said: “The Scottish Government, pharmacy negotiators and pharmacy teams across Scotland are working in partnership to develop services in line with a clear strategy and that is to be applauded. We are especially pleased to see investment in the clinical skills of the community pharmacy workforce, which will reap rewards well beyond the three year timeframe.  The direction of travel towards clinical services is being underpinned by new and guaranteed funding, which shows the way for other parts of the UK to follow.  The NHS, the community pharmacy sector, patients and communities will all benefit from this investment.”

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