This briefing paper outlines the new funding settlement for NHS contractors providing services under the community pharmacy contractual framework, announced on 20 October 2016. Compared to 2015/16 levels, the funding settlement includes a reduction of 4% in 2016/17 and a further 3.4% in 2017/18.Jump to full report >>
NHS England is responsible for commissioning NHS primary care services in England, including community pharmacy services. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are free to commission further services from community pharmacies over and above those commissioned by NHS England, and local authorities are also able to commission public health services from pharmacies. The majority of NHS income for community pharmacies in England comes from payment from NHS England, through the NHS pharmaceutical services contract. The NHS England funding settlement for 2015/16 was £2.8 billion.
On 20 October 2016 the Government announced that funding for NHS contractors providing services under the community pharmacy contractual framework will be:
This represents a 4% reduction in funding in 2016/17 and a further 3.4% reduction in 2017/18.
The announcement also confirmed plans for changes to the way funding is distributed:
The changes take effect from 1 December 2016. The Government has argued that the cuts are necessary as part of wider efficiency savings being made across the NHS. Health Minister David Mowat has stated that the new funding package will lead to better value for money in pharmaceutical services, while ensuring that everybody retains ready access to a community pharmacy. Industry groups and the Opposition have been critical of the cuts, arguing that the cuts will lead to closures of community pharmacies, and that the Pharmacy Access Scheme will not protect pharmacies in the most deprived communities.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-7811
Authors: Antonia Jones; Carl Baker