Negotiations started for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework 2019 to 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee have begun discussions for the contractual framework for 2019 to 2020 and beyond

Medicines on pharmacy shelves

The Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) sets out the terms for the provision of NHS pharmaceutical services in England, including the funding paid to pharmacy contractors. 

The negotiations will support the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan’s vision for the future of primary care, in which all providers work together, making the best use of their unique skills for the benefit of patients. 

As set out in the NHS Long Term Plan and GP contract, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will want to explore with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) the possible roll-out of a national minor illness service through NHS 111 and the piloting of referrals to community pharmacy from other settings, such as general practice and the online platform NHS.UK. 

In opening the negotiations, DHSC has now shared proposals for the CPCF for 2019 to 2020 and beyond with the PSNC. A series of regular meetings will now take place between DHSC, NHS England and the PSNC to discuss this further.  The negotiations are confidential, meaning the department will not be able to provide further information about the negotiations until they come to a close. 

Interim arrangements from 1 April 2019 were agreed last month. These arrangements have maintained the current funding level of £2.592 billion per year and will continue until they are replaced by the substantive arrangements being negotiated. 

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: 

"Community pharmacies are at the heart of the NHS and are crucial for our prevention agenda to help more people stay well, a core part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

"I am pleased we are beginning discussions with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee on the future Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, guided by our new Public Health Minister Seema Kennedy.

"As part of the Long Term Plan for the NHS we want to see pharmacies deliver a wider range of more efficient services and give patients more control over their care and personal health. The start of these negotiations signals an important step in delivering that ambition."

PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes said:

"PSNC is pleased to be able to begin these negotiations, the outcome of which will be absolutely critical for all pharmacy contractors in England.

"There are going to be some difficult conversations over the coming months but our negotiating team includes experienced PSNC members from both the independent and multiple sectors, so contractors can be assured that we will be well equipped and absolutely committed to getting the best possible deal for community pharmacy.

"Our priority is to seek a sustainable future for community pharmacy to enable us to better utilise the skills and knowledge of pharmacy teams to help people stay well in the community."