Covid cost claims 'significantly higher' than Government's offer

Community pharmacy contractors have submitted pandemic costs claims well above the £120m that was originally offered by the Government, the PSNC has said.

The negotiator announced earlier today that after a costs recording exercise in which “the overwhelming majority” of contractors submitted a claim, “the total claimed for is significantly higher than the £120m offered initially to the sector by HM Government and rejected by PSNC”.

Contractors were able to claim for costs incurred over a 13-month period from March 2020 to March 2021, including additional staff hours, costs to make premises Covid secure, IT and communication costs to support home working and virtual patient consultations, and closures for infection control purposes.

Claims are being assessed against the categories as they are outlined in the Drug Tariff, and are subject to pre and post-payment verification.

The PSNC said it is now “engaged in urgent discussions with NHSBSA and the Department of Health and Social Care about any outliers identified”.

The negotiator said it is also “demanding that contractors receive a payment for their Covid-19 costs in time for the first repayment of last year’s advance payments”.

“These discussions are ongoing, and PSNC will updates contractors as soon as we have more information.”

The PSNC, which had called on the Government to write off the £370m Covid-19 advance to the sector before a costs agreement was reached, has not specified the total amount claimed for by England’s contractors.

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