Pharmacies in Scotland secure six per cent increase in global sum for 2023-24
By Neil Trainis
The Scottish government has agreed to increase community pharmacy’s global sum for 2023-24 by six per cent, taking renumeration to £219.533 million, after talks with Community Pharmacy Scotland.
In a circular sent to contractors in the country setting out the details of the agreement, the chief pharmaceutical officer for Scotland Alison Strath said "guaranteed income" from the Drug Tariff will stay at £80 million, taking total community pharmacy funding to £299.533 million.
She revealed “guaranteed minimum income” has risen by £15.95 million to £100 million and insisted delivery of that “will be closely monitored” on a monthly basis over the next year, with “further action to support contractor cashflow considered if appropriate.”
A CPS spokesperson told Independent Community Pharmacist: "This guaranteed minimum income is from the reimbursement side of our financial arrangements. It is the minimum we believe we could accept this year from the Tariff to support the costs of service delivery across our financial package.
"We are currently working on the details of how an underdelivery of this would be dealt with alongside ScotGov which we would like to see as a form of reactive cashflow protection mechanism."
The Scottish government also said contactors will receive a one-off payment from an agreed pot of £1.667 million to “recognise there was no drug tariff adjustment for April 2023” while an “annualised pool” of £30.8 million will fund the NHS Pharmacy First service.
The new funding agreement for 2023-24 covering more than 1,200 community pharmacies was initially announced on July 21 but details were not made public for another two weeks.
Contractor Bernadette Brown, who runs Cadham Pharmacy in Fife, told ICP she was "relieved that progress has been made" but said her "hopes for future funding is to protect our clinical input to the NHS and remunerations to reflect our increased clinical activity."
"It has been a tough year for all Scottish contractors, so I'm very pleased that finally a suitable deal was accepted on our behalf and very proud of CPS negotiating to protect the network and the world class NHS services we offer supporting primary care and the citizens of Scotland," she said.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society's Scotland Pharmacy Board told ICP it did not want to comment on the details of the funding agreement.