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Sigma Oman: PSNC will go for five-year settlement


Sigma Oman: PSNC will go for five-year settlement

The PSNC's director of pharmacy Mike Dent has told the Sigma conference in Oman that community pharmacy's negotiator will try to secure a five-year settlement for the sector during its contractual talks with the government.

Pointing to the recent five-year deal handed to general practice, the largest reform of the profession in 15 years, Dent said his team of negotiators would look to secure the type of long-term agreement that would allow community pharmacists to plan their businesses for the next few years.

"We will be looking for the kind of commitment that the government has given to GPs," he told the conference in Muscat via video link.

"So, a settlement for more than one year. Hopefully it's five but at least a multi-year settlement which will allow you guys the time to understand the future and to plan and deal with your businesses accordingly."

Dent also revealed the PSNC's talks, which will be geared to moving the contract from dispensing to services, will focus on two other areas; the falsified medicines directive (FMD) and recognition of the costs of implementing FMD and ensuring pharmacists are paid on time for the prescriptions they dispense.

He said: "We hope the EPS (electronic prescription service) full roll-out will increase the percentage of EPS scripts available maybe up to 80% or 90%, in which case we can have a sensible conversation with the government about the timing of your payments because one of the most complex things you've dealt with is the recovery process - you're never quite sure how much you're going to get paid, so we'd like to clarify that for you."

PSNC chief executive Simon Dukes said he hoped negotiations on the pharmacy contractual framework would begin in April.

The health minister Steve Brine, via recorded message, said: "The NHS long-term plan sets out the government's ambition to better utilise the skillset and reach of community pharmacy to deliver more services to help people stay well and relieve the pressure on other parts of the system.

"The future community pharmacy contractual framework will play an important part in enabling these important developments in England. Negotiations on the framework are due to commence shortly.

"We will seek to negotiate a contract that will deliver services that are complementary to those in the GP contract and cements pharmacy first for dealing with minir ailments."



Picture: PeopleImages (iStock)

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