PSNC entered negotiations on the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) for 2022/23 with NHS England (NHSE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in late spring, and we know that contractors and LPCs are rightly anxious to know the outcomes of those discussions.
We and officials from DHSC and NHSE agreed to an outline offer earlier in the summer. This is subject to cross-government agreement as is normal process. However, the change in ministerial teams at the DHSC and HM Treasury mean that this has been delayed.
Although we understand that officials are pressing hard for approval, and working in difficult circumstances, in the current situation it is not clear whether or when sign off and announcements will be forthcoming.
The detail of the deal does of course include a timetable for rollout which will now not be met. To address this we have agreed with DHSC and NHSE that individual elements of the timeline will necessarily need to be finalised once we are able to communicate to the sector.
PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:
“Given how immensely challenging the pressures on the sector have now become, we are disappointed not to be able to provide contractors with more certainty at this time. These were difficult negotiations, and it is worrying that things are getting ever worse for contractors and that timescales are uncertain.
We have raised this with DHSC and NHSE, highlighting the fact that the economic situation is worsening for contractors even since we agreed the outline deal. Unfortunately, both we and they are being impacted by wider political events and we have no clear timetable for when we will be able to make an announcement to the sector.
We will update contractors as soon as we have more news. In the meantime, as the sector would expect, we are continuing to work to raise the very many issues that pharmacies are facing at the highest levels: the current situation is simply not sustainable.”