Community Pharmacy England met in London for a full Committee Meeting on 31st January and 1st February 2024. Committee Members spent time focusing on critical matters such as the upcoming CPCF negotiations, margin, and strategy, informed by sector polling.
The two-day meeting agenda included action planning for the short, medium and longer-term, and Committee Members also considered the launch and implementation of Pharmacy First, pharmacy supervision and governance matters.
We expect negotiations on the CPCF for 2024/25 to begin imminently and will be pressing, as we have been doing in public and private for many months, for:
An uplift to the core global sum;
Write-off of any historic margin over-delivery;
Regular funding increases linked to activity and inflation;
Annual uplifts to service fees;
More fundamental reform of the margin delivery framework; and
An economic review of the medicines supply chain.
Alongside these upcoming negotiations, we will be continuing our work to support and monitor the delivery of Pharmacy First, including working through the Department’s Implementation Working Group and supporting communications, and continuing to build cross-party Parliamentary support on the critical issues facing the sector.
Strategy and planning for 2024/25 is also well underway and this will include further work looking at margin, the adoption of our new Governance framework – including the establishment of the new Governance and People Subcommittee – and strategic work ahead of future negotiations. Other work will include the launch of a series of Regional Events for pharmacy owners and influencing ahead of and after the General Election.
Read more in our full meeting summary:
Ahead of the January Committee Meeting, we sought pharmacy owners’ views on preparations for the new Pharmacy First service, the outlook for their businesses in 2024, and ongoing pressures. Committee Members reviewed and reflected on the opinions received directly from pharmacy owners. Poll findings will continue to be referenced in our press statements and wider campaigning and influencing work to press for funding uplifts and other improvements for the sector. See the results of the opinion polling below:
Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy England, said:
“2024 will be a critical year for community pharmacies as you continue to battle for survival while also implementing the historic new Pharmacy First Service. The hard work done by pharmacy owners and their teams, by those working on IT, clinical pathways and communications, and by LPCs locally, has all been vital to get this service off the ground and my thanks go to all of you. At Community Pharmacy England our focus remains on supporting you through the coming months, while also continuing to fight hard for the further investment and help that you need.
“We have strong evidence of the need for a funding uplift given inflationary pressures and the deep cuts that the sector has experienced, and we will be using this in the upcoming negotiations to counter the inevitable arguments from Government about the pressures on public finances. We will also be continuing our work to collect more evidence – and thanks to all of you who are continuing to respond to our polling and surveys – and to strengthen our negotiating capacity using experts such as PA Consulting.
“We expect the upcoming negotiations to be for a one-year period, particularly given the uncertainty brought by the upcoming General Election. So, as well as fighting for improvements through those we will be maintaining our focus on positioning community pharmacy as a sector that needs investing in, to all political parties and the NHS, and those who influence them. We will also be continuing the important engagement work that we set in motion last year with our rebrand to Community Pharmacy England and I look forward to meeting and speaking with many of you over the course of the year.”
Outputs from January’s Committee Meeting are linked below.
Briefing 002/24: What pharmacy owners told us in January 2024
This briefing outlines the results of the opinion polls conducted ahead of our January Committee Meeting, and how we are using the data.
Briefing 003/24: Summary of January 2024 Committee Meeting
This briefing provides more detail on the discussions our Committee had, including information from our subcommittee meetings and next steps.