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Highest dispensing pharmacies to get monthly £800 'transitional' fund

PSNC: Transitional payments will help contractors prepare for a more service-based role
PSNC: Transitional payments will help contractors prepare for a more service-based role

The highest dispensing pharmacies will automatically receive more than £800 a month from October, as part of the five-year funding contract in England.

From tomorrow (October 1), pharmacy owners in England will be paid a monthly “transitional payment” by the NHS Business Service Authority (NHS BSA) based on how many items they dispense each month, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced last week (September 26).

The lowest dispensing pharmacies – which PSNC indicated as those issuing up to 2,500 items a month – will receive £100 a month, whereas pharmacies dispensing more than 19,168 items a month will receive a monthly payment of £833.33 (see PSNC table below for full breakdown).

Contractors do not need to claim for these payments, PSNC said. They will automatically be paid as per the pharmacy's FP34 payment schedule, based on the number of prescription items submitted and reimbursed by the NHS BSA in the relevant month.

The “transitional payments” were agreed as part of the new five-year funding contract announced in July, to support pharmacies’ move to a more “service-based role”.

These monthly payments will also help contractors respond to the costs associated with the implementation of the Falsified Medicines Directive and integration with primary care networks, PSNC said.

In addition to these monthly payments, contractors can also claim a one-off “transitional payment” of £900 if they sign up to offer the new NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) by December 1, and up to £600 if they do so by January 15.

“Figures may be subject to change”

Part of the funding settlement for 2019-20 has been reserved for the CPCS, while £10 million of it has been allocated to fund any serious shortage protocols (SSPs) that are announced by the government between October and March 2020, according to PSNC.

But if “these monies are not fully distributed – for instance, if no SSPs are issued – this funding will be delivered to pharmacies through the transitional payments later in the financial year”, meaning the funds “may be subject to change”, PSNC added.

“Transitional payments” for 2020-21 are still being negotiated, PSNC said.

Phasing out MURs and establishment payments

The new payments “are being funded by repurposing monies from the managed withdrawal of establishment payments and medicine use reviews (MURs)”, PSNC said.

Establishment payments – which the government promised to phase out in 2016 – will cease in April 2020, while MURs are being phased out by April 2021, according to the new funding contract.

This means pharmacies will only receive payments for up to 250 MURs this financial year, down from 400 the previous years.

“This leaves some of the agreed overall funding sum of £2.592 billion undistributed, and it is this money which is being used to fund the transitional payments,” PSNC explained.

Breakdown of monthly payments from October 

Number of items per month
Monthly transitional payment
0 – 2,500
2,501 – 5,000
5,001 – 19,167

Source: PSNC, September 2019

Will your pharmacy benefit from the new transitional payments?

A England, Manager

2500 items.....£100.00 ...... are they trying to make me laugh or cry? From my wide experience working for multiples and a few indepnedents up and down the country, I have come to the conclusion a pharmacy that dispenses more than 400 items/day with 1 pharmacist, is no longer a place of healthcare. I am sure the same will be true with Independents.  Now, if you think you can handle say 1000 items/day..... how naive. 



Mussadiq Master, Community pharmacist

How long is this going to continue  It is time we as pharmacist woke up and create a protest with NHS England etc pharmacy funding has eroded to such an extent that there is hardly anything left and we will loose this profession to technicians if that could be afforded Murs practice allowance etc all taken and then a nominal fee for dispensing fig given to make us feel great





Khalid Ahmed, Community pharmacist

" Re-purposing." What a clever choice of word, wouldn't it be far nicer to state it how it is?
Like: TAKE BACK or
I have a far stronger term for it, but will refrain from stating it...... Where is Robin Hood when we need him?
Whether we have a strong zip on our back pocket or a strong safe, the Government have the power to make our hard earned money vanish into thin air, cleverer trickery than Dynamo!

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

This is just a transitional payment for a short time before this funding disappears in the name of some stupid Clinical Service that only few Pharmacies (if at all) will be able to provide.

For now all they have done is taken the money out of Est Payment and MURs and are giving back the same in the form of Transitional Payment. One good thing about it is, this money will get in to your bank even if you don't do anything.

This is the case of giving back (a little) from what they steal from you.

A Hussain, Senior Management

AR Pharmacy, West Elloe...

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

Why hasn’t anyone mentioned that at the same time as transitional payments start, the EP goes down by 50%?!! No one is getting anything extra!!!

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Why 19,167 as the cutoff? That seems precise in the extreme. 

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

230,000 items a year rounded

Alexander The Great, Community pharmacist

wow, some pharmacies dispense over 19k items a month??????? im doing 12k and im struggling.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

It'll be somewhere like the Wicker in Sheffield where they have swarms of pharmacists and ACTs rather than the likes of you and me doing it all on our lonesome.

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