The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) is launching an economic analysis on the impact of the five-year community pharmacy contractual framework on independent pharmacies across England.
NPA acting chairman Andrew Lane told the Sigma conference in the Philippines today that the study, which is expected to be completed in June, will highlight the effect “of frozen funding on pharmacy’s ability to deliver for the NHS".
The NPA has commissioned consultancy firm EY to carry out the analysis, which will use interviews with stakeholders including NPA members to gauge the deal’s impact.
There has been widespread concern in the community pharmacy sector that funding will not increase until at least 2024, although PSNC chief executive Simon Dukes has said the negotiator is determined to secure more revenue for the profession through annual reviews of the deal.
The assessment will also examine the implications for general practice, hospitals, patients and wider society.
The NPA hopes its analysis can influence the PSNC and Department of Health and Social Care’s first annual review of the funding settlement in the coming autumn.
“It’s the NPA’s duty, as the voice of independent community pharmacy, to speak out passionately but also factually," Mr Lane said.
“Therefore we have secured the expert services of EY to deliver a detailed financial and operational analysis of the current and future position for independent pharmacies.
“Ministers and NHS officials say they want community pharmacies to be the first port of call for common illnesses, to help people stay well, to take on more clinical services and to relieve pressure on other parts of the system.
“This can only be achieved on a sustainable basis if resources match the level of ambition.
“Therefore, we hope they will welcome this economic study as a serious contribution to the evidence base that underpins the development of health & social care policy.”
PSNC chief Simon Dukes described the NPA initiative as "really useful," commenting: "We will be supporting the review team in whatever ways we can, and their final report will provide a useful evidence base for us to use in the CPCF annual review process.
"We expected those discussions with Government to be very much focused on contractors’ costs and capacity this year.”