This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

IT faults leading to Pharmacy First payment ‘chaos’ warns NPA

Business news

IT faults leading to Pharmacy First payment ‘chaos’ warns NPA

Independent pharmacies are still being underpaid for their Pharmacy First consultations despite the NHS claiming to have resolved the faulty digital systems that are responsible, the National Pharmacy Association has warned.

The NPA said its members are encountering “discrepancies” in IT systems that mean the NHS Manage Your Services portal (MYS) is recording fewer consultations delivered through the newly launched service than pharmacies are entering, leading to contractors being left “out of pocket”.

Despite assurances from the NHS BSA that the system errors have been addressed and the claim submission deadline extended, “pharmacies are still reporting problems” said the NPA.

Contractors risk being underpaid “by thousands of pounds” said the NPA, which called on the NHS to take urgent action to prevent more “chaos”.

NPA chief executive Paul Rees said: “Pharmacies have delivered tens of thousands of consultations in the first month of the Pharmacy First programme, which is a testament to their skill and dedication. They have to rely on the NHS IT system to be funded for the work and pay their own bills.

“It’s deeply alarming that pharmacies have found the computer system does not correctly record their work, at a time when the issues around the Post Office Horizon system are fresh in everyone’s minds it’s vital we get IT issues sorted so hard-pressed pharmacies can have faith they will be paid correctly for the work they have done for the NHS.

“It’s good news the NHS has taken action and extended the deadline for submissions in the short run, but we need full assurances for the future that this system is robust and reliable."

A spokesperson for NHS BSA said: “We can assure all pharmacy contractors that we are doing everything we can to make sure they are paid appropriately, in full, and on time. We don’t anticipate this having an impact on payments to pharmacies.”  

“We’re aware that there have been discrepancies in the figures for urgent medicine consultations for a number of pharmacy contractors. This was not caused by a flaw in the MYS system. Instead it is due to the data we have received from IT system suppliers. We are working closely with system suppliers to resolve their issue as a matter of urgency. System suppliers have notified us that they have contacted anyone affected.   

“We, and the system supplier, will contact all affected contractors again next week to provide an update.” 

Copy Link copy link button

Business news