NHS England slashes pharmacy Covid vaccination fees by 20 per cent
Pharmacies providing Covid jabs will be paid 20 per cent less per vaccination in the autumn booster programme than in previous campaigns, it has emerged.
The PSNC said yesterday that the campaign, which is set to begin on September 1, will offer participating contractors an item of service fee of £10.06, down from the current rate of £12.58.
NHS England & Improvement reportedly wished to bring the service in line with fees for other vaccination services in order to “transition the Covid-19 vaccination programme onto a more business as usual footing”. The new fee matches those paid to GP surgeries for routine vaccination.
The PSNC said it had sought to persuade NHSE&I to maintain the higher fee by highlighting the severe impact inflationary pressures are having on pharmacies but the health service was “not willing” to consider this.
PSNC services director Alastair Buxton said the new fee “may discourage some from seeking to provide the service”.
He added: “PSNC is disappointed that NHSE&I has not recognised the increasing costs that contractors are experiencing in providing services when setting the fee for the service.”
Pharmacies “will need to consider the economic and logistical aspects of the service” before expressing their interest in providing the service, said the PSNC.
The deadline for those currently taking part in the phase 3 rollout is 5pm on July 14, while those who are not currently commissioned but wish to take part in the autumn campaign must express their interest by 5pm on July 20.
NHSE&I will then select designated sites based on the needs of local populations.
The Government’s joint committee on vaccination and immunisation has not yet revealed which groups will be eligible for an autumn booster jab, according to NHSE&I’s draft service specification.