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Pharmacy Contraception Service to launch in 10 days

Pharmacy News

Pharmacy Contraception Service to launch in 10 days

The Pharmacy Contraception Service will launch in 10 days, NHS England has announced.

The negotiator revealed last night that NHS England has confirmed a roll-out date of April 24 for Tier 1 of the service, which involves the ongoing monitoring and supply of repeat oral contraception prescriptions to women and teenage girls who have had an initial prescription from a GP or sexual health service.

The PSNC, which told Government and NHSE in March that due to financial and capacity constraints pharmacies were in no position to take on new commissioned services without additional funding, said the start date “has not been agreed… and is in direct contradiction” with its previous warnings.

The roll-out announcement coincided with the publication of a PSNC report that revealed just seven per cent of pharmacy owners believe their business is profitable, with a majority of respondents saying they were seriously concerned about pressures in the sector and the possible impact on patient care.

PSNC chief Janet Morrison said: “We note that NHSE has announced the launch date for Tier 1 of the Pharmacy Contraception Service. This is despite our warning last month that without additional funding, the roll-out of Year 5 additional services and the Pharmacy Quality Scheme is neither feasible nor affordable. Community pharmacies are having to work harder and harder for less money and many are at breaking point. And just this week the results of our 2023 Pharmacy Pressures Survey have confirmed the worsening situation.

“Clearly our view is not because contractors don’t see the benefit of the service. This is a much-anticipated service that could deliver real benefits to patients and community pharmacies are always eager to support public health initiatives. But capacity in the sector is now so stretched that more money is needed to safely resource additional work.

“We have repeated our concerns to the Department in recent days and reminded them of the potential for a properly funded community pharmacy sector to play a greater role in providing clinical solutions and relieving pressures elsewhere in primary care.”

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