The NPA welcomes the financial settlement for 2023/24 that has been agreed for community pharmacy contractors
Community Pharmacy Scotland broadly welcomed the offer from the Scottish Government as “adequate to support the aim of a stable and predictable community pharmacy network”, while noting that further discussion on the detail is needed.
“This settlement gives contractors in Scotland a degree of certainty with which to plan and invest in the months ahead,” said NPA board member for Scotland, Phil Galt.
“Once again the partnership approach in Scotland has achieved an acceptable arrangement, following an earlier delay. However, details of a new mechanism to protect cashflow are outstanding. As maintaining cashflow tends to be challenging for independent pharmacies in all parts of the UK, the NPA eagerly anticipates the outcome of talks on this matter,” he added.
Later this year Scottish pharmacies will provide a national naloxone access service. Pharmacy contractors will be paid for holding stock and being able to supply naloxone for administration in an emergency to people who use drugs, and also anyone likely to witness an opioid overdose.
The Scottish Government was asked by a Scottish Conservative MSP what impact the NHS Pharmacy First Scotland service (PFS) has had, with associated evidence and a breakdown of expenditure.
The sum of £30.8m is currently allocated for NHS PFS including £10m of new funding invested between 2020-21 and 2022-23.
There have been 2.95 million consultations, 95 per cent providing advice or treatment, removing the need for unnecessary GP, out-of-hours or A&E visits. Twenty-three per cent of the Scottish population have accessed NHS PFS at least once.
The Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee is planning to look at healthcare in remote and rural areas during the next session.
Three new pharmacy roles in NHS Scotland have been developed to help promote advanced practice, focusing on areas including the uptake of designated prescribing practitioners and building workforce sustainability.
The NPA will reach out to these new roles in the coming months to ensure that the appointees are aware of activity to support the community pharmacy workforce. The next community pharmacy workforce survey, undertaken by NHS Education for Scotland, will be from September 10-16.