The NPA has welcomed the Scottish pharmacy funding package, which covers the financial years 2020/21 to 2022/23.
The total guaranteed funding to be delivered in 2020/21 is £258m. The global sum – £188m in 2020/21 – will rise by 2.5% in each of the three years.
A new NHS Pharmacy First Scotland service, running from April, will be funded, as will training for independent prescribers. Contractors supporting pharmacists to undertake the NES Foundation Programme will get additional funding.
The Pharmacy First Scotland service means that clinical advice and treatment for common conditions will be available as an NHS service to all Scottish patients for the first time. It replaces the current Minor Ailments Service and Pharmacy First scheme.
NPA Chief Executive, Mark Lyonette, said: “This is a vote of confidence in Scottish community pharmacy and will lead to a significant improvement in patient access to NHS healthcare. The Scottish Government, pharmacy negotiators and pharmacy teams across Scotland are working in partnership to develop services in line with a clear strategy and that is to be applauded.
“We are especially pleased to see investment in the clinical skills of the community pharmacy workforce, which will reap rewards well beyond the three year timeframe. The direction of travel towards clinical services is being underpinned by new and guaranteed funding, which shows the way for other parts of the UK to follow. The NHS, the community pharmacy sector, patients and communities will all benefit from this investment.”
The Scottish pharmacy funding package 2020/21 was announced last week in an NHS circular dated 27 February 2020 and signed by Rose Marie Parr, Scotland’s Chief Pharmaceutical Officer.