Alphega Pharmacy UK members have earned at least £500 more than non-members at the first Quality Payments Scheme (QPS) review point, it has claimed.

The 2017/18 QPS, which started on 1 December 2016 and ended on 31 March 2018, was introduced at the same time as Government cuts to English community pharmacy funding as a way to mitigate losses.

A £75m pot of funding taken from the £2.6m overall pharmacy funding budget is paid to pharmacies that meet quality payments criteria including training staff to become Dementia Friends or becoming Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP). Every pharmacy is entitled to receive a minimum of £6,400.

In 2017/18, members of the European network of independent pharmacists claimed on average 8.4 points more than non-members, which represents an extra £537.60 of payments.

On average, across the two years of the QPS scheme, all other Alphega Pharmacy UK members ‘claimed 4.3 points more than non-Alphega Pharmacy independent pharmacies, equating to a minimum of £275.20 in addition to the average payments received to a pharmacy’, it said.

QPS was extended for a six-month period, as part of interim arrangements between the Pharmaceutical Negotiating Services Committee (PSNC) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for 2018/19.

Both bodies agreed on investing a further £37.5m, with a declaration point in June 2018.

Overall, 11,410 pharmacies took part in the 2017/18 QPS, according to data published by NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA).