Funding for Scottish pharmacies will be increased by almost £5 million in 2020-21, as part of the new three-year deal, Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) has announced.

The money available to community pharmacy in Scotland will increase by £4.586m, to £188.148m in April 2020 - up from £183.559m in 2019-20, CPS announced yesterday (February 26). 

The funding will also increase by 2.5% each financial year - next year increasing by £4.6m, after an increase last year of £2.6m, under the latest three-year agreement. 

The non-global sum will remain at £1.3m, and will be ‘repurposed towards funding infrastructure to support increasing the number of independent prescriber workforce within the community,’ the Scottish Government said. 

The deal aims to ‘deliver contractors and health boards with the continued stability and predictability established in recent years’, the Government added.

The breakdown

As part of the deal, £10m will be invested into the new NHS Pharmacy First Scotland service over the next three years. 

The Pharmacy First service, which will be replacing the existing Minor Ailment Service (MAS), will see community pharmacists able to give advice to treat or refer patients with uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) and impetigo.

In addition, pharmacy contractors will also have access to part of a budget of £3.258 million in a bid to support the Independent Prescribing Strategy and Career Pathway for community pharmacy.  

Almost £1.4m will be available to pharmacy owners to support pharmacists completing the NES Foundation Programme, this will increase to £4.32 million in 2022-23.

The funding announcement comes in the same week as the updated English community pharmacy contractual framework (CPCF) was released which details how pharmacists will be supporting patients with new medicines on discharge from hospital, as well as a hepatitis C testing service. 

As part of the contract for the last financial year, the Scottish government announced a global sum increase of £2.6m, taking it to a total of £183.559m for the 2019/20 funding contract,