Following the news that NHS staff are to receive a pay rise, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has reiterated its position that community pharmacy contractors also need urgent funding support.

Janet Morrison, PSNC chief executive, said the pay rise news was ‘yet another slap in the face for community pharmacy teams’.

‘While we recognise that many of our NHS colleagues will desperately need an uplift in the face of uncontrolled inflationary rises, we are clear that contractors and their teams need and deserve the same help,’ she said.

‘This is particularly the case as satisfaction with other healthcare services falls off a cliff and pharmacies are being left, as always, to pick up the pieces for their local communities.’

The NHS Pay Review Body recommended a £1,400 consolidated uplift to full-time equivalent salaries. The Government announced yesterday that it had accepted the recommendations and one million staff under Agenda for Change contracts, including nurses, paramedics and midwives, will get a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year, backdated to April 2022. Eligible dentists and doctors will receive a 4.5% pay rise.

Amidst the cost-of-living crisis, pharmacies are suffering the biggest hit to their incomes since records began, alongside soaring energy bills and rising locum prices, all while contractors prepare for a surge in medicine costs.

The PSNC announced in February that it had entered negotiations with DHSC, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) on the fourth year of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF). Ms Morrison previously said the community pharmacy sector was likely to regress in several ways if more funding was not granted as part of the deal.

However, the PSNC said earlier this year that the sector will not see additional funding for the two remaining years of the deal. Negotiations are continuing and the PSNC said details of any agreement reached will be released to contractors ‘as soon as possible’.

Ms Morrison said the PSNC was ‘pushing very hard’ on the negotiations. She added: ‘Government and the NHS have all the evidence they need of both the value of pharmacies and of the very precarious economic situation that businesses are in, and they must now back up their praise for pharmacies with much-needed financial support.’