The community pharmacy sector in Scotland will receive a 6% increase on the global sum, in an offer agreed by Community Pharmacy Scotland and the Scottish Government yesterday (20 July).
Scotland’s 1,256 community pharmacies will also receive a guaranteed minimum (retained margin) of £100m and £80m in ‘mapped money’, which is used to support the delivery of services.
When the last three-year settlement was agreed in 2020, it was agreed that the global sum would increase by 2.5% each year.
And under the latest deal for 2023/24, this will be increased by 6%.
In addition, the community pharmacy sector will be allowed to retain at least £100m in profits from medicines sales. They will also receive a guaranteed £80m for the provision of services.
Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) said that it ‘broadly welcomes the offer as adequate to support the aim of a stable and predictable community pharmacy network’.
But it said that further discussion would be required, including on the need for a mechanism to protect cash flow, as well as detail on how the increase in global sum funding would be distributed.
‘This offer has been the result of protracted but constructive negotiations with our government partners and takes the network to a place of adequate financial stability,’ CPS said in a statement.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said that it was 'pleased that the Community Pharmacy Scotland Board has accepted what is the largest uplift to date to the Global Sum - £12.3 million.'
They added: 'We will continue to work with Community Pharmacy Scotland, ensuring patients have access to the full range of pharmaceutical care services.’
And they said that full details of the funding arrangements for 2023/24 will be published in the coming days.
In May, CPS members ‘unanimously rejected’ an offer made by the Scottish Government, and the negotiator then expressed concerns that an ‘insufficient’ funding package would be imposed on its members, highlighting the significantly increased cost of drugs.
In June, a separate £20m funding uplift to the Scottish Drug Tariff was awarded, but CPS said that it was not enough to cover the high cost of medicines.
GPs in England have also recently been awarded an uplift to their global sum to cover a 6% pay rise for salaried practice staff.
In response, Janet Morrison, chief executive of Community Pharmacy England (CPE), said that the public sector workforce pay rise for other professions ‘feels unfair, and very far from good news’ for community pharmacy owners in England.
She added that CPE was ‘fully focused on the current financial and operational pressures and fighting hard for a sustainable long-term funding arrangement’.