Every month I send clients a note of the most interesting or important regulatory developments in community pharmacy over the preceding month. During April 2022, these were:
The Pharmacy Representation Review Steering Group’s proposals on the future of the representation and support provided by PSNC and LPCs were published on Friday 29 April. The proposals are based around four key themes – stronger governance across both PSNC and LPCs, better alignment with the NHS, appropriate resourcing and stronger collaboration. Voting on the proposals will start on 23 May, on the basis of one vote per contractor (not per pharmacy). The proposals can be viewed in full here
NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) has published a new guide for pharmacies on conducting remote consultations, which can be viewed here. This sets out a seven-point plan for implementing a remote consultation in community pharmacy.
On 7 April, the GPhC launched a consultation on proposed new equality guidance for pharmacies, stating that there is a growing urgency, both in society as a whole and within pharmacy, to tackle all forms of inequality. If adopted, the new guidance will require principles of equality and human rights to be embedded in all pharmacies. The consultation will remain open until 6 June and can be accessed here.
The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) has launched its long-awaited consultation on hub and spoke dispensing, which will remain open until 8 June 2022. The consultation appears here.
We continue to assist a number of contractors whose COVID-19 costs have not been fully reimbursed by the NHS Business Services Authority, or NHSBSA. The original Drug Tariff Determination of 2021 stated that all appeals would be considered by the Secretary of State for Health and that the appeals process would remain open until 1 November 2022. However, on 1 April 2022 a new piece of legislation came into force – that’s The National Health Service Litigation Authority Pharmaceutical Remuneration Payment Disputes Directions 2022. What has now been clarified is that (a) NHS Resolution Primary Care Appeals (which used to be called the FHSAU) will deal with appeals and (b) no appeal will be considered until after the NHS BSA has been given a final opportunity to conduct a review of the contractor’s claim. That review within the NHS BSA will be conducted by somebody independent who has not previously assessed the claim. The deadline to submit an internal review request is 30 days from the NHS BSA’s final decision on a claim.
If you would like to know more about any issue mentioned in this update, please contact me.