Negotiations on CPCF arrangements for 2022/23 commence

Formal tripartite negotiations on the arrangements for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) in 2022/23 – the fourth year of the agreed five-year CPCF deal – have now begun.

The negotiations are taking place between PSNC and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I).

They are beginning ahead of the start of the financial year, in line with the ambitions of all three negotiating partners, although slightly later than planned due to the volume of recent urgent COVID-19 work which was prioritised by HM Government.

The discussions will cover all service, funding and other arrangements for pharmacies in 2022/23, in line with the five-year CPCF deal.

Read the five-year deal document

The discussions will take into account the progress made to date, which has been partly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the recent joint Annual Review process, where PSNC raised serious concerns around the capacity available within community pharmacy, and the sector’s funding.

All negotiating partners recognise the huge contribution that community pharmacy has made to healthcare in the first three years of the five-year CPCF deal, including throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are keen to continue our work to embed community pharmacies, and the expanding role that they can play, within wider NHS systems.

Negotiations will remain confidential as usual, but we will update contractors on the outcomes of these negotiations as soon as we can.

Bharat Patel, PSNC Vice-chair and Negotiating Team member, and an independent community pharmacy contractor, said:

“As we approach the end of Year 3 of the five-year CPCF arrangements, many contractors find themselves in an extremely difficult situation trying to balance spiralling costs, capacity pressures and the increasing workforce issues. Some of the immediate pressures of COVID-19 may appear to have gone away, but like most of the health service, pharmacies are not feeling any relief.

PSNC’s Negotiating Team worked hard through the recent Annual Review process to show Government and the NHS the reality facing community pharmacies. We set out our serious concerns around the capacity available in the absence of planned efficiency gains, and about the unsustainable efficiencies that the past two years have required of the sector. We have been clear that without the injection of additional funding, capacity is unlikely to be able to grow, particularly at a time of accelerated pressures on staffing.

It is in this context that we enter these Year 4 negotiations. We absolutely share the ambition of the NHS and Government to continue to embed community pharmacies within the wider NHS. Like them, we also want to keep expanding the sector’s role and show the very great value that pharmacies offer to patients and the NHS. But this must be balanced with what is reasonable, and that is why, despite assertions that the outcome of the Spending Review means a funding uplift is not possible, we must continue to make a strong case for investment in the sector, and to seek fair funding for the walk-in advice that so many people are relying on from pharmacies. We are actively gathering evidence as we begin what we expect, once again, to be very challenging discussions.”

Discover how we are working to improve the outlook for community pharmacy at an event near you.

Click Here