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DDA: BMA must negotiate Pharmacy-First type services for dispensing GPs

Rural patients and practices deserve equity

November 16th 2023

Tagged: political news Pharmacy owners' news England

By Ailsa Colquhoun

The DDA will be writing to the BMA to demand the availability of Pharmacy First-type services through dispensing GP practices, as well as recovery monies.

In an announcement, Community Pharmacy England has given a January 31 launch date for the Pharmacy First service. This will offer pharmacy customers advice and NHS-funded treatment via patient group direction for seven common conditions: sinusitis, sore throat, acute otitis media, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.

From December 1, pharmacies will also be able to offer an expanded pharmacy contraception service and a relaunched hypertension case-finding service.

To support implementation, pharmacy owners will now have access to GP records and will benefit from a total of £112 million in financial incentives which include the writing-off of previous fee over-delivery, valued at over £100m.

Speaking on behalf of dispensing practices, DDA Chairman Dr Richard West said: “We expect the BMA to negotiate comparable arrangements for those rural patients who have no access to a community pharmacy.  We also note the precedent now set by NHS England in writing off an overspend in dispensing fees and expect comparable treatment for dispensing practices.”