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DDA issues dispensing practice ‘Call to Action’

BMA must put the needs of dispensing GPs at its core

September 22nd 2023

Tagged: DM Zone news DDA news Conference news political news

By Ailsa Colquhoun

The DDA has launched a ‘Call to Action’ for dispensing practices, which will be officially launched at the DDA conference on Wednesday 27 September.

On behalf of members, the DDA Board will use the platform of the conference to urge the BMA to review its ‘Call to Action for General Practice’ to highlight the ongoing challenges in dispensing practice.

In his chairman’s conference address on September 27, 2023, DDA Chairman Dr Richard West will ask dispensing GPs to contact their LMCs to pressure the BMA to include an expert dispensing practice representative in all negotiations on behalf of dispensing GP BMA members. 

The DDA believes that current BMA negotiations are failing over 3,000 dispensing GPs, who work in more than 1,100 practices across the UK, and who serve around 9.9 million rural patients. The dispensing service provided by this body of GPs is specifically designed to supply vital NHS medicines to patients who live remotely from a community pharmacy.

The DDA supports the principle aim of the BMA’s ‘Call to Action’ to establish a fit-for-purpose and modern core GP contract. However, absent from this Call to Action are the many elements of dispensing GP funding which now require the urgent attention of the BMA, specifically:  

  • The dispensing practice discount abatement mechanism (‘clawback’) is now 25 years old and it no longer reflects current discount rates: hundreds of branded medicines and appliances are supplied with no discount available, financially penalising every practice, every time that they dispense these items. 
  • The dispensing fees envelope has not been updated in line with DDRB annual inflationary GP staff pay uplifts since 2019. This has devalued the fee by 20 per cent, putting immense pressure on dispensing practice operating costs and jeopardising safe staffing levels  

The DDA also believes that a fit-for-purpose dispensing GP contact will also recognise the imperative to deliver evidence-based medicines optimisation services through dispensing practices. Examples of such services include the new medicines or discharge medicines services.  

To support members, the DDA has produced a complementary dispensing practice ‘Call to Action’ that highlights the above issues and which puts the needs of dispensing GP members at the core.  

The BMA has been contacted for a response.

Read the press release issued to the GP press