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DHSC opens consultation on hub and spoke dispensing

Dispensing GPs may use hubs, but cannot be one

March 16th 2022

Tagged: DM Zone news political news Pharmacy owners' news England

By Ailsa Colquhoun

DHSC has opened a consultation on the roll out of hub and spoke dispensing in England.

The consultation is open until 11:45pm on 8 June 2022.

The consultation seeks views on two different models of hub and spoke dispensing:

  • model 1, where the medicines are returned assembled from the hub to the spoke before supply to the patient
  • model 2, where the hub supplies medicines directly to the patient

This consultation envisages that dispensing doctors can make use of pharmacy hubs. However, they may not themselves be hubs, as it is a requirement that a hub must be a registered pharmacy.

To calculate the costs and benefits of hub and spoke dispensing, DHSC has published an impact assessment. There is an assumed minimum dispensing volume requirement of 60,000 items per year before a pharmacy could utilise the hub; around 50 per cent of dispensing doctors are said to at least dispense these volumes.

Overall, DHSC analysis assumes a net 7 per cent efficiency gain from use of hub and spoke models. Based on comparable uptake figures for pharmacy, the net present value (NPV) in dispensing practice could increase by around 12 per cent or £3.2m.

However, different operating models of, and supply issues to, dispensing GPs, may affect take up of hub dispensing, the impact assessment suggests. Aggregate dispensing volumes for dispensing doctors are around 7 per cent of that for all community pharmacies.