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NHS investigating 44 pharmacies over pandemic delivery payments

The NHS is writing to 44 pharmacies in England over their 'unexpectedly' high payment claims for delivering medicines to patients during the pandemic.   

In a statement this afternoon (May 6), the PSNC said the NHS BSA has begun a “post-payment verification process” for a small number of the more than 8,000 pharmacies who provided the advanced element of the pandemic delivery service between April and December last year.  

The advanced delivery service for clinically extremely vulnerable patients ended on March 31 when people in this group were told they no longer needed to shield. However, the service remains active for those who have been told by NHS Test and Trace that they need to self-isolate.  

NHS England & Improvement has asked the BSA to carry out the investigation on its behalf, with the latter now writing to the 44 pharmacies that have so far been identified asking them to provide records to back up their payment claims. 

While the “vast majority of payment claims were at levels to be expected from pharmacies… a very small number were higher than might be expected,” said the PSNC. In total, just under £15m was paid to participating pharmacies between April and December.   

The PSNC said some high claims may be due to contractor error, or due to a pharmacy carrying out a delivery for medicines dispensed by another pharmacy. The negotiator said it has asked that the verification process is “appropriately targeted, proportionate and fair to those contractors asked to provide records”.

Affected contractors will receive information in their letters regarding the next steps in the process. The PSNC said it is able to provide support but added that contractors should “liaise with NHS BSA in the first instance”.

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