All pharmacy contractors in England will be able to receive their advance payment 20 days earlier than is currently the case on prescriptions dispensed from October 2021.
The move comes after the Department of Health decided to end the Pharmacy Earlier Payment Scheme (PEPS) following the collapse of Greensill Capital earlier this year.
Advance payments will be made approximately 20 days earlier than the current payment timetable for contractors who make their monthly FP34C submissions through the NHS BSA Manage Your Service (MYS) portal by the fifth of the month, says PSNC.
As part of this agreement between PSNC and the DHSC, the paper FP34C submission form will only be available until March 2022 (ie, for February 2022 prescriptions) after which MYS will be the only route for all monthly submissions.
Contractors who continue to use the paper FP34C submission document from November 2021 to March 2022 will not receive an earlier advance payment and will receive their advance in line with the current payment timetable,on or around the 1st of the month following submission.
PSNC is “strongly encouraging” contractors who use paper FP34Cs for their monthly submissions to start using the MYS portal to make their declarations as soon as possible.
The final PEPS payments will be paid on October 1. From November 1, a 12-month transition arrangement has been agreed for existing PEPS pharmacy contractors to transfer over to the new earlier advance payment timetable.
PSNC chief Simon Dukes said: "The option for all community pharmacy contractors to bring forward the timing of their advance payments is a long overdue and very welcome development that will benefit all pharmacy businesses. The agreement follows several months of discussions between PSNC and HM Government, and PSNC is pleased to have got a positive outcome for all contractors.
"The move to using MYS will mean changes for some contractors so we have made sure that they have the time to do this; this is all part of integrating us, including digitally, better with the NHS, and in the long term going digital should make processes more streamlined."
Mr Dukes said he hoped the announcement would reassure contractors who have been "anxious for news" since the collapse of Greensill.