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Scottish contractors to be paid lower base rate for Pharmacy First

The monthly base payment made out to contractors in Scotland for providing the Pharmacy First service is to drop by a fifth as an updated remuneration model is brought in.

Chief pharmaceutical officer Alison Strath sent a circular yesterday to NHS boards and directors of pharmacy informing them that from January 1 to March 31 next year contractors who are signed up to provide the service will receive a £1,000 base payment before activity fees – down from the £1,250 payments they have received until now.

The money being taken out of base payments is to be redistributed via the activity payment pot, meaning contractors will receive a share proportionate to the number and type of consultation they carried out.

Different types of activity carry their own weighting, with PGD consultations remunerated at a higher rate than minor ailments consultations.

The decision to remove money from base payments and direct more funding towards activity payments was made some time ago, but implementation has been delayed “in response to increased workloads due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Ms Strath.

The base payment will be reviewed in the 2022-23 financial year “based on latest data and further reductions applied,” she added.  

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