In a letter to ICS leads yesterday (July 22), NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) confirmed its plans to move responsibility for the commissioning of local pharmacy services from NHSE&I regional teams to ICSs, from April 2022.
The change is subject to parliamentary approval of the Health and Care Bill, which NHSE&I said it had a “high degree of confidence” in, due to the bill’s recent “positive vote” in its second reading on July 14.
Not all ICSs may take on the commissioning role next year, but they will all be expected to do so by April 1, 2023, NHSE&I said in the letter.
The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee said that the pharmacy funding contract will continue to be negotiated at a national level.
Earlier this month, NHSE&I director for primary care strategy and NHS contracts Ed Waller said ICSs taking on local pharmacy commissioning provides “some huge opportunities…to make community pharmacy a more integrated part of the NHS”.
Read how one local pharmaceutical committee has already forged bonds with its ICS