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Dispensing income increases

The amount of money paid to dispensing practices has increased from last year, the DoH has said.

The updated Statement of Financial Entitlements (SFE) shows that the ‘dispensing envelop’ has increased from £165.8m in 2009/10 to £168.7m in 2010/11.

The updated SFE also revealed a 0.5% reduction to each fee – the price per prescription.

Dispensing Doctors Association chairman Dr David Baker said this is ‘somewhat lower’ than last year. He said it equates to a loss of a ‘penny or two’ per item.

But the SFE also showed the average volume increase of fees is 2.975, which Dr Baker said will mitigate the effects of the drop in each fee.

The changes will be effective from 1 October 2010.

Dr Baker added: ‘Although we are getting less per item, which doesn’t please us, it does mean that over all the money we receive for dispensing will increase because the volume has gone up.’

Last year, NHS Employers and the GPC agreed a new mechanism to uplift the fee scale annually. NHS Employers said this now reimburses dispensing practices for the increased volume of items, whilst limiting the ‘profit’ element of the payment.

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