This means that community pharmacies can continue to recruit new patients to the service up until December 31st 2013 and will receive payment for these patients even where the service is completed in January or February 2014. The service specification will remain the same.
No decision has been made about the future of the service beyond December but this is under active discussion as part of PSNC’s ongoing funding negotiations with NHS England.
The long-term future of the service will also be informed by the Department of Health (DH) commissioned evaluation of the service which is expected to be published in early 2014.
PSNC Head of NHS Services Alastair Buxton said:
"We are very pleased that NHS England has agreed to extend the New Medicine Service while we continue our negotiations and await the outcome of the DH commissioned evaluation of the service.
We are working in a resource starved health service but the fact that the NHS shares our concerns and does not want to stop this service, which has shown such promising outcomes so far, is very positive.
We will give community pharmacies and LPCs more news as soon it is available but for now they can continue to recruit patients to this important service."
Dave Carter - Gateshead & South Tyneside LPC Chairman said:
"This is great news for community pharmacy. This service has been well received and we are confident it will evaluate positively in the long run and hopefully be commissioned permanently . I would encourage local contractors to continue to engage with the service to help improve outcomes for patients."