Annual Report 2020



It's been an eventful and unprecedented year here at CPS as we continue our vision for pharmacy to be the heart of the community in Scotland. This year saw the biggest change to the contractual network in over a decade, NHS Pharmacy First Scotland which coincided with the global pandemic COVID-19 - that whichever way you look at it has changed all our lives in one way or another. As the nation remained at home, community pharmacies remained open on the frontline and CPS supported their efforts throughout - ensuring that care was delivered effectively, that pharmacy retained and maintained responsibility for all aspects of medicines supply. 

Chief Executive Harry McQuillan@HMcQCPS

Harry McQuillan

In keeping with previous years, the revised CPS structure has allowed the CEO role to focus on more strategic matters whilst still accepting overall accountability for member service delivery and providing value for money that our pharmacy owners contribute to the organisation. This structure continues to allow new developments to be introduced that should benefit the community pharmacy network in the coming years. I continue to work with both Scottish schools of pharmacy and our CPS Research Fellow and the 2019/20 session saw the publication of CPS’ second research, academically robust, report of the patient experience within community pharmacy – The A.R.T. of Pharmacy. This has provided a basis for the network’s inclusion and input to the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 response. 

Externally I have continued to input to a variety of activities that will have an impact on community pharmacy practice in the future. These included the investigation of technology application within pharmacies and CPS has partnered with the Digital Health and Care Institute to take this area forward. The groundwork was also laid for the introduction of a community pharmacy foundation training and independent prescribing programme to assist in the delivery of the CPS Vision of Practice.

In my opinion, the greatest achievement of the CPS Executive and Pharmacy Services teams last session was the response to COVID-19 pandemic. What my colleagues delivered was exceptional and the organisation quickly became the trusted source for information and support. My grateful thanks to each and every one of them.

Negotiations for 2019/20 delivered a first for the organisation – a three-year settlement. This included inflationary increases each year and a guaranteed income level. This was secured before the Covid-19 pandemic and on reflection, has proved to have been a major asset to the pharmacy network for the coming years.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the community pharmacy teams in our network for their hard work, dedication and commitment to providing community pharmacy services in extremely challenging circumstances.

Director of Operations Matt Barclay@MattBarclay11

Matt BarclayOver the course of this period, CPS has had challenges alongside the community pharmacy network and wider society the like of which we have never experienced. Through my role as part of the CPS negotiating team, I was pleased to play a part in securing, what the CPS Board agreed, was a fair and reasonable settlement for the three periods of April 20 onwards. This outwardly was broadly welcomed from members I have engaged with and the direction of travel with NHS Pharmacy First Scotland and Independent Prescribing understood.

Internally the CPS team have continued to develop as a team to meet the needs of members. This was happening as you would expect before March, however, CPS went through forced transformational changes almost overnight with COVID. On Wednesday 11th March we hosted the CPS Dinner celebrating with stakeholders the prospect of the launch of NHS Pharmacy First Scotland, after substantial engagement with members through our well-attended NHS PFS Roadshow, with the full impact of the global pandemic not yet realised. By the 23rd March, the CPS team was working to support you in the most challenging of circumstances for you as we effectively left our Queen Street offices for the rest of the year.

I myself had a taste of what pharmacy was experiencing over that period in practice. I’ve said many times how easy it has been to represent the network due to their efforts since the onset of the pandemic, it has been remarkable. I would also like to pay tribute to the CPS team who, I know, also put in the hours despite the sudden change to their ways of working. Their focus, determination and output have hopefully been evident to you through their support in many ways including the pricing survey work, communication style (see YouTube videos, website and Ask Me Anything events as examples), supporting with queries and continuing to represent you.

The year ended with a delayed but not defeated launch of NHS Pharmacy First Scotland. For such a fundamentally important contractual change, which had been such a large area of focus throughout our year, to happen relatively quickly from the original date was an achievement in itself. I think this demonstrates how important community pharmacy is within the fabric of primary care and wider NHS services. The community pharmacy network can rightly be proud of its efforts in continuing to support patients and its resilience in keeping services going over the most challenging time in living memory. I hope CPS played its part in supporting you and we will strive to continue to do so long into the future.

HSCP Support Officer Michael Oswald@cps_michael

Michael Oswald

In January 2020, the CPS Board agreed to the extension of the HSCP support officer role for a further 12 months. The intention in year 2 was to seek suggestions from CP(HB) committees on local developments where additional support might lead to national service development linked to the CPS Vision.

In the first couple of months of the calendar year, the CP(HB) committees were asked to submit proposals which were assessed against the CPS Vision and the potential for future rollout. With the arrival of COVID, from early March my time was mainly taken up supporting the CPS executive team with the developing requirements of the CPS office team, executive and the network, much of what was delivered as part of that work is being covered under Matt, Harry and the Head of Department updates. Alongside that work, I have continued to support the local developments around serial prescribing rollout, hospital discharge medicines supply and review and also the rollout and requirements for NHS Pharmacy First Scotland, NHS Pharmacy First Plus and the development of additional PGDs.

Head of Policy & Development Amanda Rae@CPS_AmandaR

Amanda Rae

The biggest issue for 2019/20 was undoubtedly the arrival of the virus COVID 19 and the impact this caused. As always, community pharmacy teams rose to the challenge, remaining open throughout and truly being "the front door to the NHS", while the CPS Team moved to work from home, setting up a virtual CPS office

The Policy and Development Team joined the newly formed CPS COVID Planning Team and began work to support the network across a number of key areas to ensure that our community pharmacy teams could continue to provide a pharmaceutical service to patients. This has included establishing community pharmacy teams as key workers and ensuring COVID testing availability for them, advocating for PPE to be provided to community pharmacy teams and developing key communications, including regular videos, Ask Me Anything events and the development of the website with our Digital Communication colleagues.

As COVID 19 continues, the team will continue to support the community pharmacy network to deliver pharmaceutical care to our patients across Scotland.

The biggest launch of the year was the new NHS Pharmacy First Scotland Service, a new service which replaced the NHS Minor Ailment Service, delivering wider care to a wider group of patients. Planning started with establishing the care patients needed, though developing the service specification, to working with the negotiating team to provide a fair return on contractor investment.

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland sees community pharmacies as the first port of call for patients managing self-limiting illnesses and is open to most patients living in Scotland and those registered with a Scottish GP. Pharmacists and their teams consult with patients and deliver care through the “ART of Pharmacy” providing Advice, Referral or Treatment in response to patient symptoms, and is supported by Patient Group Directions (PGDs) to treat urinary tract infections and impetigo. The service is provided at no cost to the patients.

A series of CPS led roadshows to launch the service saw over 1400 pharmacists and their teams attend to hear about how they could deliver NHS Pharmacy First to provide enhanced care to their patients.

The service, originally planned for launch in April, was delayed due to COVID and commenced in full on 1st October 2020, and initial feedback is positive. The service will be further developed with the addition of more PGDs to treat other common conditions, providing ongoing an even more developed service from Scottish Community Pharmacies – the front door to the NHS.

Policy & Development Pharmacist Adam Osprey@CPS_adam

Amanda Rae

As Amanda has covered, we were no different to the rest of the world in that for a significant part of this year our resources were focussed largely on the response to COVID-19. That said, it was business as usual whilst we were blissfully unaware of what was headed our way at the tail end of 2019, and we have continued to represent our members on key issues even through the pandemic.

In the second half of 2019, the Scottish Government asked NHS National Service Scotland (NSS) to undertake an exploratory piece of work examining the current and possible future of prescribing and dispensing pathways in primary care in Scotland. Members of both the Executive Team and the CPS Board were around the table for all of the meetings and workshops related to this, as it is of great significance to the community pharmacy network and our ways of working. The output from the multidisciplinary workshops that we attended will inform a wider piece of work which will carry on through this coming year and beyond, shaping the future of prescribing and dispensing.

The Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport committee this year put out a call for evidence on how medicines are used in Scotland, asking for expert input on the state of supply and demand for medicines in relation to procurement, prescribing, dispensing and consumption. We took the opportunity to submit a response to this consultation and as a result was asked to attend all four subsequent evidence sessions at parliament, representing the community pharmacy contractor view at the highest level.

Internally, in recognition of how critical our communications strategy is in achieving our aims, we undertook no less than three rounds of recruitment to find a new Digital Communications Officer and were delighted to welcome Robbie Collins on board, who has brought a new energy and approach to the CPS brand, quickly picking up on what is important to you, our members. We further bolstered our communications team by bringing Graham from the Support Services team on board to trial a new Digital Communications Assistant role – Graham has upskilled himself to be able to manage the website and newsletters over the course of the last few years and we hope you will agree that the quality of our communications has improved as a result.

Head of Pharmacy Services Emma Taylor@cps_emmataylor

Emma Taylor

With the Board extending Michael’s HSCP role by another year this, in turn, saw myself remain as Head of Pharmacy Services and Steph as Pharmacy Services Supervisor. This allowed for us both to continue to evolve and develop the team and department in delivering prescription auditing, pricing enquiries, part 7, adjusted prices and all things pharmacy finance related to name a few! With the valued expertise from our Data Analysts, Jody and Jeremy, the department has continued to support the Executive team, Board and Negotiating team in reviewing areas such as the mapping of monies as laid out in the financial arrangements for 2020-2021 into the global sum, and continuing to develop our new checking and contacts database. The new year also saw the development of an interactive dashboard start allowing for financial data to be reviewed and parameters adjusted to support with further negotiations.

We welcomed to the team in September 2019 both Emma Ramage and Karen Gilfillan, they seamlessly slotted into CPS as if they had been with us for years and compliment the Pharmacy Services team with the expertise and pharmacy knowledge they brought with them from Community Pharmacy. 

The department adjusted and developed new ways of working since the turn of March and supported the network in high volumes of COVID-19 PVG applications. The team have been driving around picking up invoices safely and efficiently for the Monthly Pricing enquiries we have also conducted a number of COVID Cost Survey’s to support the Negotiating team discuss additional funding and of course on a daily basis continued to deliver the support required for all from day to day endorsing questions, courier collections, finance and all the questions that come up in day-to-day pharmacy working...


Pharmacy Services Supervisor Milo Menzies@CPS_Stephanie


Steph Menzies

Here in Pharmacy Services, over the course of this year the team have done numerous pieces of work for our members supporting them with financial and prescription queries, helping to organise our Health Board committees, and developing their own skills and knowledge to help better support our contractors, and I would like to thank the whole team for all their hard work over this past year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t list all the teams’ successes in their entirety so I will instead highlight our top three:

Successful coordination and completion of the Monthly Pricing Enquiries we have been carrying out since April, which have allowed us to maintain a watchful eye on the margin, and were crucial in helping us secure the recent additional funding for the network. This year we have held several helpful finance sessions, with members new and existing, helping to raise our team’s profile within the network and demonstrating to our members that we are the experts in pharmacy finance. The team have had to come up with creative solutions in order to deliver our normal best service to our members while working from home, and in that, they have been productive and innovative, so much so that it has had a lasting impact on the way processes are carried out in Pharmacy Services.


Our Work

Contract Funding

As you may be aware CPS acts as the single voice for vital healthcare professionals and this year we have continued our work in many areas, and have been representing the community pharmacy network in a number of new areas as well. As of March 2020, and as previously mentioned CPS like many others had to adapt to working from home and as a result, began conducting all consultations remotely. To see a full list of these consultations please click the link below: 


View Full Consultation Activity


Consultation Activity

Our Events

The Policy & Development team prepared responses on behalf of Community Pharmacy Scotland to many consultations and calls for views. Some of these topics are areas the team utilise during lobbying activities, while others impact on the safe and efficient operation of our pharmacies ensuring a focus on the delivery of patient care, with a fair remuneration.

Groups we meet on your behalf:

  • Scottish Government Pharmacy directorate NHS Primary Care Community Pharmacy group NHS Education for Scotland
  • Both Scottish Schools of Pharmacy Royal Pharmaceutical Society
  • GPhC: Inspectors and Director for Scotland NSS National Services Scotland
  • NSS Information Services Division
  • ATOS (IT developers for the NHS and SG)

Contract Funding - NHS Pharmacy First Scotland

Contract Funding

The Contract Negotiating Team met regularly with the Scottish Government (SG) working with the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer (CPO), Rose Marie Parr and other members of their civil service team. Discussions began in Oct 2019 and concluded on April 2020 with a three-year settlement for 19/20 (headlines below). Conversations were conducted in a professional and collaborative manner with the aim of delivering a settlement which recognised the complex issues and financial pressures currently facing contractors and the NHS, as well as the uncertainty of our current political climate. Colleagues in the Scottish Government remain committed to maintaining a vibrant, stable and predictable pharmacy network throughout Scotland, and we value our close working relationship with their team.

We have agreed a 2.5% uplift to the remuneration Global Sum for each year of this deal.

In addition, we have secured a total of £10m of brand new funding to support the delivery of NHS Pharmacy First, which replaced MAS in April 2020

For 2020/21, this means that the Global Sum will be reset to £188.148m

The existing MAS funding of £15.8m along with £5m which is to be repurposed from guaranteed income brings the total funding available in year one to £25.8m

We will not be using a clawback mechanism to pay this back as has been done in previous years. Instead, the Drug Tariff will be reduced to deliver this money back to Health Boards T

As in 2019/20, the Guaranteed minimum funding through reimbursement will be set at £80m, with contractors able to retain all of the next £10m up to a total of £90m should this be generated through margin

Financial Framework 20/21

Financial Framework

In 2020, we continued to work and develop our financial framework, which explains in fine detail how pharmacies are funded. We’d had feedback that it wasn’t that easy to understand so we continued with our overhauled approach, simplifying the language and using some helpful analogies. You can access the new publication on our website, and like previous years we’d love to hear what you...

View our full Financial Framework

Our Events

Our Events

Throughout each year, we host events in line with our strategic plan – whether this is to support our members and local committees to be the best they can be, raise the profile of the work that community pharmacy teams do or influence others.

This year saw CPS host a series of well-received Roadshows across Scotland to promote the NHS Pharmacy First Scotland Service. Other events include the CPS Dinner to celebrate the Launch of NHS Pharmacy First Scotland. It was held at The Signet Library in Edinburgh and was very well attended by MSPs, contractors and many other key figures in primary care.

With the restrictions introduced to counter the spread of the coronavirus, we conducted several events virtually including:

  • 2 CPS Council Meetings Chairs and Secretaries’ days
  • Local AGM Support
  • NHS Pharmacy First Scotland - Ask Me Anything hosted on Facebook x 2
  • COVID-19 Ask Me Anything x 3

Highlights from this include the success of our Ask Me Anything events. They were consistently watched by over 1,000 users on Facebook, Twitter and on our YouTube channel. This was crucial in supporting not just our members but add additional value by supporting the larger pharmacy teams with consistently accurate guidance and advice throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Public Affairs

Public Affairs

Traditionally, community pharmacy has not been the best sector for shouting out about its achievements and this is something that we in the P&D Team have been working on this past year. Community Pharmacy Scotland funded research through the University of Strathclyde and Robert Gordon University to conduct research around teams consulting with patients and delivering care through the “ART of Pharmacy” providing Advice, Referral or Treatment in response to patient symptoms - supported by Patient Group Directions (PGDs). The project took place in 8 community pharmacies over 6 weeks and is a huge step in showing the clear value community pharmacy teams offer.

Tuesday 1st September 2020 saw another milestone for community pharmacies as their efforts in the fight on the frontline against the coronavirus pandemic. The First Minister also mentioned the benefit and commitment to further develop NHS Pharmacy First Scotland as a crucial part of community health services. The service, which was launched in July, builds on the outstanding role played by the community pharmacy network through the COVID-19 pandemic and is seen as important to support the health of the public and strengthen primary care access.

Website Development

Website Development

Last year saw the successful refresh of our website and was a huge success. This year we focused on the "user journey" and adding "additional value to our members "taking full advantage of our new Digital Communications Assistant, Graham Le Tissier upskilling from previous years. His new expertise has meant we can offer new intuitive ways of navigating our website and has been integral in our communications this year. The focus here is:

  • An improved navigation system
  • An intuitive user experience
  • A more powerful and accurate search function
  • More focus on latest news items
  • Updated content written in a user- friendly way

Our new Digital Communication Officer Robbie Collins has offered a new perspective when looking at our communications strategy, focusing more on "finding the unengaged", "increasing access" by allowing users to receive our content through the introduction of new channels of communications. With the rise of COVID-19 came the rise in misinformation, it became crucial as a professional body to ensure we worked hard to counter this. We successfully did this by working closely with trusted organisations such as HPS and NHS Inform, this combined with working at speed to publish accurate content we quickly became one of the leading trusted voices in pharmacy. 



Pharmacy Services

Pharmacy Services

In Pharmacy Services we continue to answer queries from contractors and their teams on a broad spectrum of pharmacy practice issues and our contractors get in touch with us via the pharmacy services email inbox, the FAQ application on our website, Twitter and Facebook but mostly by calling the team on 0131 466 3540.

The most common questions relate to:

• Shortages and adjusted prices for Drug Tariff (DT) Part 7 items Tariff (DT) Part 7 items
• Electronic endorsing requirements
• Procedures for unlicensed or imported medicines not listed in DT Part 7S
• Disallowed Items
• Courier Collections
• Payments in regard to the Financial Framework
• Claiming via the Universal Claim Framework (UCF)

Board Attendance

CPS Operating Financial Accounts 2019/20 Summary

CPS Operating Financial Accounts 2019/20 Summary

Related Information