NPA staff visited the Prescription Pricing Division HQ in Newcastle to relay the continuing concerns of pharmacists about the PPD`s Capacity Improvement Programme (CIP).
Raj Nutan (NPA Head of Business Development) and Stephen Fishwick (NPA Head of External Relations) were hosted by PPD Managing Director Brian Alexander and his senior staff. The NPA was given assurances that the new system for processing prescription payments is now running more smoothly, after a difficult start. The NPA delegation was shown the Prescription Pricing Helpdesk where the majority of contractors` telephone queries are dealt with and how the PPD responds to customer queries.
Stephen Fishwick said:
"We saw for ourselves that the new system includes human as well as automatic accuracy checks. Nevertheless, no system is infallible and the PPD, as well as pharmacists, must be vigilant in ensuring that mistakes are kept to a minimum. What`s more, when pharmacists query payments, they have a right to expect an efficient and full response. Brian Alexander undertook at the meeting that he will personally review whether this part of the process may be made more transparent. We look forward to further dialogue on this matter."
The PPD is running a series of open days in Newcastle - 23 September, 21 October and 25 November 2008 - for customers to see how prescriptions are processed. See http://www.ppa.org.uk for details.
Meanwhile, NPA members are encouraged to continue to feed in their experiences of the CIP to firstname.lastname@example.org. This feedback helps the NPA to represent accurately the concerns of our members.