This year marks the NPA’s 100th birthday. As well as commemorating the past, we will also be using our centenary year to think about the future.
To that end, we are consulting about our statement of ‘Core Beliefs’, asking whether it is fit for the present day and the decades ahead.
The purpose of such a statement is to give everyone with an interest in the future of independent community pharmacy (not just the NPA itself) a point of reference for all that they say or do in the sector’s name.
It’s nearly five years since the NPA first published a set of ‘core beliefs’ about the unique strengths of community pharmacy and the choices facing the sector.
Since then, developments in technology and health care practice and the enormous challenge of the coronavirus pandemic have given rise to new threats and opportunities and set new expectations of what pharmacies can deliver.
As valued NPA members, please tell us what you think about this list of core beliefs first published in 2017.
Community pharmacy works!
We have unique strengths and deliver immensely valuable benefits to patients, communities and the NHS. The network of local pharmacies must remain the beating heart of pharmaceutical care in the community.
Community pharmacy can do so much more
Our premises are conveniently located health & social care assets in neighbourhoods across the country. Our skilled people have the capability to do so much more if liberated to do so.
Community pharmacists are clinicians and our future is clinical
The best solution to improve access to primary care lies in liberating the clinical potential of all pharmacists, especially those available without appointment in community pharmacies right across the country.
Supply and service belong together
The link between supply and service is our history and our future. This link is a crucial element of the established, trusted service model of community pharmacy – namely convenient, face-to-face care from health care professionals, locally responsive and community based.
A pharmacy without a pharmacist is not really a pharmacy at all
The pharmacist herself or himself is central to the operations of a pharmacy, indeed to its very identity. Nonetheless, the delivery of excellent care is a team effort and convenient access to a team dedicated to pharmaceutical care is a key strength of community pharmacy.
Face to face care is vitally important
Even more in this age of increasing automation and digitalisation, the face to face relationship between health professionals and patients matters.
Change is inevitable and necessary – we are on a journey
Pharmacies must be progressive and modern, while at the same time being true to the historic values of pharmacy as a personal, caring profession. In particular, the sector must work to optimise the use of technology to strengthen pharmacy’s locally based service proposition.
There is a clear choice of future
There are two paths the sector can go down. One involves mass automation, centralised dispensing and pharmacists working predominantly from GP practices or remotely. The other sees community pharmacies better integrated with other services, operating efficiently as neighbourhood health and wellbeing centres and being a front door to the NHS. This second path is the only path built on solid foundations.