Chair of the Board, Andrew Lane, reports:
Two representatives of the Review Steering Group (RSG), which is taking forward work on the future of pharmacy representation in England, attended the NPA board meeting to describe progress to date.
We are grateful to Sue Killen (RSG Convenor) and James Wood (RSG Secretary) for engaging in a frank exchange of views and answering our questions candidly. It does appear that the RSG has accepted the NPA’s suggestion to commission specialist governance advice. However our concerns remain about the equity of the process and the potential to disenfranchise independents in future arrangements.
The Policy & Practice Committee heard that a number of NPA members have not yet received approval from the NHS BSA for their COVID costs claims, in particular regarding director costs. We are currently running a member survey to gather evidence of the extent of the issue and will advocate on behalf of members where appropriate. Having fought so hard to achieve a process for cost recovery, the NPA wants to see the correct funding reach our members’ bottom lines.
The Workforce Development Committee focused on independent prescribing, following a member survey which confirmed that a large proportion of the existing workforce are interested in becoming IPs. We are devising support for the legacy workforce accordingly.
NPA Wales Manager, Jon Rees, gave an upbeat assessment of the new contractual framework coming into force from April. It will see marked increases in service fees for community pharmacies in Wales.
Other topics for the board this month included, local NHS integration, pharmacy supervision, the locum workforce and a new NPA subscription option for individual pharmacists.