Commenting on today’s vote in favour of reform of pharmacy representation in England, National Pharmacy Association chief executive Mark Lyonette said:
“This result means that PSNC and LPCs can begin a process of reform, albeit modest, aimed at improving pharmacy representation at national and local level.
“It makes sense to us that the proposals for increased accountability and transparency are prioritised for immediate action. That would mean that implementation of the other proposed changes would then be subject to better scrutiny. The NPA has repeatedly called for improvements to the governance of PSNC and LPCs and some important aspects of our accountability agenda, for example publication of Key Performance Indicators, made it into the final package of reforms.
“Another important part of the process going forward should be for PSNC to prepare and publish a thorough business case for transferring resources from local to national; this is to give clarity over the outcomes that additional national resources will deliver.
“The vote demonstrates a general acceptance of the need to improve upon the current system of pharmacy representation in England. It would appear (from the published percentages) that independents and multiples alike have voted in favour of change.
“We want the reforms to proceed at pace so that contractors don’t have the frustration of watching pharmacy leaders look inwards for years more, when there’s an urgent need to engage NHS, government and patients instead. We need to move on from talking about RSG to talking about ICS and CPCF!
“At the NPA we will continue to play our part by listening to our members’ concerns during the implementation phase and helping them to hold PSNC to account. We’ll also continue to support LPCs engaging with local commissioners, especially given the new landscape of statutory integrated care systems.”
The Review Steering Group (RSG) announced on 22 June the results of the contractor vote on its proposals for the future of PSNC and the LPCs: Contractors representing a total of 7601 ODS Codes voted (68.3% of pharmacies in England). Of those contractors, a total of 6732 votes were in favour of the proposals (88.6% of votes cast). The ballot question was: Do you accept the proposals setting the direction for pharmacy representation?