News Archive

19th February 2021

RSG is looking for Programme Management Expertise

The RSG is looking to engage an experienced programme manager or consultant on an immediate basis to work with the RSG to support steering forward this change programme. They will contracted through PSNC and managed by the Director of Contractor Support and LPC to:

  1. Further refine and describe the project scope, building on the outputs from the RSG assessment of recommendations, issues and defining principles
  2. Build a critical path, timetable and programme plan for agreement with RSG
  3. Refine the programme structure, including resource requirements and the detailed funding requirements from PSNC, LPCs, or (although unlikely) any other sources
  4. Facilitation, engagement and alignment of stakeholders on steps 1-3 above, working with RSG communications consultant (who has already been appointed)
  5. Develop a delivery plan and outline milestones to track progress
  6. Describe how programme oversight, accountability and assurance will be provided

A range of specialist expertise will be needed to take forward the work on the programme. This will need to be scoped and defined as part of developing the programme plan. For further information see:

11th November 2020

Independent Review Update: New Review Steering Group to take forward work on contractor support and representation

PSNC and LPCs have been working closely together since the publication of the findings of Professor David Wright’s independent review into contractor representation and support over the summer.

The review was commissioned to find ways for PSNC and the LPCs to work better together, with the ultimate goal of improving the service that we collectively give to contractors and strengthening the sector’s representation and negotiating position.

The outcome of the review was published over the summer and it resulted in 33 recommendations for the future of PSNC and the LPCs. You can read about the report and its findings here.

Since then, PSNC and LPCs have been discussing a way forward. It is clear that the recommendations need to be explored in more detail, particularly looking at the benefits they would bring, the feasibility of implementing them, and any associated costs.

The Review Steering Group

To take forward that exploratory work, PSNC last month proposed to LPCs the formation of a group, called the Review Steering Group (RSG).

Key points about the RSG include:

  • It will be made up of contractors to ensure fair representation of all groups of contractors;
  • Its role will be to explore Professor Wright’s recommendations in more detail and to come up with a workable proposal for the sector;
  • The Group will need to commission work to help it to do this – this will be through working and engagement groups made up of wider groups of people from across the sector, and possibly using external experts and consultants;
  • This work will be funded initially by PSNC, through savings made as a result of COVID-19 related travel restrictions; and
  • The Group will not be a decision-making body – it will be for all contractors to decide whether or not they want to accept whatever the RSG proposes to them.

The proposal for the RSG stresses the critical need for the group to fully engage contractors in the next steps of this work – the group will need a comprehensive communications plan, and we expect it to update contractors via webinars on a regular basis.

You can read more about the RSG here.

Next Steps

This week the majority of LPCs who have been in touch with PSNC have supported the proposal. This is good news, but it is also not surprising given the consensus that we have all previously reached.  Members of the RSG will now to be selected by AIM, CCA and the PSNC Regional and NPA Representatives.

Some LPCs raised valid questions about the RSG – both about how the RSG will carry out its work, and also about how members will be selected to it. In particular they were concerned about how independent contractors can apply to be on the RSG; about the timing of the process; about the need for transparency; and about how we can involve new faces in the process.

PSNC agrees that AIM, CCA and the Regional and NPA Representatives must seek to appoint RSG Members who will keep contractors at the heart of this work and who can reflect and represent the diversity of views and businesses within our sector. Their selection processes should be as fair and transparent as they can make them. As we hand the process over to them, we will once again stress these points.

Any independent contractor interested in being on the RSG should contact their PSNC Regional Representative this week.

PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes said:

“Community pharmacy contractors are doing everything they can to help their patients and local communities through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. It has never been more critical that LPCs and PSNC represent and support them in the best way possible.

We have been working since last year to find ways to improve the ways in which we work to get better outcomes for contractors. The formation of a steering group will be the next stage in that work and we hope it will kickstart a process that can really engage with all contractors and the wider sector, and lead to meaningful changes the benefit all pharmacy businesses.

The steering group will have much work to do to develop proposals and then to communicate those effectively to contractors for their decision. It will need to commission work through working groups and, possibly, external experts, and they will need to find ways to bring in the ideas of anyone in the sector who has them – perhaps through a Contractor Forum and other bodies

The RSG will have whatever support they need from PSNC in those efforts, including the provision of a Secretariat function. I look forward to seeing their proposals in due course.”

PSNC issues statement on future of pharmacy representation

28th August 2020

PSNC has today published a statement on the future of pharmacy contractor representation, reflecting on how best to start the process of addressing the findings of an independent review.

The independent review into contractor support and representation, which PSNC initiated in 2019 working together with LPCs, concluded in summer 2020 with the publication of a report setting out 33 recommendations for the future workings of PSNC and LPCs.

After agreeing that they recognised at least some of the issues identified and that there was merit in at least some of the recommendations, LPCs and PSNC have been considering some key questions on the next steps, and today’s statement outlines PSNC’s answers to these questions. We hope this will provide some transparency about our current thinking and also reassure contractors and LPCs that no decisions will be made without the broad consent of the sector.

The statement covers governance and funding for any possible next steps, and sets out some principles that PSNC believes should underpin the process. In particular, it makes clear that any next steps must be about bringing the community pharmacy sector together and ensuring that the whole spectrum of views are heard, listened to and acted upon. PSNC wants every contractor to have confidence that any changes to their representation and support structures will benefit the sector.

Whilst hearing views from the large number of contractors in the sector will be a challenge, it is an important part of the process. As a committee representing all contractors, PSNC is well placed to be at the heart of that process, but it must not, and will not seek to, dictate the outcomes.

PSNC looks forward to hearing views from LPCs and contractors on the way forward and to exploring this further at the LPC Conference in September and then working together towards changes that will benefit all community pharmacy contractors.

PSNC Statement: The Independent Review into Contractor Support and Representation

Contractors: have your say

There is still time for contractors to have their say on the future of pharmacy representation.

On 10th August PSNC held a webinar for contractors to set out some initial responses to the review team’s recommendations and talk through four questions that PSNC and LPCs are considering over the summer – we would be delighted to hear from community pharmacy contractors about these as well. To share views, contractors are advised to watch the on-demand webinar:

Click here to view an on-demand version of the webinar*

You can also click here to view the slide pack used in the webinar.

Please submit comments to no later than COP Monday 31st August.

*Please note, to watch the recording, you will need to register (or input the email address you registered with previously).