CCA says it backs RSG proposals – but NPA gives little away
By Neil Trainis
The Company Chemists’ Association chief executive Malcolm Harrison has claimed that plans to reform the PSNC and local pharmaceutical committees “will deliver stronger governance, better representation nationally and locally and greater value for money for contractors".
Throwing his unequivocal support behind the proposals, which were published last week, Harrison was clear in his belief they will benefit contractors if pushed through.
He told Independent Community Pharmacist the proposals will also "deliver a better resourced PSNC to improve its negotiating capabilities” and in turn “secure better outcomes for the entire sector in the future".
“We recognise that the proposals represent a compromise position and mark the start of the next phase on the journey of change,” he said.
“We are working closely with our LPC representatives so they can fully understand the proposals and encourage all contractors to engage wholeheartedly with the upcoming process.”
Thirty-seven proposals were published by the review steering group overseeing the reforms, including a review of LPCs’ boundaries in line with emerging integrated care systems which could lead to a number of LPC mergers and an adjustment of the contractor levy split between LPCs and PSNC.
Proposal 'sketchy' says NPA
The RSG proposed increasing the contributions LPCs make to the PSNC by £1.5m a year starting in April 2024, an idea the National Pharmacy Association described as “sketchy.”
It said a vote for the proposals could deliver positive changes when it came to national negotiations but risked local representation because “LPC resources would be substantially depleted.”
The NPA, who were not represented on the RSG unlike the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) and the CCA, did not say if it would advise its members to vote one way or another. A spokesperson said it is gathering their views.
Similarly, AIMp did not say if it will campaign for a ‘no’ vote or if it is happy with the proposals. Chief executive Leyla Hannbeck told ICP: “We have recently had sight of the RSG proposals and we are currently considering the proposals in detail and consulting with our members to listen and hear their views before we are in a position to make a statement about the RSG vote.”