Decisive vote in favour of proposals to overhaul pharmacy representation
Community pharmacy contractors in England have voted decisively in favour of a set of proposals to overhaul representation within the sector.
The Wright Review Steering Group (RSG) announced this afternoon that 7,601 contractors had participated in the voting exercise, just passing the two-thirds threshold for a valid vote.
Of these, 6,732 (88.6 per cent) voted in favour of the proposed reforms, which are aimed at strengthening governance, driving alignment with the NHS, ensuring representatives have enough resources and fostering collaboration.
A key proposal involves redirecting 13 per cent of LPC levy payments towards the PSNC to give it more capacity to negotiate with Government and engage with contractors.
The RSG said: “The result of this vote shows: the sector is united in the way forward and wants to see positive changes to both local and national representation.
“We now look to PSNC and the LPCs to start making those changes – talking and listening to all contractors as they do. While we understand that not everything will be possible to implement overnight, this is important work and contractors will need to be assured that it will happen in good time and that this is just the beginning of a process of ongoing improvement and review.
“In the long term, we hope our work will have contributed to helping the sector to come together to tackle the very great challenge of persuading the NHS and Government that we are a united, forward-looking sector, with much to offer, and deserving of further investment and support.”
Commenting on the news, the National Pharmacy Association 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.”
The Company Chemists’ Association said: “The CCA welcomes the unequivocal endorsement that contractors have given the RSG proposals with this result. We thank the RSG for their hard work throughout to establish proposals that have consensus from across the sector.
“Overall, we think this result provides a strong mandate for change to deliver better outcomes for the entire sector.
“It’s now for PSNC and LPCs to work together to deliver the changes needed for stronger governance, improved representation, and better value for money for contractors. We look forward to supporting LPCs and PSNC as they embark on the next phase of this process.”