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NPA splits from Pharmacy Voice

Ian Strachan: Independent sector must be able to "make its own voice heard"

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) will not fund Pharmacy Voice "beyond 2017", it has announced.

Next year will mark the end of the current three year agreement between the founding associations represented by Pharmacy Voice – the NPA, the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) and the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA).

The NPA has exclusively represented independent pharmacies since 2013 and merged with the Independent Pharmacy Federation last year.

NPA chairman Ian Strachan said this afternoon (December 13) that the split from Pharmacy Voice is intended to create a “simpler structure” for community pharmacy representation "that everyone inside and outside the sector can understand".

Mr Strachan stressed that the independent sector must be able to “make its own voice heard” and said England’s pharmacy leadership structure must be “fit for purpose”.

Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott said he is “disappointed” at the decision, but stressed that over the next year Pharmacy Voice’s team will "continue to work on behalf of the whole community pharmacy sector in England".

“We have an exciting and important programme of work planned for 2017, which will help get community pharmacy back on the front foot and demonstrate the sector’s continued commitment to innovation and partnership,” Mr Darracott added.

PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe said it is “understandable” for community pharmacy organisations to look at whether they should make changes so they can best represent their members' interests in the future. 

"PSNC is also in the process of reviewing its own structures," she added.

The full reasons for the NPA's decision can be read here.

What do you make of the split?

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe said it is “understandable” for community pharmacy organisations to look at whether they should make changes so they can best represent their members' interests in the future. 

so what changes will the PSNC be making....

b t, Manager

Dissolution ?

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Ian Strachan has done well with getting on regional and national TV news about pharmacy cuts. Community pharmacy may well need restructuring like any long term service, such as ASLEF with driver only operated trains. New roles have developed and community is only one aspect of pharmacy practice. And some phone calls I get from community pharmacy about processing a prescription as a prescriber makes the mind boggle. One even refered one to their GP for a pair of flight socks, so the new cohort of pharmacist cannot even make a decision about flight socks and lack clinical decision making skills , well better hold onto the all important attaching a ticket to a carton and don't dare trust a pharmacy technician with many years experience train a pre-reg tech..........jurassic park here we come.

A Hussain, Senior Management

Gerry I've had much dafter requests from GP's if I'm honest.  Doesn't make all GP's or the profession useless.

Practice pharmacists are good at what they do.  Can they do what the community pharmacist does?  Sniping from the sidelines isn't going to help our profession.

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

Gerry i assume most of your experience is in Hospital, where Prescribers effectively indicate what they think they want, and the Pharmacist picks the best option from formulary. In Community the practice is somewhat different, and while i cant understand flight socks, the options open to us are limited...

Perhaps some time spent explaining your thoughts and exploring The other Pharmacists reasoning might prevent recurrences instead of keeping quiet except to criticise? maybe you do all that already...

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

I've spent most of my 32 plus years mostly in communityfull time or part time. Several years as a teacher practitioner and part time in the nhs, tend to have had two jobs across sectors. The only thing limiting community pharmacy is lack of a will to make substantive change to how it's practiced.

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

Im not sure who you think hasnt got the will, but having attended ccg meetings, sat with practice managers and generally banged the drum for Pharmacy services only to be roundly ignored by anyone who can make the decision, i think you are being incredibly naive if you think its community pharmacy s fault...

Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

No Gerry, the limit is multiples and contractors and their private worship of money whilst publicly crying 'put the patient first'.

Yuna Mason, Sales

They don't give a single unified voice to pharmacy anyway. Pharmacy Voice represents business owners, not pharmacists. The multiples have different interests to independents too so they can't really be unified - NPA split makes sense if they're going to represent independents

Dave Downham, Manager

...that's assuming all the groups are wanting the same goals. If that were the case, there wouldn't be a separate NPA, AIMp and CCA to start off with. 

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

I thought the idea of them working together was to give a single unified voice to Pharmacy. This appears to be  retrograde step

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