Any reforms to LPCs and the PSNC must be agreed by a majority of independents, a majority of multiples and win the support of contractors as a whole, the National Pharmacy Association has said.
The NPA is calling for a ‘triple lock’ approval process to ensure that any changes to community pharmacy representation do not favour one set of contractors over another, arguing that "significant change needs a significant and unequivocal mandate".
In its suggestions for how the sector should proceed with professor David Wright’s recommendations on pharmacy representation, the NPA also said the PSNC should establish an independent ‘shadow governance board’ to take forward proposals.
The NPA said it broadly agrees with professor Wright’s 33 recommendations, but there is insufficient detail on how the proposed restructuring would ensure the “distinctive voice of independents” will be heard at local and national levels.
In response to PSNC chief Simon Dukes’ questions for stakeholders regarding the immediate next steps, the NPA said that any transitional process “should be funded through PSNC and LPCs rather than requesting further funds from contractors at this stage”.
The NPA also said the sector must be prepared to act: “We must maintain momentum, we cannot afford to spend years looking inwards if this means failing to reach out to the world around us: including commissioners, fellow healthcare prociders and patients.”
NPA chief executive Mark Lyonette commented: “The Wright review has highlighted the challenges that we face and we remain committed to supporting a process of change. We believe that through collaborative working there will be a solution that meets the needs of all parts of the contractor base.
“But the distinctive voice of independents must be heard and the new structure must work for everyone, big and small.”
The NPA’s announcement follows the revelation that the Company Chemists’ Association recently wrote to its nominated LPC representatives informing them they were expected to promote the interests of CCA member companies over and above those of their local contractor base in any discussions around the Wright review.