PDA comment on Wright review of PSNC

The PDA have welcomed the publication of the review by Professor David Wright of the PSNC as we have long recognised the need for these structures to be updated. PDA believe that the review and subsequent debate presents a significant opportunity for better representation of community pharmacy in England.

Mon 6th July 2020 The PDA

As a four nation organisation the PDA is well aware that Pharmacy is increasingly divergent because health is a devolved matter across the UK nations.  It makes sense that the England equivalent of “Community Pharmacy Wales”, “Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland” and “Community Pharmacy Scotland” be called “Community Pharmacy England” as has been suggested. However the review is about far more than the name of the organisation and presents an opportunity for improvement that needs to be maximised for the benefit of the sector.

The professionals PDA represent are employed and contracted as locums and our members want their voice and interests to be considered in decisions that impact upon their sector.  The report suggests that the Pharmacists Defence Association become part of an advisory board and while we welcome this idea and look forward to how this is progressed, we believe the PSNC could still decide to go further and invite the independent voice of the profession onto the main board.  This was suggested in our submission to the review.

The PDA is uniquely positioned to represent the voice of pharmacists and believe the addition of that voice in negotiations with government on funding and the future of community pharmacy, would strengthen the sector’s negotiating position.

PSNC will now be debating and responding to the review recommendations and we look forward to seeing how this develops.

The PDA submission to the independent review said:

“…We believe that whilst it is a small but powerful number of pharmacy owners who are directly involved in agreeing any new community pharmacy services with the government, it will be the vast majority of the profession who are employee’s and locums who will actually be expected to deliver these at the coal face. We believe it would be better for all concerned it pharmacists felt more engaged in the process, had more of a vested interest in discussions and were satisfied they had a meaningful input to the process. We want employee and locum pharmacists to have a direct and influential voice within the PSNCs mechanisms to ensure that any new service models being discussed and agreed are grounded in the realities of true-life practice.

As a trade union with more than 30,000 employee and locum pharmacists we already provide a strong representative voice for this important cohort and increasingly, we support the work of many important committees. We are increasingly being recognised for collective bargaining by the employers; indeed, in 2019, we were formally recognised by Boots following a successful ballot of their pharmacist workforce.

We therefore suggest a further improvement to both the perception and operation of the PSNC. We ask that we should represent the employee and locum interest on the board of the PSNC. Last year we supported our members in more than 6,000 work related episodes and this provides us with an extraordinarily rich vein of experience and knowledge, which would be of great value to the whole sector, when applied in any policy and service developmental work. We believe that such a contribution would result in an improvement of the PSNCs operation thus helping to ensure that its structure is fit for the future.

PDA representation on the PSNC Board would reassure pharmacists that their voice is heard in the process. This would be a positive step bringing the profession closer together in what is a critical time for community pharmacy.”

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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