Pharmacy Challenges

An independent review to examine the roles and structures underpinning PSNC and the local pharmaceutical committees (LPCs) has moved into its second phase.

It’s chair, Professor David Wright, has asked all contractors and LPCs to express their views via two surveys which are being launched tomorrow.

The review team led by Professor Wright is seeking views on LPC and PSNC structures, support, representation, communication and governance.

The purpose of the review is to enable the infrastructure to capitalise on the changing nature of healthcare within England on behalf of pharmacy contractors, who can access the survey via this link which closes on February 29.


As the review team now focusses on listening to PSNC committee members and employees to obtain their perspective on the current system and how it can provide further value to contractors, the Secretary of the North East London LPC, Hemant Patel has accused PSNC of operating in a “secretive and undemocratic manner” in the way in which it agreed the new Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF).

The secrecy with which PSNC agreed the last CPCF is only matched by [the] Kremlin: Hemant Patel

In a hard-hitting letter to Professor David Wright sent earlier this month, Patel wrote: “The secrecy with which PSNC agreed the last CPCF is only matched by [the] Kremlin.”

He said without holding any consultations with the LPCs, the pharmacy contract negotiator (PSNC) would “change their constitution and regional boundaries.”


“Very different to the how BMA makes decisions,” he wrote. The British Medical Association (BMA), which represents the general practitioners in their contract negotiations with the government, recently voted to hold a special conference after its GP committee formally rejected the contract package and draft service specifications and called for a special conference of local medical committees.

Patel also asked Professor Wright to ensure that the review he is currently undertaking “must compare and contrast how the two professions’ negotiators treat the levy paying contractors” they represent.

The letter continued: “There is no presentation of the annual report and accounts to the LPCs. Again, this is very odd.

“LPCs are required to present annual accounts and report to the levy paying contractors. Some LPCs do not present their accounts to their levy paying contractors. This again should be unacceptable and change.”

He concluded by asking Prof Wright to take “democratic principles” into consideration by paying equal attention to both the “representative government (PSNC and LPCs) and the consent of the governed (pharmacy contractors).”

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