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The PSNC has said that a detailed further analysis is required to explore the benefits, practicalities, and potential consequences of the 33 recommendations on pharmacy contractor representation.

The pharmacy body in its statement last week also emphasized the need of the formation of a cross sector group to lead the work on those recommendations.

The recommendations are part of a report by the independent review into contractor support and representation.

The review, which the PSNC has initiated in 2019 working together with the Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs), concluded in summer 2020 with the publication of the report on the future working of the PSNC and LPCs.

The further work on the recommendations will need some upfront, seed funding to ensure that the right people are engaged and that professional help can be paid for to support any cross-sector group leading the work, the PSNC has opined.

“Once the shape of any such group, and its remit, have been established, PSNC believes the next steps should be co-funded by the PSNC and the LPCs (recognising that all of this is, ultimately, contractors’ money), possibly from any savings on travel and meeting costs made in 2020.

“PSNC is not yet taking a view on long term funding, as that will depend on the findings of the next stage of the review process. However, its view is that contractors should not be asked for any more money, and that there should be consistency in what levies contractors pay and what they get in return for that.”

The PSNC said the cross-sector group, with an independent chair, should be representative of all contractors, LPCs and the PSNC, with a strong focus on contractors.

Meanwhile, the PSNC is concerned that, as with any change process in any sector, there is the potential for discussions about change to become divisive: the outcome of the independent review must not be to increase divisions in the community pharmacy sector.

“PSNC recognises that hearing views from the large number of contractors will be a challenge and this will be an important job for the next stages of this process: we welcome attempts by others to start those conversations already,” the pharmacy body has said.

“While this will undoubtedly lead to some challenging conversations and decisions in the coming months, we look forward to working together towards changes that will benefit all community pharmacy contractors,” the PSNC concluded.

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