PSNC is the only organisation that represents all NHS community pharmacy contractors in England. Our Committee of 31 of the most senior pharmacists in England meets regularly to oversee the work of the small Executive Team.
The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) represents all c.11,600 community pharmacies in England on NHS matters. We are recognised by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as the body that represents NHS pharmacy owners (known as contractors) and which negotiates their NHS contract with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England.
PSNC negotiates the contractual and financial terms for the provision of national NHS community pharmacy services. Our goal is to develop the NHS Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF), to enable community pharmacies to offer an increased range of high quality and fully funded services that meet the needs of their local communities and provide value and good health outcomes for the NHS and the public.
As well as negotiating these details, PSNC carries out a wide range of other tasks ranging from the provision of training and guidance to contractors and Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) to national representative and influencing work for the sector. PSNC’s funding comes through levies from LPCs (with LPCs collecting levies from contractors) and our annual income is small, relative to the amounts of money that we are negotiating for the sector, and given the important role that we have to carry out.
The PSNC Committee
The Committee comprises 31 senior community pharmacists, plus a non-executive chairman, and it met six times in 2018/19, as well as being in regular contact via technology over key issues. All PSNC Members have been either regionally elected or nominated to represent different parts of the community pharmacy sector.
- 13 independent contractors who are regionally elected to represent different English regions
- 12 pharmacists are nominated to represent the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA)
- 3 pharmacists are elected to represent the non-CCA multiples
- 2 pharmacists represent the National Pharmacy Association
- 1 contractor represents Community Pharmacy Wales
Although many PSNC decisions are made and much discussion had by the full Committee, six PSNC subcommittees also exist to examine specific community pharmacy issues in more detail: Funding and Contract; LPC and Contractor Support; Resource Development and Finance; Communications and Public Affairs; Legislation and Regulatory Affairs; and Service Development.
The work of these subcommittees includes advising on relevant policy issues and monitoring the performance of PSNC, and all subcommittees make recommendations to the main Committee. Subcommittee members are all members of PSNC.
Summaries of all PSNC’s meetings, including subcommittee meetings, are available on our website: psnc.org.uk/meetings
The PSNC Executive Team
PSNC employs just 30 people, making us one of the smaller pharmacy representative bodies, despite our important role. The team works across four Directorates: Pharmacy Funding, Regulation and Support, NHS Services, and Communications and Public Affairs.
Together these Directorates lead and carry out the full range of PSNC’s work as steered by the Committee and in accordance with an annual strategy, as well as providing the Secretariat function for the Committee.
Pharmacy teams have a positive impact on the communities they serve every day, but in recent times this has come at an increasing personal cost to their teams and owners as many pharmacies struggle with financial and capacity pressures. PSNC’s priority is, and always will be, getting the best possible outcome in Government negotiations for community pharmacies. All members of the Committee are owners or representatives of pharmacy businesses, and this need to find the best result or solution for pharmacies is at the heart of every decision they make. Committee Members provide valuable insight from pharmacy businesses which is at the heart of those decisions and also helps to inform and steer work the Executive Team are doing to support pharmacy teams.
PSNC works collaboratively with all partners, including the other national and international pharmacy organisations, HM Government and the NHS, and a range of external stakeholders who we think can strategically influence on pharmacy’s behalf, such as charities and Parliamentarians.
Our role as the only representative of all NHS community pharmacies means that we often act as the catalyst for collaboration within pharmacy at the national level, and we also work very closely with LPCs to support their role as the local NHS representative organisations who negotiate the commissioning of local pharmacy services.