To influence policy, pharmacy must have supporters. PSNC works closely with the other national pharmacy organisations to ensure that as many people as possible, from MPs to patient representatives, are advocates of the sector.
PSNC works in collaboration with the other national pharmacy bodies to engage with MPs and Peers across all political parties. This work includes writing briefing materials and meeting with MPs; drafting Parliamentary Questions; providing information for MP speeches and debates; and giving evidence to Parliamentary consultations and inquiries.
PSNC also helps LPCs to build relationships with MPs, and we co-sponsor the provision of a Secretariat function for the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG). This gives the MPs on the APPG the support they need to host meetings in Parliament and to raise issues of importance to the sector, helping to ensure that community pharmacy is well represented and has advocates in Parliament.
This influencing work has often resulted in Parliamentary support for community pharmacy, with some mentions in 2018/19 including:
“Community pharmacies play a vital role in our health service but we know they can do more and we are determined to see them do more to keep people healthy.”Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary
Health Questions, November 2018
“In my constituency of Mid Derbyshire, there is an amazing group of community pharmacies that are saving people going into hospital and getting them out quicker.”Pauline Latham, MP for Mid Derbyshire
Comment made in Parliament in November 2018
“@PSNCNews Pleasure to meet – in person and in mind. Positive mindset so welcome.”Steve Brine, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care
Comment made on Twitter, September 2018
PSNC also collaborated with the Pharmacy Minister Steve Brine and his team on Brexit planning providing support via the Community Pharmacy Brexit Forum which was much appreciated by Government at a crucial time, just ahead of pharmacy funding negotiations.
PSNC provides media comments to a wide range of national media outlets. Access to medicines was the biggest national media topic of 2018/19, following a letter drafted by Chief Executive Simon Dukes to the Chair of the Health Select Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston. PSNC featured across a number of media outlets on this topic including: Channel 5 News; the BBC website and local radio stations; The Daily Telegraph; The Guardian; and BBC Radio 5 Live’s ‘Wake Up to Money’ programme.
Wider influencing work
PSNC also works to collaborate with a range of other stakeholders including charities and patient representatives, and the national GP organisations. This work often involves meeting with charities and educating them about pharmacy services; contributing to newsletters; and providing briefing materials.
We also collaborate beyond England with pharmacy colleagues, holding quarterly Quad meetings with the community pharmacy negotiators in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. In 2018 the four negotiators also exhibited at the annual conference of the Royal College of General Practitioners. PSNC is also a member of the World Pharmacy Council, allowing the exchange of information and ideas with pharmacy colleagues from around the world.