Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) are the local representatives of community pharmacy owners. There are 70 in England. PSNC works closely with the LPCs to help them in their local service negotiations and to make the case for community pharmacy to commissioners and MPs.
Ruth Buchan, Chief Executive Officer, Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire
“Everyone at PSNC is really helpful. I know that I as Chief Officer am in touch with PSNC at least once a week, and other members of my team regularly ask for their guidance too. I have also found it useful to bounce ideas off various people.
We find it useful to be able to connect our contractors with PSNC resources such as those around the Quality Payments Scheme and on complicated regulatory matters like GDPR. It saves our LPC time, avoids duplication of work and helps with consistency across the country.
Other resources such as the MP visit guidance helps by demystifying the process a bit. All the template letters etc. are much appreciated in making contact with them.
I’m looking forward to PSNC doing more to facilitate collaborative working not only to stop LPCs reinventing the wheel but also to help with consistency in how things are done. Particularly with our work to engage with PCNs, it will become more important to learn from each other’s successes.”
Local pharmacy services
Developing local services is at the heart of what all LPCs do but this is becoming increasingly challenging as the landscape of local commissioners becomes ever more complicated. Pharmacies can now provide services that are funded by NHS England, local authorities (Councils), Clinical Commissioning Groups and more. In the future, the list of local stakeholders will expand further to include, for example, Primary Care Networks (PCNs).
PSNC works to support LPCs in this changing commissioning environment. As well as running face-to-face workshops to help LPCs navigate the local landscape, and to prepare bids and business cases, we send email updates to all LPC Members and have a range of guidance documents and resources for them. We have an LPC training programme and also offer webinars and facilitate an email chat group of LPC Chief Officers to help LPCs to learn from one another. The PSNC website hosts a wealth of information for LPCs including a Services Database which enables them to search for service examples from across the country.
The PSNC website also has information written specifically for commissioners so that LPCs have somewhere to direct local contacts to. Around a thousand of these commissioning contacts received nine pharmacy service-related email updates directly from PSNC in 2018/19.
3 out of 4
LPCs use PSNC’s LPC website template
LPC members receive our LPC email newsletters
LPC training events were hosted by PSNC
services were listed on the PSNC Services Database
PSNC-LPC COLLABORATION CASE STUDY: WELLBEING WORKSHOPS
Community pharmacy owners were under immense financial pressure in 2018/19, with everyone in community pharmacies working flat out to ensure that patients got the medicines they needed and were offered the full range of NHS pharmaceutical services. Recognising the stress that some pharmacy contractors were under, PSNC wanted to work together with LPCs, who have closer contacts with local contractors, to offer some support for this. To that end, in 2018/19 we partnered with the charity Pharmacist Support to help LPCs to enhance the pastoral care that they can provide for community pharmacists. PSNC has arranged for the profession’s only independent charity to offer its ‘Wellbeing Workshops’ free of charge to LPCs who can host these events for their local pharmacists.
It is vital that LPCs can communicate effectively with the pharmacy owners they represent and PSNC helps them to do this by providing template communications policies and other resources. Throughout 2018/19, we provided ongoing assistance to the three out of four LPCs who have taken up our offer of a free website template, as well as advising on sending email newsletters and using social media.
PSNC also creates briefings, leaflets and infographics to help LPCs to promote community pharmacy more widely. During 2018/19 we published a range of resources including an updated guide to hosting MP visits; and, with input from Hertfordshire LPC, a new template communications strategy to help LPCs to think about their target audiences and the best ways of reaching them.
PSNC helps LPCs with their back-office functions in a number of ways. In August we launched a series of HR support packages for LPCs. We also provided an LPC self-evaluation assessment dashboard so that LPCs could check and rate their performance. Alongside this we offered template job descriptions for some of the key LPC roles.
In response to significant demand, we held training days for LPCs on the NHS regulations and other legislation impacting on community pharmacy in 2018/19. These were supplemented by regularly updating our guidance and providing support to LPCs in relation to specific cases.
While PSNC gave general ad-hoc guidance on many areas of LPC business and administration in 2018/19, we also continued to work with a number of partners to provide business services to support LPC administration. These ongoing arrangements include offering insurance and business banking.
In 2018/19, PSNC produced briefings for LPCs on of a range of national healthcare topics that are relevant to their work. These included summaries of the NHS mandate, the Government’s ‘Prevention is better than cure’ vision, the NHS Long Term Plan, the NHS Operational and Contracting Guidance, and the GP Contract. We also provided more in-depth guidance on PCNs which will bring transformative change to the whole of primary care in the coming years.
PSNC-LPC COLLABORATION CASE STUDY: FLU VACCINATION SUPPORT
Each year PSNC and the LPCs work together to help pharmacies to make the Community Pharmacy Flu Vaccination Advanced Service a success. PSNC’s role includes finalising the service specifications with NHS England; providing public-facing communications materials for pharmacies; and issuing guidance for pharmacy contractors. Many LPCs make use of and supplement these resources, for instance funding local advertising campaigns and running contractor training events.
This year more than 1,700 people accessed PSNC’s Flu Vaccination Advanced Service webinar. More than 1.4 million flu vaccinations were administered by pharmacy teams in 2018/19. This is a phenomenal achievement of which the entire sector should rightly be proud.