November LPC Conference: Pandemic brings improved LPC stakeholder relationships

November LPC Conference: Pandemic brings improved LPC stakeholder relationships

November 19, 2020

LPCs have indicated that 2020 has brought improvements in their working relationships both with PSNC and with local stakeholders.

The November Meeting of LPCs and PSNC held earlier this week (17th November) gave LPC delegates an update on PSNC’s negotiations, information about progress on the next steps for the Wright review, and provided an opportunity to share learnings on topical issues such as the COVID-19 response and the Integrating NHS Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation (IPMO) programme. The virtual event was attended by 120 delegates representing 68 LPCs.

During the event, PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes also ran a series of ‘temperature check’ polls to hear about how this year and the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted on LPCs.

The responses showed that, despite a busier workload and continued challenges with Primary Care Network (PCN) engagement, LPCs do feel they are now benefitting from better stakeholder relationships – and particularly with PSNC.

Almost 90% of LPC delegates said they are busier than ever before or struggling to meet demand, and 7% currently felt overwhelmed – PSNC will follow up with those identified as struggling the most to see what further support we can offer.

But eight out of ten respondents said they had either built new or strengthened existing local stakeholder relationships during the pandemic, with more than two-thirds reporting that the PSNC-LPC working relationship had improved this year. Continuing to try to improve collaboration with LPCs will be a key focus for PSNC in 2021, supported by the appointment of a new Director of LPC and Contractor Support: James Wood, currently CEO of Community Pharmacy Surrey and Sussex, will take up the post in January.

Delegates at the November meeting also reflected on the challenges of COVID-19 and the end of the Brexit transition period, and they reported that there is still much to do to fully integrate community pharmacy into local NHS systems. In particular, 40% of delegates said their pharmacy PCN leads were struggling to make any progress, and almost 80% were concerned either that pharmacies will be blamed for supply problems when the UK leaves the European Union, or that Brexit combined with COVID-19 could be a ‘disaster’.

The results of these temperature check polls will help PSNC to prioritise its workstreams and work more closely with those LPCs who may need assistance.

Further information from the conferences, including slides from some of the presentations, will be available for LPCs shortly.

Polls results in full

Q1. 2020 has been a year of extraordinary challenges; how challenged is your LPC now?

We’ve never been busier, but we’re ok 52%
We’re too busy and struggling to meet demand 36%
We’re completely overwhelmed 7%
We’re coping well 5%


Q2. How worried are you about the impact of the UK’s exit from the European Union on pharmacy?

I’m concerned pharmacies will be blamed for supply problems 50%
Combined with COVID-19, this could be a disaster 29%
There will be some but not too many supply problems 17%
We don’t think it will have much impact 3%


Q3. How well would you say engagement with local Primary Care Networks is going?

Our PCN leads are struggling to make progress 40%
Some engagement but mostly pushback 32%
Mainly positive engagement but a little pushback 23%
Our pharmacy PCN Leads are well engaged 5%


Q4. How has COVID-19 affected your LPC’s local stakeholder relationships?

We’ve built new relationships which will help leverage in the future 40%
We’ve strengthened existing relationships 40%
Our relationships have not really changed 16%
Our relationships have suffered 5%


Q5. How do you currently feel about the PSNC-LPC working relationship?

It has improved in 2020 67%
It is about the same as last year 25%
It is worse than last year 5%
It is worse than ever before 3%

Disclaimer: Whilst all 120 delegates were given the opportunity to respond to these polls, some chose not to. Between 107 and 111 delegates responded to each of the five polls.

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