National Parliamentary work
National Parliamentary work
PSNC carries out a range of activities to ensure politicians recognise the value of community pharmacy and understand the benefits that an extended community pharmacy service could offer to patients and the NHS.
We work closely with LPCs and facilitate regular meetings with the other national pharmacy organisations to ensure that Parliamentary work and messages are coordinated wherever possible.
Here we describe the work being undertaken at a national level as well as the support given to LPCs to help promote community pharmacy to politicians locally.
PSNC's national work
The issues for which PSNC takes lead responsibility on behalf of contractors – remuneration, reimbursement and the development of NHS pharmaceutical services – are all ultimately influenced by politicians and policy makers. PSNC therefore works to maintain strong links with a broad range of individuals who can influence policy making, both at national and local level. Similarly, PSNC supports LPCs to undertake as much local political activity as possible.
PSNC briefs MPs and Peers, and their teams, on current issues within community pharmacy, working to ensure that community pharmacy is represented and supported in Westminster. This includes work ahead of debates, such as the recent one on pharmacy closures in the House of Lords. PSNC works with the other national pharmacy organisations to coordinate this activity wherever possible.
PSNC is one of the key supporters of the All-Party Pharmacy Group (see below) and regularly briefs members of the Group on current issues within community pharmacy.
PSNC works with public affairs agency Luther Pendragon to support our work in this area, including the administration for the All-Party Pharmacy Group and the development of national pharmacy campaigns.
The All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG)
All-Party Groups are established in Parliament by MPs and peers as a focus for their interest in a particular issue. All-Party Groups are not controlled by the party whips, and they normally comprise a wide range of parliamentarians from both Houses and various parties. Each Group must comprise a minimum number of parliamentarians from the government party and the official opposition. Each Group must elect its officers on an annual basis.
These and other requirements are laid down by the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, which recognises and regulates All-Party Groups.
Generally these Groups are formed to examine issues that are non-contentious in party political terms.
Many All-Party Groups receive administrative and executive support from outside organisations with an interest in the issues that the Groups were formed to examine. Each Group must lodge with the Commissioner for Standards a short ‘statement of purpose’ which sets out its remit.
The All-Party Pharmacy Group’s statement of purpose is “To raise awareness of the profession of pharmacy, and to promote pharmacists’ current and potential contribution to the health of the nation”. The APPG’s website details the Officers of the Group and provides access to meeting reports and other Group publications.
The All-Party Group is supported by the national organisations representing pharmacists and pharmacies, which also fund the executive and administrative assistance the Group receives. They are the Company Chemists Association, the National Pharmacy Association, PSNC and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
PSNC’s Communications Team has produced guidance and a range of resources to assist LPCs in engaging with local politicians.
Working with MPs
This page contains information and resources to help promote pharmacy services to local MPs.
Working with local authorities
This page contains information and resources to help promote pharmacy services to councillors and local authorities.
LPCs wanting to engage with other local service commissioners should visit our Working with commissioners page.
In addition to this, PSNC can offer one-to-one support to LPCs and community pharmacy teams. Anyone requiring further advice is encouraged to contact Zoe Long, Head of Communications and Public Affairs in the first instance.