Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions page. Here you’ll find answers to questions that we as an LPC are often asked as well as some useful information about the LPC and its function.
Q. What is the LPC’s role and function?
A. The LPC is the statutory local representative body of community pharmacy contractors in Birmingham. It is recognised by the NHS for this purpose.
The LPC represents contractors on all matters to do with the NHS Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework and associated Regulations (commonly referred to as “the contract”).
The LPC reflects and puts forward the professional views and aspirations of all pharmacy contractors engaged in the provision of NHS community pharmacy services in Birmingham, liaising and working with local NHS commissioning organisations, the Local Authority and other statutory and non-statutory bodies. It also works closely at a national level with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee which, in many ways, has the same range of responsibilities which it carries out nationally.
The LPC is involved in the negotiation of Local Enhanced Services for contractors (such as Services for Drug Misusers, Minor Ailments Schemes, Smoking Cessation Services and the Emergency Hormonal Contraception service). The LPC endeavours to negotiate the very best contract for all of the contractors which it represents, whilst recognising that the decision as to whether or not to take part in any service always remains with the individual contractor.
The work of the LPC is financed by statutory levies payable by all of the contractors which it represents, calculated in proportion to their main NHS prescription income (Net Ingredient Cost). The global amount of the statutory levy payable by Birmingham contractors is set periodically by the Committee and is kept under constant review to ensure cost-effectiveness.
Q. Tell me about the membership of the LPC
A. Under its’ Constitution (copies of which are available to contractors on request), Birmingham LPC has a membership of 15 contractors or their representatives.
There are 9 representatives of independent contractors who are elected by their fellow contractors, 1 member appointed by the Association of Independent Multiples (AIMp) and 5 members appointed by the Company Chemists Association (CCA).
The LPC’s term of office is four years with the next cycle due to commence on 1st April 2014.
The Committee elects a Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer on an annual basis.
Q. Tell me about the meetings of the Committee
A. The Committee meets monthly (except in August). The meetings are all-day meetings which are open to contractors (or their representatives) to attend as Observers. Meetings typically deal with a wide range of national and local matters affecting community pharmacy contractors. Policy matters, operational issues and the negotiation and development of new services for contractors feature on most of the monthly agendas. A small number of items may be deemed to be confidential due to their nature and observers would be asked to leave the meeting whilst such items are dealt with.
At most LPC meetings a variety of NHS colleagues and others may attend to discuss specific items of current business or make presentations on matters of interest affecting service delivery and development.
Dates of forthcoming meetings can be found elsewhere on this website and any contractor interested in attending should contact the LPC Secretary.
Q. How does the LPC meets its responsibilities for good corporate governance?
A. The Committee takes its responsibilities for good corporate governance very seriously. Independent scrutiny of the work of the Committee is provided by the Corporate Governance Officer, Dr M.H. Jepson. Dr Jepson attends all meetings of the Committee and has unrestricted access to documentation and records. There is a standing agenda item on Corporate Governance at every LPC meeting, allowing any matters to be raised and discussed. Dr Jepson provides a written quarterly report to the Committee and a written annual report to the Committee and contractors. The latter forms part of the Committee’s full Annual Report and is presented at the Annual General Meeting.
The Corporate Governance Officer’s role includes scrutiny of the work of the Officers and members and the investigation of complaints.
All LPC members and officers sign confidentiality agreements covering any information that may come into their possession during the course of the Committee’s work and also complete Declaration of Interest proformas recording their commercial and professional interests.