Review Steering Group invites community pharmacy contractors and LPCs to engagement sessions

Review Steering Group invites community pharmacy contractors and LPCs to engagement sessions

February 16, 2021

The community pharmacy Review Steering Group (RSG), which is taking forward work following the independent review into contractor representation and support, has today announced two upcoming engagement events:

Community pharmacy contractors*: Contractors are invited to an online ‘Your Representation, Your Say’ engagement event on Tuesday 9th March at 7.30pm. Contactors can register for this online event via the RSG website.

LPC Chairs and Chief Officers: The RSG will run a session at PSNC’s meeting of LPCs on Wednesday 17th March.

At the ‘Your Representation, Your Say’ event hosted by RSG members, contractors will have a reminder of the key issues identified by the independent review, learn about the work of the RSG to date and next steps, and have the chance to ask questions about the RSG. The focus of this meeting is to give contractors the opportunity to put their views forward, to discuss how they want to be kept informed of the RSG’s work and to consider whether they would like to join an online contractors’ forum. Feedback from the meeting will shape how the RSG engages with contractors over the coming months.

LPC Chief Executives and employees will have the opportunity to hear from RSG members and put forward their views at the LPC Conference on Wednesday 17th March. This event will follow a similar format with an update from the RSG and a chance to ask questions.

An update on the RSG’s work

The RSG was set up following discussions between PSNC and the LPCs about how to take forward the findings of the independent review by Professor David Wright ‘Independent Review of Community Pharmacy Contractor Representation and Support: Providing best value for contractors‘. The Group’s role is to steer and commission a programme of work following that review. The Group will develop proposals to put to contractors, ensuring that those proposals take into account feasibility of delivery, cost, benefits to contractors and timescales. RSG members were appointed by AIM, CCA and independent representatives in November 2020.

The RSG has so far met twice: in December 2020 and in January 2021. Minutes from both meetings are available on the RSG website: Since its formation the group has adopted terms of reference that were proposed; launched the RSG website; held a workshop to start to inform the programme of work that will soon begin and agreed an expenses policy and other matters in relation to governance/ways of working. The RSG has also agreed to:

  • Appoint a programme manager who is expected to put together a critical path and timeline of what needs to be done and when in the upcoming transformation programme;
  • Develop a full communications and engagement plan, with one of the first steps being to hold the contractor engagement event; and
  • Meet monthly for the rest of 2021.

The RSG has begun to consider the work ahead and resourcing. The group has a significant amount of work to do and will need to commission experts in order to complete this. This programme plan will help to better inform the RSG about its funding needs, but at this stage the RSG anticipates that it will need further funding to sustain its work over the course of 2021/22. The RSG will contact LPCs about this in due course, but at the moment it anticipates asking them to match fund the £90,000 allocated to the RSG by PSNC in 2020/21.

PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes said:

“The RSG is doing important work to further explore the recommendations of the Wright review and to try to solve the issues highlighted by the review. Optimising contractor representation and support is becoming increasingly critical as pressures on community pharmacy contractors grow, negotiations become increasingly challenging and the NHS prepares for yet more organisational change. PSNC supported this important work with some initial funding last year and is pleased to see the RSG starting its contractor and LPC engagement programme – we look forward to hearing more at those events and again following the RSG’s appointment of a programme manager.”

*Please note that the contractor event is only open to community pharmacy contractors or their direct representatives. A recording of the event will be available after the event, but the live event is not open to LPC Members and employees other than if they are also contractors and wish to attend in that capacity. This is to ensure that the RSG hears the voice of contractors directly – LPCs will have the opportunity to talk to the RSG on March 17th.

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