Engaging with MPs

Engaging with MPs

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.

If you are looking for information and resources to help promote pharmacy services to councillors and local authorities, please visit this page.

PSNC's work at a national level

One of the ways that PSNC promotes and supports the interests of community pharmacy contractors is by maintaining 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 on current issues within community pharmacy, particularly ahead of relevant debates. We work with the other national pharmacy organisations to coordinate this activity wherever possible.

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. Generally these Groups are formed to examine issues that are non-contentious in party political terms.

All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG)

The APPG is supported by the national organisations representing pharmacists and pharmacies, which also fund the executive and administrative assistance the Group receives. They are the PSNC, Company Chemists’ Association (CCA), the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

Statement of purpose: “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.

Latest guidance and resources

PSNC’s Communications and Public Affairs Team has developed a range of promotional materials for LPCs to use in their conversations with local MPs, as well as providing guidance on engaging with them.

Latest guidance (August 2020)

As community pharmacies work flat out amid the unprecedented demand brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, LPCs may receive queries from local MPs about what pharmacies are doing to support the local community. LPCs may also want to proactively brief their local MPs to demonstrate how pharmacies are working tirelessly in difficult circumstances.

Parliament is currently in recess for the summer, so MPs will be back in their constituencies for the next few weeks, which presents a good time for LPCs and contractors to get in touch. Some MPs are beginning to visit pharmacies again (in a socially distanced way and wearing face coverings) and some pharmacies may like to consider offering this. Otherwise, LPCs may prefer to offer a briefing by video conference, such as Zoom instead. 

Below is a template letter for LPCs to use to contact local MPs and invite them for a pharmacy visit or virtual briefing. If you need help identifying any of your local MPs then please refer to our mapping tool, which was developed by PSNC after the December 2019 General Election to help LPCs identify their new and returning MPs as easily as possible, and will be helpful if you are unsure of the MPs within your LPC area. 

Template Letter to MPs (August 2020)

The document below offers some guidance and tips to engage with MPs in either of these ways, as well as some key messages and asks to help inform your discussions.  

MP Engagement Guidance (August 2020)

Following a pharmacy visit, MPs may offer to collaborate on a local press release, and those who are briefed virtually may also offer to publish a supportive statement or release for their websites or local media. A template for either of these is available below.

Press Release/Supportive Statement for MPs (August 2020)

Past resources

MP Visit Guidance (February 2020)
This guidance document provides advice for LPCs looking to organise successful visits to community pharmacies for local Members of Parliament.

MPs by LPCs (December 2019)
This document maps MPs in England by LPC area. This was created after the December 2019 General Election and is designed to help LPCs identify their new and returning MPs as easily as possible.

Letter to MPs – LPC template
A template letter to help LPCs write to the MPs elected in their area (both new and returning).

Flyers, briefings and infographics

CPCF summary for external stakeholders
A summary of the five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) created to explain it for external audiences. These may be particularly useful for LPCs engaging with local healthcare organisations or other stakeholders.

Briefing for MPs: Community Pharmacy and the NHS Long Term Plan 
This briefing outlines where the NHS Long Term Plan mentioned community pharmacy. LPCs can use this during MP visits to discuss the Plan’s pledges for the sector.

Community Pharmacy: The Long Term Future of the NHS 
This briefing outlines where community pharmacy can contribute to the long-term future of the NHS. It was created in collaboration with the other national pharmacy organisations ahead of the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Community Pharmacy: Developing Services for the Future
This briefing outlines PSNC’s new service proposals. The briefing was created to explain the Care Plan to external stakeholders, and LPCs and pharmacy teams can use it during MP visits.

Community Pharmacy Care Plan: The Patient Journey
This infographic describes the support a patient could receive from their community pharmacy as part of the Care Plan.

Introducing the Universal Community Pharmacy Care Framework
This infographic describes the Care Framework, and can be used alongside the Care Plan materials.

Community pharmacies: helping patients and local communities during winter (and references)
This flyer was used by PSNC during a Parliamentary reception for the Pharmacy Winter campaign day, jointly organised with the other national pharmacy organisations. It has been shared here so that LPCs and pharmacy teams can use it during MP or local councillor visits.

Community Pharmacy: Did you know…?
This flyer was used by PSNC whilst meeting with target politicians and other key stakeholders at the 2017 political party conferences and has been shared so that LPCs and pharmacy teams can use it during MP visits. To print this flyer as a booklet, first save the file onto your computer then when you print, select the “Booklet” option under the settings.

Protecting local health services: using community pharmacy (and references)
Briefing originally intended for Parliamentary Candidates, however it could still be used to provide information for new and returning MPs. It details alternative ways that community pharmacy could save the NHS money, the current funding situation and the potential for pharmacy teams to do more. A references document provides more detail for those who are interested in the research behind the statistics.

Community Pharmacy Forward View infographic flyer (and references)
This flyer describes how implementing the Community Pharmacy Forward View (CPFV) can help the NHS to cope with the pressures it is currently facing.

Value of pharmacy infographic (and references)
This one-page infographic has been developed to help get across the key findings from the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on the value of pharmacy in a more easily digestible way.

Community Pharmacy Value flyer
This flyer highlights the value of community pharmacy. To print this flyer as a booklet, first save the file onto your computer then when you print, select the “Booklet” option under the settings.

PSNC can also offer support to LPCs and community pharmacy teams who are hosting MP visits. Anyone requiring further advice is encouraged to contact the PSNC Communications and Public Affairs Team on commsteam@psnc.org.uk

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