How members are the heart and soul of the NPA

07 Dec 2016

My role as Chairman of the NPA crystallises to one very simple core: putting our members at the centre of everything we do.

The NPA Board and executives build policies and work programmes on the rock of a member centred strategy; it is essential that we provide members with solutions that make their lives easier, but that has always got to be underpinned by models which support their bottom line and improve profitability- and I speak quite unashamedly about that. The oxygen of a pharmacy business is cash flow, and the threat that the government has imposed will starve that oxygen supply – a high risk to small businesses not integrated with wholesalers. However, through the hard times, the NPA will be there for members, and help is at the end of the phone across our departments to help your situation.

When a professional indemnity claim comes in, the person who picks up the phone is not a clerk or an assistant, it’s probably one of our team of solicitors who are there to help straight away. Their job is to reassure you, hold your hand, and guide you through the whole process.  Our press office will also help you to handle local and national media interest in serious incidents.

This is the kind of service and support the NPA can offer to members in a time of crisis. It’s not just about solving a financial claim; it’s about ensuring that that person’s professional credibility remains intact, their livelihood is preserved, and their professional status is respected and defended. This begins from the second that solicitor answers the phone.

Over recent times we have greatly expanded our range of business support – including CheckRx and Check34 a health and safety advisory team and private PGDs.

Superintendent updates from pharmacy services are there to support the professional side of the business, and to make sure that we’re giving you the best advice that’s out there. Our Pharmacy Services department receives a phenomenal 700 calls a day, and it’s been like that for decades. These are the things that we have to preserve and hold close to us, whilst also expanding our horizons and always innovating.

One of the best things about the NPA is that it is a non-profit organisation so it all comes back. Everything that you support here gets reinvested back, and you can see that across the Support Your Local Pharmacy campaign.

From my understanding we’re the only organisation in the country, in pharmacy, that will give that kind of support which is why we’ve been doing this since 1921. The NPA is totally unique, so insurance is a huge part of what we do, but what we’re also about is getting to the heart and representing you passionately , and you can see that from the campaign. We have taken the lead on this, defended the sector and we have done that because we believe in pharmacy. Pharmacists are hard working people, they have to spin a lot of plates and be on their feet for ten hours a day. A pharmacist never knows who is going to walk through the door in the next ten or fifteen minutes. Our members are working like that every single day. It’s scary to be in that space, working hard, and suddenly you find a government comes along to try and compromise that and take away that livelihood. It becomes personal.

Our organisation personalises a relationship between the NPA and that member- because each member is individual and special and because everyone on our board is an independent like you. This is why the vast majority of independents trust the NPA to represent, support and protect them.  It’s our privilege to do so.


Author:  Ian Strachan, NPA Chairman