The Value of NPA services
11 Apr 2017
As Head of Marketing at the NPA my responsibility is to market and join up the services that the NPA provides and ensure that our members are very aware of what we offer, and also get good value from their investment in the association. I believe that it is important to make sure that the content that members receive is relevant and easy to access.
It is quite clear from the member feedback that I have seen that NPA members are amongst the best-supported community pharmacists out there, although we are happy to receive criticism and act upon it because continual improvement is our aim. The NPA’s role is to provide a high level of service and support while continuing to represent the sector and campaign on its behalf. When it comes to marketing, a local pharmacy has a network of their patients that they can contact and promote their services to. However producing marketing materials is something that the NPA can do for that pharmacy, giving them the opportunity to create an even stronger presence in the community.
If you look at analyses of which services our members value, it is heartening to see that services valued fall across the board of what we provide at the NPA. One that may be rated as best in class is our expert advice line. I can see how this is such an important service for independents, as it is a direct communication point to real-life pharmacists at our head office, who can help our members with the grey areas of decision making that they inevitably encounter on the pharmacy front line. There is an element of audit trail that goes with this; the member feels secure, confident and protected in going forward with giving advice and dispensing on the basis that the NPA has their back.
Although the NPA offers a great deal of representation, support and protection to members, there are some services that members may not even know exist. Part of the journey we are on is to increase our help to members is to make sure that all of that value and relevance is there in their everyday lives, and making sure that they know everything that we offer and where to find it. What members need now and what they will need in 10 years time could be very different, and it is up to the NPA and its members to move together and evolve. Not everything can be sorted out by an algorithm!
Indeed I believe that one of the NPA’s strengths, running through all of our services, is our connection to the real world lived by our members – a connection achieved by our long history in the sector, our total focus on your needs, and our constitution, which requires that our entire board is made up of community pharmacy owners – most of whom still practice regularly.
Author: Laura Sims, Head of Marketing, NPA