Important statement around the NPAs position on Supervision

The NPA has been made aware by a number of members that there has been misinformation shared surrounding our position and views within the Pharmacy Supervision Practice Group report released on Tuesday. We urge all members to take the opportunity to fully read the report. However, we wanted to share our input into this important process and highlight the key points that were fully agreed by all bodies that were involved in the process.

The process

The concept of Supervision pertaining to medicines supply has been a hot topic these past few years. Pharmacy Leaders have grappled with this concept including the DHSC who set up The Rebalancing Board under the Chair of Ken Jarrold. Also, at the same time, community pharmacy across the UK, witnessed an increase in the number of commissioned services. A number of these involved a private consultation with the pharmacist. Some employers expressed concern as this meant that the pharmacist was not in a position to directly intervene in the medicines supply, whilst they were in the consultation room.


Hence, the NPA and CCA began to scope and explore whether it was further guidance or a change in supervision legislation was required to ally such fears.


This scoping exercise involved conversations with the Pharmacy Regulators (GPhC & PSNI) and the four Chief Pharmaceutical Officers. It was suggested that the conversation continues with the whole profession, that is, employers and employees.


Hence, the Cross-sector Supervision group was formed consisting of the CCA, NPA, AIMP, PDA, RPS, APTUK & NI Pharmacy Forum. Dr Michael Twigg, Associate Professor of Primary Care Pharmacy, University of East Anglia and Head of Research Design and Evaluation, NHS Norfolk and Waveney, was asked in Autumn 2022 to Chair the group and facilitate discussions. Carolyn Ruston, Policy Director, Association of Optometrists was asked to provide the secretariat.


NPA members, of all sizes, were consulted through a variety of media, including member forum events, policy conversations, and one to one meetings. Your NPA representatives were Nick Kaye (Chair of the NPA) & Helga Mangion (NPA Policy Manager) and we ensured that we attended each meeting, as most bodies did, to ensure our members views were included within the discussions.


Discussions were positive, collaborative and focussed on a need to find solutions that centred on enhancing the patient experience, improving safety, enabling the community pharmacy workforce to maximise their skills and professional roles and promoting integration within the wider NHS. Discussions also strongly focussed upon the need for pharmacy teams to be available to deliver a new and exciting range of increasingly clinical services to include independent prescribing by pharmacists.


Key points:

The whole group identified that the physical presence of the pharmacist in the pharmacy was an important and defining element of community pharmacy to ensure the safe and effective operation of the pharmacy. Within this, the SP/RP should be able to delegate tasks to members of their team.

  1. Giving out a prescription
  2. Sale and Supply of medicines
  3. Dispensing and assembly of prescriptions

The DHSC, GPhC and PSNI will consult broadly on their interpretation of these recommendations and the implications for legislative and regulatory changes, and once this is launched you will be invited to debate this with us at a supervision webinar.

It is recommended that the report is read in its entirety If there are any points you would like to clarify please do get in touch.

We welcome your thoughts and encourage you to e-mail Helga at