New plan for Health MOTs: National Pharmacy Association response

NHS England has announced that there will be ‘Health MOTs’ at NHS vaccination services, pharmacies and clinics this autumn

The NHS will offer a range of targeted tests including blood pressure, heart rhythm and cholesterol checks when people drop in for top-up Covid jabs or flu vaccinations. Further details are awaited. NPA chief executive, Mark Lyonette, said: “We don’t yet have the details, but it makes sense for pharmacies to be part of any new initiatives to monitor heart health and cholesterol, given how accessible they are and their proven track record in preventative care. “It looks like a chance to identify underlying health problems which may have been missed during the coronavirus lockdown, and highlights the important role pharmacies will have in the nation’s post-pandemic reset. “We hope it’s not a one-off scheme limited to a select few pharmacies, but something that can be scaled to turbo-charge access to cardiac support through community pharmacy. “Given the magnificent contribution of pharmacies throughout the coronavirus pandemic, it’s natural that they should be seen as a solution in other areas of prevention and public health too.” The announcement was made by NHS England’s Chief Operating Officer, Amanda Pritchard, at the NHS Confederation conference this week.…

Job security during the pandemic: working in community pharmacy as a kickstarter

Since the government began its Kickstart Scheme back in September 2020 community pharmacies have been stepping up to fill as many work placements as they can.

  The backdrop before the launch of Kickstart was grim – the nation faced one of the worst unemployment rates in history and many sectors faced a workforce shortage due to staff having to self-isolate as a result of Covid-19. While the Chancellor’s furlough scheme was trying to keep workers afloat, the Kickstart Scheme became a means to enable young people, at risk of long term unemployment, get on the job ladder. Guided by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and recruitment agency Reed, hundreds of young Kickstarters are working in community pharmacies across the country with many more waiting to start. Victoria Duricic-Moutrey is just one of those. The 23-year-old, who is currently doing a placement at Clarke Pharmacy in South-West London, finished a degree in Biomedical Science in Chester last year before moving to the capital. “I’ve been trying to apply for jobs for five months and it was impossible,” she says. “I was applying for lab assistant jobs because that’s what I wanted to do but for some reason it’s so difficult to even land an interview.” Victoria applied for the kickstart scheme via her university. “They asked if there was anything else I’d be interested in doing for the mean time because I’ve been getting nowhere with applying for lab assistant jobs,” she explains.” “So I said anything science based would be good.…

Mayor of London in awe of community pharmacy

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has described community pharmacy teams as “unsung heroes” during the pandemic and said it was in the interests of government to inject more funding into the sector.

The comments were made during a In Conversation with Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London event organised by the Asian Media Group and Eastern Eye newspaper on Thursday (29 April). NPA chief executive, Mark Lyonette asked the Mayor, “Would the Mayor like to take this opportunity to thank the capital’s 1800 community pharmacy teams for staying open throughout the pandemic, thereby keeping the wheels on the NHS and maintaining access to advice, medicines and vaccines?” Mr Khan responded that he was “in awe and grateful for our pharmacy teams across London” and described them as “unsung heroes.” “I’ve been to pharmacies in many occasions over the last few weeks and months, not least receiving my flu jab. I have asthma so I go to a pharmacy regularly. Many people couldn’t go see their GP, they couldn’t get an appointment they didn’t have the confidence to use technology. The human beings that were available, that were the experts, were pharmacists. “I’m so in awe and grateful of pharmacies across our city. Many of them are small independent family businesses and they have shown the public how brilliant they are.” Jignesh Patel, from Rohpharm pharmacy in Newham, asked the Mayor about pharmacy funding. The Mayor responded that there is a strong economic case for investment in pharmacies and that London needs a strong network of pharmacies to help handle the next pandemic, when it comes.…

Mark Lyonette, NPA CE writes to Leaders of main Scottish political parties before the Scottish Parliamentary elections on 6th May


Mark Lyonette, NPA CE wrote to Nicola Sturgeon, Leader for the SNP, Douglas Ross, Scottish Leader for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and Anas Sarwar, Leader of Scottish Labour to highlight areas of their party manifesto with potential impact on the network of community pharmacies across Scotland

  Parliamentary elections are an ideal time to engage with national and local politicians to increase their understanding of independent community pharmacy, hold them to account to the claims in each party manifesto and highlight future Government potential impact on the network of community pharmacies in Scotland. Pre election candidates and newly elected parliamentary members are generally keen to demonstrate responsiveness to their constituents. The NPA have written to the leaders of the main Scottish political parties to highlight the manifesto statements and key asks for community pharmacy aligned to the Community Pharmacy Scotland manifesto. Read the NPA letter to Nicola Sturgeon, Leader of the Scottish National Party Read the NPA letter to Douglas Ross, Leader of Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Read the NPA letter to Anas Sarwar, Leader of Scottish Labour Party Please also consider contacting your local election candidates or newly elected MSPs to ensure community pharmacy is continued to be supported and developed in future Scottish governments. Inviting candidates or newly elected constituents to visit you in your pharmacy gives them a great photo opportunity of engagement in their constituency and enables them to understand how your team are a vital asset to patients and the NHS.…

Natural justice demands repayment of Covid costs, says NPA, as annual contract negotiations begin

  The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee announced today that formal tripartite negotiations on the arrangements for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) in 2021/22 have begun. They also confirmed that there is still no resolution on the extra costs borne by pharmacies in England to operate during the pandemic. NPA chair, Andrew Lane, said: “It is massively disappointing that pharmacies are still waiting for a resolution on Covid costs. The Prime Minister’s warm words about the heroics of pharmacy teams during the pandemic will sound very hollow unless he keeps his promise to reimburse pharmacies for the costs they have incurred to keep vital services running. “Community pharmacies have kept their side of the bargain – staying open to keep people well, save lives and help the country out of lockdown.  In so serving the nation, pharmacies have incurred considerable extra costs that natural justice demands to be repaid. “The NHS would not have been able to cope over the past 12 months without an accessible network of pharmacies near to where people live, work and shop. “We need this sorted quickly, to avoid a collapse in morale and the acceleration of pharmacy closures.” The negotiations announced today are between PSNC and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I).  …

NPA reaches 100 years milestone

One hundred years ago this week, the National Pharmacy Association held its first board meeting at the Hearts of Oak Friendly Society in Euston Road, London.

To mark the NPA’s centenary, MPs have offered their congratulations in the form of a parliamentary Early Day Motion. A celebratory webinar, due to take place on Wednesday evening, was postponed in light of the official week-long period of mourning for the death of Prince Philip. That event will instead take place on Wednesday 28 April (registration is at www.npa.co.uk/news-and-events/events/celebrating-100-years). The parliamentary motion, tabled by Scottish Nationalist MP, Dr Lisa Cameron, and co-signed by MPs from parties across the House of Commons, reads: That this House congratulates the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) as it celebrates 100 years of serving community pharmacies in the UK; notes that the NPA has helped its members through enormous change, including the formation of the NHS in 1948, the overhaul of medicines regulations in 1968, the massive expansion in the range of medicines available to patients and the establishment of new roles in public health, urgent care and managing long term conditions; recognises the vital contribution of pharmacies today, especially in the light of their work during the covid-19 pandemic; and looks forward to pharmacies playing an important role in the health, wellbeing and daily life of our communities in the years to come. The first board meeting in 1921 saw chairman John Deakin address the newly elected Executive Committee and outline the course that the new organisation (then called the Retail Pharmacists’ Union) should pursue.…

Pharmacy funding petition leaps to 89,000 following protests in key constituencies

Thousands more people have signed a petition calling on the government to recompense pharmacies for the extra costs they have incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, following protests by National Pharmacy Association members in the parliamentary constituency of chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Over 88,600 people have now signed the petition, up from approximately 50,000 three weeks ago when NPA members began campaigning in the constituencies of the Chancellor, Prime Minister, Health Secretary and other key ministers. The petition, launched in December and backed by grassroots campaigning organisation 38 Degrees, highlights that many independent pharmacies are in deficit and calls on the government to keep its promises to support the sector. NPA Chair, Andrew Lane, said: “Recent campaigning by NPA members in key constituencies has given fresh impetus to the petition. Patients and citizens are taking the opportunity to have their say on a matter of great significance to their daily lives – the viability of their local pharmacies and the future of vital NHS services.” The NPA is also asking pharmacists, their families and others working in and around the sector to sign the petition. Anyone wishing to do so should go to https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-our-local-pharmacies-2 The petition reads:   For months, pharmacy teams across the UK have been working without respite on the NHS frontline, playing a vital role in the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and helping reduce the pressure on GPs and A&Es. But the government hasn’t done enough to give community pharmacies the money they need to meet the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.…

Celebrating 100 years

We cordially invite you to join us, 100 years since the formation of the NPA, to celebrate our centenary.

The NPA was formed on the evening of the 14th April 1921. 100 years later, hear about a dramatic century for community pharmacy and a vision for the future of independent community pharmacy. Key learnings will be: 1. Learn about the key historical events in the history of the NPA and community pharmacy over the past 100 years 2. Understand how the profession that we see today was formed 3. Understand the challenges facing community pharmacy in 2021 4. Hear views on the opportunities for community pharmacy in the years and decades to come Register here…

MPs debate pharmacy and the impact of Covid-19

MPs discussed the impact of Covid-19 on community pharmacy and funding arrangements for the sector, during a House of Commons debate this week (Thursday 11 March).

Led by the chair of the All-Party Pharmacy Group, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, the debate drew on the findings of the December 2020 All-Party Pharmacy Group Covid-19 Inquiry Report which showed that many pre-existing challenges had been amplified by the pandemic. Seventeen MPs took part in the debate, including Pharmacy Minister Jo Churchill and her Labour Party opposite, Alex Norris. Jackie Doyle-Price and several others argued for a more secure financial footing for the community pharmacy sector. “My challenge is for DHSC and the NHS to properly look at how they can make sure pharmacies get a fair deal,” she said. Several MPs cited an Ernst and Young report commissioned by the NPA in 2020, which predicted that the average pharmacy will be making an annual loss of £43k by 2024, under current arrangements. Jo Churchill acknowledged that pharmacy teams have “worked unbelievably hard for the past year” and said she is “aware of concerns that current funding isn’t enough”. She continued, “We are still in discussions with the PSNC about the reimbursement of Covid-19 costs incurred by community pharmacy and I can reassure the house that the government will take a pragmatic approach.” Mark Lyonette, NPA Chief Executive said: “The level of parliamentary support for community pharmacy is at an all-time high, which is testament to the heroics of pharmacy teams during the pandemic as well as determined advocacy by NPA members and others.…

Serving the needs of a diverse community

Inclusive Pharmacy Practice Plan Pharmacists across England are being urged to join in with a new national plan for inclusive pharmacy practice. The plan sets out actions for pharmacy leaders and their teams at all levels and in all care settings to consider, including developing their understanding of the benefits of diverse teams and culturally competent healthcare service delivery; and ensuring the voices of colleagues from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds are fairly represented and equally heard in decision-making forums. Chief pharmaceutical officer Dr Keith Ridge, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Association of Pharmacy Technicians and 12 partner organisations including the NPA back the plan which was issued on 10 March.  The focus of the plan over the first four months is on addressing vaccine hesitancy and reducing health inequalities more broadly. A Joint National Statement of Principles on Inclusive Pharmacy Professional Practice underpins the plan. ‘Cultural competence’ in healthcare service delivery is a term we all need to become familiar with and understand. Most pharmacists may feel they already act in a culturally competent way, but there is much more that can be done. Put simply, cultural competence is the ability to interact with people from different cultures and respond to their health needs; and creating a working culture that recognises, respects, values and harnesses difference for the benefit of the organisation and individuals.…