Manifesto for independent community

A project born from a major engagement exercise with members, looking at where the independent community pharmacy sector is now and identifying where it needs to be.

Following an extensive consultation, which gathered the views and opinions representing more than 2,500 independent pharmacies in NPA Membership, four key areas (consisting of 20 conditions for success) for further work were formulated.


These four key areas now form the framework for all of NPA’s forthcoming activities to represent and support independents:

1. Capability, culture and leadership – looking at leadership at all levels within the pharmacy, developing skills of the whole pharmacy team, embracing new technologies and promoting professional excellence and the need for a learning culture

2. The medicines supply chain – ensuring pharmacies get better information on what is happening in the supply chain and that the blame for any shortage is not unfairly laid at the door of any pharmacy. As well as rebalancing of the relationships in the supply chain such that pharmacies are empowered

3. Commissioning, Contracts and Funding – ensuring independents have a level playing field with each other and non pharmacy providers and ensuring funding needs to be more reliable and sustainable as well as giving a fair return for the services we provide

4. Red tape and time to care – focusing on how administrative and regulatory requirements can be streamlined to free pharmacists and staff to spend more time doing patient centered work

Download From Survive to Thrive: A Statement of the Needs and Aspirations of Independent Community Pharmacy for more information on the 20 conditions of success


Progress so far…

The NPA has vowed to report on its progress to members every 12 months.

You can track our progress by key area below or download our Manifesto one year in report.


Capability, culture and leadership – work completed so far…

  • Through Pharmacy Voice, we have established a new IT customer/ supplier forum to ensure that community pharmacy leads the direction of development of PMR systems
  • Continue to push for improvements in the IT environment, in particular to EPS
  • Continue to support the HLP project and seek to promote an environment which incentivises investment by pharmacy in this model
  • Supported the development of the Health+Pharmacy initiative in Northern Ireland
  • Continue to contribute to the Department of Health’s re-balancing programme to ensure that dispensing errors that are not associated with malice or gross negligence are not be subject to criminal sanctions. With our input, new legislation has been drafted and is about to enter the legislative process. We will push the Government to avoid any further delays in the legislative changes required before this new law can be enacted
  • Fully engaged with the Prescription for Excellence programme in Scotland, seeking to influence the direction of travel
  • Through Pharmacy Voice, we supported NHS England in launching ‘The earlier, the better’ campaign
  • Provided support for pharmacies in preparation for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
  • Developed new professional guidance for members on eCigarettes and antibiotic stewardship
  • Expanded our suite of e-learning modules to help our members ensure staff have the skills needed for their evolving roles. These training modules can also be used to demonstrate to GPhC inspectors that staff have up-to-date training
  • Launched a suite of scratch cards to help pharmacy teams engage with people around potentially embarrassing conversations
  • Due to re-launch resources to support independent community pharmacy communications with GPs


The medicines supply chain – work completed so far…

  • Published the medicines supply chain toolkit, to equip NPA members to confront medicine supply problems affecting their pharmacy
  • Publish weekly shortages list so that members have the most up-to-date information on problems in the supply chain
  • Worked with representatives of wholesalers and manufacturers to get better information on medicine shortages to pharmacies at the time of ordering (including the reason for non-supply and time to resolution)
  • Through our membership of the pan-European pharmacy trade body (the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union) we were instrumental in the establishment of a new working group of pharmacy, wholesale and manufacturing representatives to try and improve supply chain communication and reduce the impact of what is often a global medicines supply problem
  • Published wholesaler service standards for consultation
  • Set to develop a platform for independents to share with each other experiences of good and poor practice by suppliers


Commissioning, contracting and funding – work completed so far…

  • Through Pharmacy Voice we have been lobbying for regulatory changes to stop prescription direction. We will be pushing for new regulations to tackle this unacceptable activity
  • Published the “Level playing field” toolkit to help members counter prescription direction at a local level
  • In Wales, we worked to defend members against cross-border competition involving prescription direction, and are working with the Welsh Government to seek changes to regulations to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future
  • We have been working with NHS Wales prescription pricing to increase the transparency of prescription payments information available to our members
  • Led the challenge to the Government’s exclusion of community pharmacy from the new Employment Allowance and secured community pharmacy’s inclusion in this £2,000 per year per company tax rebate.
  • Continue to work directly through our nominees on PSNC and through Pharmacy Voice to seek ways to avoid dispensing at a loss.
  • Successfully bid for money to train health champions in member pharmacies
  • Expanded our range of training to help members ensure they and their staff have the skills they need to do their job in the current challenging environment
  • Updated our package of PGD services, to help our members broaden their clinical service offering.


Red tape and time to care – work completed so far…

  • Launched Red tape and time to care toolkit highlighting resources to help deal with regulatory and administrative demands and release more time to care
  • Supported members on the new GPhC inspection regime – continuing to feedback to the GPhC and influence the development of the new inspection regime during the testing phase
  • New activity planners have been developed to help members manage administrative tasks.
  • Produced new resources to help members efficiently update themselves on legal and practical elements of pharmacy practice
  • Worked with Pharmacy Voice to provide templates to help members meet their requirement to undertake a practice audit
  • Worked with NHS Wales to create a landing page which makes its simpler for members to navigate NHS websites.