You’ll be our anchor, First Minister of Wales tells NPA members

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, and Wales’ Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Andrew Evans were among guests to gather at Cardiff Castle on Monday to celebrate the centenary of the National Pharmacy Association.

Mark Drakeford told the assembled NPA members:  “The word ‘community’ in community pharmacy means something. As well as being an essential clinical resource, community pharmacy is an economic driver.  As we rebuild after the pandemic, you will be one of the anchors that help maintain the vitality of local high streets.” He praised the work of pharmacy teams during the pandemic, saying: “You have been on the frontline of the extraordinary experience we’ve all been through. Without you we wouldn’t have got through this together… that’s why there is support for community pharmacy across the political spectrum in Wales.” Making a formal toast, Andrew Evans said: “We have ambitions for a reinvented community pharmacy service – one that is thoroughly modern but built around the values and behaviours that are intrinsic to independent community pharmacy. The NPA and its members will have an invaluable role in that future.” Health & Social Services Minister, Eluned Morgan, told guests, via a recorded video message, that the lessons of the pandemic will “help us further develop the role of pharmacies” and promised ongoing support. She looked forward to “a positive agreement [with Community Pharmacy Wales] later this financial year, which will reflect our shared ambition that every community pharmacy in Wales will provide an extended range of services, available consistently across the country.”…

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.…

NPA members take funding campaign to ministers’ own backyards

Pharmacists in the constituencies of Treasury Ministers and Health Ministers today warned the government not to backtrack on promises to cover Covid-19 costs.

They are displaying posters and distributing leaflets, which warn that funding cuts and Covid costs have taken many pharmacies to the brink of closure. Meanwhile, the NPA has placed adverts in local newspapers and influential political websites, highlighting the £370m-plus Covid costs which the government has so far refused to reimburse pharmacies – despite a clear promise from the Prime Minister. Jonathan Cooper, owner of Coopers Chemists in the Richmond constituency of Chancellor Rishi Sunak in Yorkshire, is joining the protests. He said: “My pharmacy and many others like it have continued to see patients in the community while other parts of the health system could not offer this vital service. Had community pharmacies not worked so hard to keep their doors open during this national crisis, things would have been far worse. As a result we have incurred massive extra costs and the government needs to cover this as promised. We want to give a message to Mr Sunak: our door is open – please let us keep it that way by reversing these devastating cuts!” National Pharmacy Association chief executive Mark Lyonette said: “The government continues to drag its feet over offering proper financial assistance for pharmacies, so this latest campaign initiative brings the matter close to home for the decision makers, in their own constituencies.…

Citizens group petitions for COVID funding to save pharmacies from closure 

Grassroots campaigning organisation, 38 Degrees, is backing calls for the government to recompense pharmacies for the extra costs they have incurred by staying open to provide health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following discussions with the National Pharmacy Association, a 38 Degrees petition went live yesterday and has already gathered nearly 2000 signatures in 24 hours. It highlights that many independent pharmacies are now in deficit and calls on the government to keep its promises to support the sector. Cathy Warren, Campaign Manager at 38 Degrees, said: “Community pharmacies are a critically important part of our healthcare system. During the pandemic they’ve been a lifeline providing vital healthcare for people up and down the country. No one wants to see their local pharmacy close its doors because of a lack of financial support. That’s why thousands of members of the public are coming together to call on the government to give community pharmacies the cash injection they desperately need.” NPA Chair, Andrew Lane, said: “It’s great that such a high profile citizens group has taken this cause on, because it gives the general public an opportunity to have their say on a matter of importance to their daily lives and the lives of their loved-ones.  We also want pharmacists and many others working in and around the community pharmacy sector to sign the petition. This is a simple way to make your feelings known about how pharmacies should be supported.…

NPA and CCA promote community pharmacy careers in Scottish schools

A new support pack aimed at school children has been created in a bid to boost community pharmacy as a career choice in Scotland.

Produced by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA), Community Pharmacy – A career choice in Scotland includes a PowerPoint presentation, activity sheets, and further information on how to become part of the community pharmacy team in Scotland. All community pharmacy team members in Scotland can use the support pack, developed in consultation with school teachers, to provide support to schools directly by attending career events, or by signposting local schools to the resource. It describes the role of a community pharmacist, why it is a valuable career choice and how to find out more about becoming a community pharmacist. In addition to pharmacists, the resource highlights other community pharmacy roles including pharmacy technicians, pharmacy dispensers and healthcare assistants. Janice Oman, the NPA’s Country Manager in Scotland said: “We have created this resource because community pharmacy needs to continually attract the next generation into the workforce.  Despite all of the pressures of working in such a responsible job, a career in pharmacy gives you a chance to work with passionate, dedicated colleagues to help many people in a very direct way. The focus on patient welfare means pharmacy is a profession in which a variety of people skills are developed, extending far beyond a knowledge of medicines.”…

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The NPA has launched a guide to digital health Apps

The NPA has launched “A guide to digital health Apps”, or digital health tools, to assist members who are seeking a new and innovative ways of reaching a wider audience to improve the health of individuals.…

New free of charge data service for NPA members

An upcoming new data service aims to help NPA members understand their businesses better by benchmarking themselves against other pharmacies.

My Pharmacy Insights, which will be launched in September, is powered by Real World Analytics (RWA) and gives NPA members the opportunity to set and monitor business targets by comparing services and market share with other nearby pharmacies. NPA members who use the service get a regular report, giving them visibility of what is happening in the local area in relation to prescription item growth, local pharmacies and GP practices participation. It will also help them to monitor the trends in paid services. NPA members can use these reports to deliver against their KPIs and also identify areas for potential growth. All NPA members will get free access to a dashboard which outlines their total company and local area performance for KPIs. There’s also an opportunity to subscribe to a supplementary data service, the NPA’s Local Market Insights which includes more detailed analysis on other local pharmacies, GP practices and services, at a special price of £60 annually.​ Members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who already use an earlier version of the service, will find the latest provision, which provides better value, will replace the one they are currently using. Simon Tebbutt, Head of Member Relationships at the NPA said: “When there’s so much change and uncertainty in the world, the NPA is delighted to give our members access to a new service that will help them see their business more clearly.…

Prime Minister visits Ruislip pharmacy, discusses latest position

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited a pharmacy in his constituency today, to discuss the challenging situation on the pharmacy frontline, and what pharmacies can do to help get the NHS back on its feet in the wake of COVID-19.

Owner of Ruislip Manor Pharmacy and NPA member, Sanjay Doegar, who hosted the visit, said: “It’s great that Mr Johnson made time in his busy schedule to hear about the situation on the ground for community pharmacy. We talked about the work of pharmacies during the coronavirus pandemic, the flu season ahead and the need for long-term investment to unlock our sector’s potential”. NPA chief executive Mark Lyonette said: “In the last two months, NPA members have played host to the Health Secretary, the chief executive of the NHS and now also the Prime Minister.  It is really important that senior figures like this hear first-hand the experiences of frontline pharmacy teams, to give colour and authenticity to the representations made by pharmacy leaders nationally. Politicians are getting the consistent message that pharmacy teams are heroes on the health service frontline, and that more support is needed from government – to keep the doors open and for pharmacies to play a key role in Britain’s eventual recovery from the pandemic.” In June, Matt Hancock visited Market Chemist in central London and Simon Stevens went to Pavillion Pharmacy Brixton.…

NPA publishes “Stories from the NHS Frontline” to celebrate pharmacy heroes

The National Pharmacy Association is proud to announce the publication of an online collection of stories from pharmacy teams across the country that showcases the value and hard work of community pharmacy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Called ‘Stories from the NHS Frontline’, it appears at the nhsfrontline.com website https://nhsfrontline.com/coronavirus-stories-from-the-health-service-frontline/ The collection includes incidents where pharmacy teams have gone ‘above and beyond’ to support patients and their communities. There are also stories about communities rallying round to support their local pharmacy plus where pharmacy teams have innovated to respond to the challenges of coronavirus. Mark Lyonette, Chief Executive of the NPA, said: “There are many great stories in this compilation that really illustrate the heroic work that has been going on across the sector. “We wanted to create a public platform from which pharmacy teams can describe their experiences in their own words. Overall it makes for a very authentic and compelling story of service and resilience, about which everyone can be proud. “It’s something we’ll share with the media and policy makers, so that they are reminded of the huge contribution of pharmacy teams on the NHS frontline during the coronavirus crisis.” The NPA will keep Stories from the NHS Frontline updated. So you can still share your stories by emailing press@npa.co.uk or by filling on the form at nhsfrontline.com…