Chief Executive’s Blog: Turning a vision into reality

By Chief Executive Janet Morrison

Political party conference season is now in full swing and over the last week Community Pharmacy England has been at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. We hosted an event with influential MPs, charities, local councillors and patient advocates, and we have been talking to wider contacts such as think tanks and journalists. We’ll be doing the same at the upcoming Labour Conference, all to make sure that community pharmacy stays high up on the healthcare agenda.

With all eyes on the 2024 General Election and community pharmacies across the country still operating in crisis mode, this has been a critical moment to get our messages across loudly and clearly. As always, we have heard countless people talking positively about community pharmacy, and many are deeply concerned to hear about the critical situation that pharmacies are in. We will be continuing these conversations after Conference trying to leverage the wider support that the sector has in our work to influence Government and the NHS to shift things in pharmacy’s favour.

One of the key topics under discussion has been the independent vision report recently published by Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund, commissioned by Community Pharmacy England. Amongst those representing patients, and across local Government, that we have talked to, there has been widespread support for this direction of travel, as well as a recognition that pharmacies need more funding to do all that the vision sets out. The vision sets out what pharmacy can offer in terms that speak to Government and NHS objectives, as well as to those representing patients, and this is a good start in helping us to make the case for a better deal.

We’ll be building on these themes and discussing what the next steps are, including for our #PharmaciesOfTomorrow work, at the upcoming Pharmacy Show, where I hope many of you will be able to join us.

Get your free tickets to the Pharmacy Show today

Alastair Buxton, our Director of NHS Services, will be speaking as part of the panel session ‘What next? The future of community pharmacy’ in the Keynote Theatre on Sunday 15th October at 9.30am. And I will be interviewed in the same theatre on Monday 16th September at 2.15pm. You’ll also be able to see my colleagues and I elsewhere at our Pharmacy Show stand (details below), where we expect our plans for the next 12 months to be a key talking point. Please do come armed with your questions and comments for us.

With the next Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) negotiations around the corner and the sector on its knees, it has never been more important to re-set the funding dial, showcase our ambitions, and build support for what pharmacy can do, and this is what we’ll be continuing to work to do. As we set out in our recent annual report, this has been a pivotal year for community pharmacy with growing awareness and support for the sector growing across parliament and Whitehall. The additional funding for pharmacies for the sector through the Recovery Plan was a step in the right direction, and gives us a platform from which to build. Doing so, and improving the outlook for pharmacies, will remain our focus through the coming winter months.

Our presence at the Pharmacy Show

Community Pharmacy England will have a significant presence at this year’s Pharmacy Show on 15th and 16th October at the NEC Birmingham. As the largest gathering for pharmacy professionals in the UK, we are thrilled to be participating in key panel discussions and running a stand.

The two-day educational and networking event will be a great forum for our Executive Team and some of our Committee Members to talk to pharmacy owners, team members, and others working in pharmacy. Here’s a round-up of where we’ll be:

What next? The future of community pharmacy
Sunday 15th October, 9.30-10.20am, Keynote Theatre
Panel including Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services, Community Pharmacy England

My journey as a Pharmacy Technician with a legal background
Monday 16th October, 10.15-10.45am, Pharmacy Technician Theatre
Katrina Worthington, Regulations Officer, Community Pharmacy England

An interview with… Janet Morrison
Monday 16th October, 2.15-3pm, Keynote Theatre
Janet Morrison OBE, Chef Executive, Community Pharmacy England

How your LPC can help you
Monday 16th October, 2.55-3.25pm, Business Theatre
Panel including James Wood, Director of Member and LPC Support, Community Pharmacy England

Stand #J56
Throughout the event, Main Hall 4, near the Keynote and Clinical Theatres
Executive Team, Committee Members and other staff from Community Pharmacy England

We are delighted to be part of the Pharmacy Show this year and look forward to seeing you there – get your free tickets today.