Committee strategy discussions informed by pharmacy owners at September Meeting

Community Pharmacy England met in London for a full Committee Meeting on 13th and 14th September 2023. Committee Members spent time considering a response to the Government on the Primary Care Access Recovery Plan negotiations and laying the groundwork for the next Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) negotiations, informed by sector polling.

The packed two-day meeting agenda included action planning for the short, medium and longer-term. Discussing details of the pledged £645 million investment in community pharmacy continued to be top of the urgent issues. Committee Members considered how they wanted to proceed, expressing once again a desire to move things along as swiftly as possible.

As part of our commitment to working more closely with pharmacy owners, we sought input from the sector ahead of the September Meeting. The results were instrumental in helping shape our asks for the 2024/25 CPCF negotiations, which will include demanding an uplift to the baseline contract sum, new funding for increased volumes of existed services and an uplift to allowed medicines margin. The Communications and Public Affairs Team has already been using the opinion polling conducted for July’s Meeting in MP briefings and national press comments, and plans to do the same with September’s. The latest on pressures were also reported back to the sector in the Pharmacy Owner Engagement Event held shortly after the September Committee Meeting. See the results of the opinion polling below:

Briefing 027/23: What pharmacy owners told us in September 2023

Turning to the longer term, a timeline was set out for the development of a strategy for Community Pharmacy England, to be led by a working group of Committee Members. As a launching off point, the Committee reviewed the current capability and performance of the organisation. The implications of the Vision for Community Pharmacy report by Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund were also considered, with a key focus placed on agreeing a roadmap for the future of community pharmacy with Government and NHS England. Read our full meeting summary below:

Briefing 028/23: Summary of September 2023 Committee Meeting

Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy England, said:

“The current negotiations around the £645m are our most pressing priority, but we are also now ushering in a very important period of longer-term strategic planning. Whilst it is essential that we get the additional funding promised to us flowing through to pharmacies as soon as possible, it is also critical that we start laying foundations for the next CPCF.

The Vision for Community Pharmacy that we commissioned from Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund has now come to fruition and we must now use this to engage with political decision-makers at the highest levels, to frame ambitious goals for our role in primary care and to build an investment case for the sector’s future sustainability. Our influencing work will continue to build political commitment to community pharmacy and its future potential well before we enter the negotiation room, where the mandate has already been set by the Treasury.”

Further agenda items

Continuing our work to strengthen representation, the Committee considered and approved a number of papers related to the ongoing governance review, implementing the Pharmacy Representation Review Steering Group (RSG) recommendations. These proposals were wide-ranging, looking at governance frameworks, code of conduct, scheme of delegation and subcommittee roles. The proposals had been drafted by an independent governance expert working closely with the Committee and a steering group of wider membership, including LPCs.

Committee Members also analysed NHS England’s plan for an independent economic review of the sector, exploring the key concerns identified and the potential risks of not participating. There was unanimous agreement to participate in the project, subject to concerns being addressed.

Meeting outputs

Outputs from September’s Committee Meeting are linked to below.

Briefing 027/23: What pharmacy owners told us in September 2023
This briefing outlines the results of the opinion polls conducted ahead of our September Committee Meeting, and how we are using the data.

Briefing 028/23: Summary of September 2023 Committee Meeting
This briefing provides more detail on the discussions our Committee had, including information from our subcommittee meetings and next steps.

Video: On-demand recording of our Pharmacy Owner Engagement Event
This video is a recording of our first ever national engagement event for pharmacy owners, held a few days after the September Committee Meeting.