PSNC elections postponed pending outcomes of independent review
Elections for PSNC’s 13 independent contractor Regional Representatives* have been postponed by one year and will now take place in time for April 2023.
This is to give time for the Review Steering Group (RSG) to complete its important work reviewing contractor representation and support including the structure of both PSNC and the LPCs.
PSNC has also advised LPCs who are following the PSNC four-yearly election cycle to consider postponing their elections until 2023, and we are offering support to LPCs to help them to do this.
The PSNC decision follows preliminary advice from the RSG that it hopes to propose changes for contractors to vote on by the end of this year.
The RSG will be working up its proposals over the coming months but is eventually expected to propose significant changes for PSNC and the LPCs, including options for change at a structural level, and hopes to move to implementation and roll out of changes in 2022, subject to contractor approval.
The Group is in the process of consulting on its draft high–level workplan and timeline and will confirm this in an event for the sector on Monday 14th June.
The proposal to postpone elections for a year was considered carefully by PSNC’s Review and Audit Panel and then the full PSNC Committee.
The key reasons for deciding to do so were:
- To avoid confusion if PSNC and LPC four-yearly elections clash in timing with contractor votes on major transformational change and the implementation of that change;
- To save PSNC, LPC and contractor time and effort on elections which may result in Members who are only in place for a short period of time if structural changes then happen; and
- To avoid taking emphasis and focus away from the important work on changes to contractor representation and support.
The decision means that existing elected members of PSNC will stay on for an extra year until 31 March 2023, with elections early that year: an amendment to PSNC’s Constitution (as agreed by the Committee at its meeting on 20 May 2021) will reflect this.
In order to delay their own elections LPCs will also need to make an amendment to their Constitution and this will require contractor ratification at a Special Meeting. To reduce the burden on contractors and LPCs, PSNC suggests that special meetings and voting be aligned with the Annual General Meetings (AGMs) of LPCs. Full guidance will be provided to help LPCs to arrange this.
*Please note: a replacement for the currently vacant PSNC East Midlands and South Yorkshire Regional Representative position is still being sought and this will go ahead as planned in the summer of 2021, with the new representative then in place until March 2023.
PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes said:
“For contractors it will remain business as usual from their PSNC representatives for the next 18 months: our existing Regional Representatives will continue their important work to engage with LPCs and contractors, and of course to drive work and policy-making at PSNC. Thank you to all our Regional Representatives for agreeing to keep doing this critical work for an additional year.
The Committee’s decision to postpone these elections shows how seriously they are taking the work of the RSG: contractors should read this as a clear signal that we are getting ready for change. We hope that LPCs will follow our lead on this and we look forward to working closely with them and the RSG to develop new models for contractor support and representation that better meet the needs of the pharmacy owners who we all collectively serve.”