A new term of office for Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) in England began this weekend (Saturday 1st July). There are now 58 LPCs in England, and they will be known as Community Pharmacy <Local> to present a strengthened and unified identity to the local NHS, local government and other stakeholders, as the local voice of community pharmacy.
The number of LPCs has reduced from 69, with further consolidation expected by April 2024 to a network of 48 local organisations. The changes mean there will be better alignment between LPCs and the 42 NHS Integrated Care Systems in England, who have taken on the responsibility for commissioning pharmaceutical services delegated by NHS England. The Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) will continue to be negotiated at a national level by Community Pharmacy England, the Department for Health and Social Care, and NHS England.
This marks a significant milestone, as similar to Community Pharmacy England, LPCs have been undergoing changes to respond to the Review Steering Group (RSG) recommendations on pharmacy representation. The sector voted in favour of the RSG proposals in the summer of 2022, and since then progress has been made on many of the changes at both local and national level as part of the Transforming Pharmacy Representation (TAPR) Programme.
Over the last year, LPCs have considered the following and sought approval from pharmacy owners at a local level to:
Consider boundary and size, where possible more closely aligning with the local NHS;
Reduce LPC committee sizes to a range of 10-12 members whilst maintaining local proportional representation;
Meet the future Community Pharmacy England levy through efficiencies;
Adopt a new updated model constitution to strengthen governance and focus levy funded activity; and
Rebrand to be known as ‘Community Pharmacy <Local>’, where ‘local’ represents a description of an area or location.
Community Pharmacy England has supported the network of LPCs to undergo the changes, through the provision of facilitation, guidance, toolkits and the commissioning of standardised employment policies, procedures and advice.
One of the last things for LPCs to implement is the change to be known as ‘Community Pharmacy <Local>’ as the local voice of community pharmacy. To support this, Community Pharmacy England has developed a sibling brand identity for each Community Pharmacy Local to use freely, or they may choose to adopt their own. The sibling brand was developed with the help of a Task and Finish Group of LPC Chief Officers and Chairs which oversaw and fed into the design process.
James Wood, Director of Member and LPC Support at Community Pharmacy England, said:
“The move to Community Pharmacy <Local> is a great opportunity to build awareness, deepen engagement, and embrace consistency across England. We hope that the shared branding will play a valuable role in helping us to promote a ‘joined up’ image to the outside world, and serves as a visual reminder of the interdependencies between the local and national level.
“We have been working for some time to collaborate more closely with LPCs and strongly believe that we can be more powerful as a sector if we work together to champion community pharmacies. Further work on strengthening the bond between us is planned in 2023/24.”