Fostering collaboration with national industry groups

Vicki Roberts, Pharmacy Affairs Manager for McKesson UK explains why it’s beneficial for our colleagues to have the opportunity to forge strong links with external bodies:

As part of a complex and diverse community pharmacy sector, it’s important that businesses engaged in the pharmacy sector work in partnership with external representative and trade organisations. Not only is this valuable for the businesses, it’s also significant for their colleagues from a professional, influencing and personal development point of view.

One organisation we have particularly strong links with is the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA), the trade association for large pharmacy operators in England, Scotland and Wales. Their vision is that everyone, everywhere, can benefit from world class healthcare and wellbeing services provided by their community pharmacy. This vision marries perfectly with McKesson UK’s drive to deliver better health and bring care closer to the patient.

As a member of the CCA, LloydsPharmacy has the opportunity to nominate representatives from our company to hold seats on Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs). An increasingly vital forum for community pharmacy contractors, LPCs are recognised by local NHS organisations and are consulted on matters affecting pharmacy contractors in their localities. We currently have almost 100 LloydsPharmacy reps participating in these committees across England.

I’m very proud to have recently been appointed Chair of the CCA’s Local Pharmaceutical Committee Support Group (LPC SG). It’s been a privilege to serve as a CCA LPC representative for four years now as I believe this kind of engagement can really make a difference in community pharmacy’s influence at a local level. Read my first blog as Chair here.

Another colleague involved in this work is Dane Stratton-Powell, Professional Support Manager for LloydsPharmacy. Dane is a CCA representative for Community Pharmacy Cheshire & Wirral LPC and Liverpool LPC. Read Dane’s comments on how he feels his LPC representative role has enhanced his career development with LloydsPharmacy, as well as providing him with a valuable voice outside the business.

In addition, several McKesson UK colleagues hold Chair and representative roles on CCA working groups covering areas such as professional practice, workforce development, communications and external relations, patient safety and pharmacy evolution.

I truly believe it’s a win-win situation for business, industry bodies and colleagues if we have the opportunity to collaborate and share best practice. The NHS Long Term Plan confirms that decisions about how healthcare is organised and funded will be made more locally, and that new Primary Care Networks (PCNs) will be a key stakeholder for the sector. So, clearly it’s important that community pharmacy can be part of the discussions that happen at a local level.