University of Leicester expert’s report fuels pharmacy industry improvements

A health expert from the University of Leicester is behind a raft of changes designed to help UK pharmacies improve their services for patients.

Professor of Health Services Research, David Wright, led an independent report that advocated a dramatic overhaul of community pharmacy contractor representation, in 2020. 

The Wright Report made 33 recommendations to improve the way England’s pharmacies could influence national policy, have strong collective governance and better bargaining power to secure greater funding from the Department of Health.

A total of 28 of the recommendations were voted through by community pharmacists consulted by the Pharmacy Representation Review Steering Group (RSG).

Prof Wright said: “Community pharmacies comprise giants like Boots, through to groups of several pharmacies and independent family owned businesses. Clearly there’s a big disparity between the size and power of them all, and there was a real need for the sector to come together and have a united front, for the benefit of all pharmacies.

“The recommendations should give English pharmacies the scope to make greater efficiencies and attract greater government funding, at a time when their services are in demand like never before.”

Recommendations included:

A significant increase in funding to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and local pharmaceutical committees (LPCs) 

Independent governance of LPCs and PSNC

A national vision and strategy for community pharmacy in England

Closer collaboration between PSNC and LPCs to remove any distance between them and place LPCs "at the centre of” negotiations with government

RSG’s secretary, James Wood, said: “In the long term, we hope our work will have contributed to helping the sector come together to tackle the very great challenge of persuading the NHS and government that we are a united, forward-looking sector, with much to offer, and deserving of further investment and support.”