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Let’s all build on partnerships

Partnership is at the very heart of the thinking behind a new national conference, says the NPA’s head of communications Stephen Fishwick

Stephen Fishwick

The road to success is rarely one taken alone. That is why the vast majority of independent pharmacies choose to be members of the National Pharmacy Association. For nearly 100 years, we have brought community pharmacists together, to pool resources, learn from each other and move forwards together.

In tough times the sector needs to stick together to develop solutions that benefit everyone and underpin progress at scale. That’s why we’ve chosen Forwards in Partnership as the theme for our national conference in Manchester on June 20. The conference is a collaboration between the NPA and Pharmacy Magazine, so the idea of partnership is at the very heart of arrangements.

Partnership certainly must extend to working collaboratively with the NHS in pursuit of shared, patient-focused objectives, so we are delighted that Ed Waller, NHS England’s Director of Primary Care Strategy and NHS Contracts, has accepted the invitation to join us in Manchester. He will share with our members his perspective on community pharmacy now and in the future.

Health secretary Matt Hancock and Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer, Rose Marie Parr, have also been confirmed for the conference, as have leaders from other pharmacy bodies, plus patient representatives. All share an interest in developing community pharmacy as the front door to health – an indispensable component of the urgent care pathway – as well as a health and wellbeing hub and mainstay of support for people with long-term medical conditions.

The sector needs to stick together

Do you have a story about partnership that you would like to share with conference delegates? If so, we’d love to hear from you at independentsvoice@npa.co.uk. It could be about excellent team working within your pharmacy, innovative multidisciplinary care with fellow healthcare professionals, a partnership with patients – empowering people to get the best use from their medicines – a partnership with the NHS, local government or voluntary sector, or anything else that showcases working in partnership to meet the shared objective of a sustainable pharmacy sector that can deliver on the NHS Long Term Plan.

Positive relationship

Seema Kennedy, the MP for South Ribble in Lancashire, has been appointed minister with responsibility for pharmacy, replacing Steve Brine. The NPA developed a positive relationship with the former pharmacy minister and, in the same vein, we want to work in partnership with his successor, to make things better for pharmacists, patients and the NHS.

Finally, on the subject of partnership, may I draw attention to the NPA’s Business Partners Programme? There are now over 30 business partners, recommended by the NPA to support pharmacy owners with everything from digital marketing to financial services, human resources or air conditioning. There will be a chance to meet some of them at the conference – otherwise please take a look at our website for more information.

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