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NPA view: All change as new board elected


NPA view: All change as new board elected

My term as NPA chair was eventful, coinciding as it did with a pivotal period in the history of our sector and, indeed, healthcare in this country, writes outgoing chair Andrew Lane.

The NPA has announced the results of its board elections. There are 14 board members who will govern the association over the next two years.

The composition of the board has changed substantially and we are saying hello to four new board members. 


Being on the NPA board provides a great opportunity to help shape the future of independent community pharmacy. I became an NPA board member because I was frustrated at decisions affecting my business and wanted to become involved in the shaping of these decisions.

Recognising that the board would be losing a lot of organisational memory in 2023 with five members standing down, three people have been co-opted to smooth our ongoing transformation. In March 2025, anyone who has served 12 years or more will be required to stand down.

One of the successes during my time as chair was the reimbursement of Covid costs borne by our members during the pandemic – something that we argued long and hard for. 

I well remember touring the then Prime Minister’s constituency on the NPA’s battle bus as part of our highly vocal campaign. It was only right that pharmacies which incurred considerable extra costs were – eventually – compensated.

We have also had the post-Brexit fallout in Northern Ireland to deal with. The recent Windsor Framework seems to address the main concerns we have expressed about medicines supplies to Northern Ireland, but given the complexities of political life there, we are not celebrating a done deal just yet.

During my period in office, we all became increasingly conscious of the significance of NHS reform in England, in particular the delegation of powers to local level. 

The Fuller Stocktake of primary care integration last year confirmed the direction of travel and integrated care boards are now accountable for £108bn of the £150bn made available annually by parliament for the NHS.

Meanwhile, the partnership approach taken by the NHS in Scotland and Wales over this period has enabled community pharmacists there to demonstrate their clinical skills and invest in services knowing they will be supported, to the great benefit of the population.

Huge challenges

There are huge challenges facing the new NPA board – and indeed the sector as a whole – not least the ongoing squeeze on funding. I am sure the NPA will continue to energetically pursue its enduring mission of supporting independent pharmacies to thrive professionally and commercially for the benefit of the patients they serve with such dedication.

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