Use of the term ‘chemist’ is to be phased out in England and replaced with community pharmacy or pharmacist where ‘appropriate’, it has been announced.

This decision comes following the results of a sector vote in which an overwhelming majority of contractors voted in support of proposals aimed to reform representation and support provided by PSNC and LPCs to community pharmacies in England.

One of the of 37 proposals put forward by the Review Steering Group (RSG) was for PSNC and LPCs to remove the term ‘chemist’ in general communications where possible and replace with ‘Community pharmacy or pharmacist’ as appropriate.’

This will not impact the way in which the Government refers to pharmacists in primary legislation ‘at present’, a spokesperson from the RSG told The Pharmacist.

According to the RSG, 68.3% of the sector took part in the vote, and 88.6% of those voted in support of the RSG’s proposals.

Other proposals suggested by the RSG included renaming PSNC committee and executive to ‘Community Pharmacy England (CPE)’ and to ‘reduce variation between LPCs, improve their efficiency and focus their activities’.

In response to the results, Janet Morrison, PSNC chief executive, said she was ‘excited’ about taking forward the proposals for change.

‘It is clear to me how much community pharmacies are struggling at present, and strengthening our negotiating capacity, building a stronger evidence base, and improving our governance and dialogue with contractors will all help us to make a stronger case for the sector,’ she said.

‘Contractors have told us they want community pharmacy to be a forward-looking, constructive, and collaborative sector.

‘These changes should help us achieve this: I’m so pleased that the vast majority of contractors agree,’ she added.

Contractors should expect to receive an update on PSNCs action plan and progress it has made ‘by the autumn’, Ms Morrison said.

A spokesperson from the RSG said the result of this vote showed that the sector is ‘united in the way forward’ and ‘wants to see positive changes to both local and national representation’.

‘We now look to PSNC and the LPCs to start making those changes – talking and listening to all contractors as they do,’ they said.

‘Whilst we understand that not everything will be possible to implement overnight, this is important work, and contractors will need to be assured that it will happen in good time, and that this is just the beginning of a process of ongoing improvement and review.

‘In the long term, we hope our work will have contributed to helping the sector to 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,’ they added.