The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has set out 10 principles for transforming the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework in England.

It follows a meeting of the new NPA board, elected in April, and as the organisation continues to raise concerns about the current framework, which it said is ‘failing’ the sector, patients, the NHS and the government.

Jay Badenhorst, the NPA’s new vice chair, said: ‘We can’t wait until the current framework limps to its finish line in 2024 before giving serious thought to the new race we must all run in the future.’

According to Mr Badenhorst, the NPA wanted to make its position clear to all those who will be involved in the new contract’s development before negotiations begin in earnest.

‘Years more of the same would be totally unacceptable,’ he added. ‘Tinkering at the edges of the current arrangements as the basis for a new deal could not achieve the transformation that is needed.’

The NPA’s 10 principles for a new deal for community pharmacy in England are summarised as:

  • Think progressively;
  • Be aligned to the NHS and its objectives;
  • A fair deal for independents;
  • Pay pharmacies in a timely fashion;
  • Value the whole of care, supply and service, end to end;
  • No more ‘dispensing at a loss’;
  • Empower and enable contractors;
  • Build services on supply;
  • Incentivise change;
  • Rebalance power.

The principles were agreed following months of testing with members, the NPA said.

The association added that it is in the process of ‘working up further components of a vision for change’ to feed into the current vision project led by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust.

An NPA spokesperson said that many of the 10 principles ‘could begin to be addressed’ by the eagerly anticipated Primary Care Recovery Plan, ‘if it contains meaningful commitments to unleash the potential of community pharmacy’.

‘However, the principles need to be embedded in a coherent framework for the medium term, not just in one-off policy announcements,’ they added.