How Surrey and Sussex LPCs continue to meet throughout the pandemic

How Surrey and Sussex LPCs continue to meet throughout the pandemic

July 13, 2020

One of the biggest challenges for Sussex and Surrey’s three LPCs when social distancing and lockdown measures were introduced was managing the representative and decision-making processes safely and still maintain accountability to all 527 contractors represented by the 27 members.

Committee meetings in each LPC area take place every two months and it’s our duty and obligation to ensure they are as accessible to both LPC members and contractors as they would be normally.

The online conferencing solution that our staff team developed is working well. All meetings are planned well in advance by Micky Cassar, business administrator, with previous minutes distributed to members along with background papers and an agenda to keep the conversation on-track. A survey asking for current issues and concerns is also sent to all 527 contractors.

Attendees sign-in to the videoconferencing tool Zoom, and the meeting then flows as it would under normal circumstances – even a comfort break to grab refreshments is built in.

  • Those at the meeting are able to raise their hand to ask questions in the meeting
  • Votes, if required, are done by asking each member in turn whether they agree or not, as they would be in person

West Sussex LPC welcomed Ciara O’Kane, principle pharmacist at NHS Sussex CCGs to talk about the CCGs current priorities

The whole meeting is recorded in case a member loses their connection and misses a portion of the discussion. The recording can also be referred to when preparing the minutes.

Micky Cassar said: “It’s great that we have videoconferencing and can continue our work this way, however meeting online does mean a different way of working. There are some things we need to remember to do during meetings, like muting/unmuting microphones but meetings run effectively and allow input from all, just like face to face meetings.

“While LPC members are happy to attend the meetings from home or their pharmacy I think we all miss the traditional format of being together in the same room”.

LPCs meet again on 15 September (West Sussex), 17 September (Surrey) and 22 September (East Sussex)
Once minutes are agreed they are uploaded to our website here. Scroll down and click on an LPC heading for LPC constitutions and LPC members, meeting dates, minutes of meetings, annual reports & accounts and more. 

Meetings are open to observers and we especially encourage community pharmacy contractors and their team members to join us and find out what we do. Should you wish to attend an LPC meeting as an observer in person or by video, this needs to be pre-arranged. Email us at:  LPC@communitypharmacyss.co.uk


Annual meetings of contractors in September

Even though government guidelines about large gatherings and meetings is being relaxed, we took an early decision to hold our three annual meetings for members online, both for attendee safety and to enable us to plan effectively. Here are the dates for your diary:

  • West Sussex 15 September
  • Surrey 17 September
  • East Sussex 22 September

We are hoping to resume our networking programme later in the year, if social distancing measures are further relaxed.


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