After many false starts there is to be a performers list for pharmacists. A new Section 147A is to be inserted in the NHS Act 2006.

This section provides that the Board is to maintain and publish one or more lists of those who assist pharmaceutical contractors or who are Local Pharmaceutical Services performers.

This will probably come as no surprise to those who have managed lists given that it brings the position of pharmacists in line with general practitioners, dentists and opticians.

One of the functions of the National Commissioning Board will be to manage performers lists. We wait to see how, in reality, this will happen. One should not underestimate the amount of management time that this function can consume. At first we heard little about performers lists, almost as if it had fallen under the radar. The response to the White Paper stated that the National Commissioning Board would be responsible for holding performers lists on a national basis and that it may delegate responsibility for managing GP performers, “where it makes sense to do so”. What this means is still not clear. Will the day to day management be exercised by the regional offices of the Board or indeed by GP consortia? We need not dwell on the obvious issue of conflict should the latter happen. Would the consortia also manage the performance issues relating to dentists, opticians and pharmacists? Speaking of pharmacists, we can only hope that sometime soon, we will have revised Pharmacy Regulations that are user friendly to read and navigate.