DDA: Working on your behalf

The DDA meets regularly with the Department of Health and other agencies to promote the contribution dispensing doctors can make to rural health, and achieve fair remuneration and reimbursement for their services.

Political lobby: Political lobby is an important part of the work of the DDA and since its inception, the Association has had many successes.

Individual DDA Board members are charged with ensuring that the voices of rural patients and their dispensing practices are heard at all levels. At the national level, DDA Board members respond to Government consultations and attend all relevant professional events. DDA Board members also attend the annual political party conferences.

The most notable example of DDA political lobby is the¬†development and maintenance of the rural ‘accord’ with the pharmacy contract negotiators, the PSNC,¬†and the British Medical Association. For more information on the Accord, click here. The DDA has also been instrumental in the development of controlled localities in Scotland, and in the creation of dispensing Gp-‘friendly’ control of entry regulations in Wales (2017) .

To support its political lobby, the DDA publishes regular Parliamentary briefing papers, which are sent to named MPs and Peers with an interest in rural health. At the local level, DDA Board Members also host visits to their practices and build relationships with constituency MPs.

Click here to find out more about the Board, and its activities.

Media relations: Working with the media to communicate the vital role of dispensing practices in rural areas is a key DDA activity, and the Board maintains excellent relationships with the consumer press and the specialist GP and pharmacy trade press magazines.

Interprofessional relations
Despite the inherent challenges presented by the current regulatory environment, the Dispensing Doctors’ Association is keen to improve collaboration and co-operation between dispensing doctors and pharmacies. The DDA believes that joint working between pharmacists and doctors has the potential to benefit patients, and make better use of doctors’ and pharmacists’ skills.

Models of joint working may include:

  • Increased contact within existing business models
  • Co-location of practice and pharmacy as separate entities
  • Partnership working (Integrated Medicines Providers).

For more information on the benefits of GPs and pharmacists working in the co-located environment, please visit our Integrated Medicines Provider Forum.