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Tribute to Peter Noyce

It was with a sense of shock, substantial loss and sadness that the profession learned of the passing of one of its outstanding strategists and ambassadors. Peter possessed a rare combination of personal and professional attributes and pharmacy was very fortunate to have benefited from his impressive range of skills. On top of his challenging senior roles in the NHS, the civil service and academia, and indeed even in his ‘retirement’, Peter’s exceptional commitment and his passion for pharmacy drove him to absorb many additional and pivotal roles that have helped to advance our profession at regional, national and international levels.

An inspiration to all, a man of vision, a formidable negotiator and an accomplished organiser, Peter could conceive of where pharmacy needed to be, convince other professions to accept and support his initiatives, persuade governments to fund them and then organise his own profession to deliver them!

Throughout his career, Peter’s contribution to education and training was immense. He established the innovative post of regional principal pharmacist (education and training), North West Thames RHA, had a key involvement in establishing and supporting the MSc in clinical pharmacy at the University of London and the Regional Clinical Pharmacy Practice Unit at Northwick Park Hospital (which significantly influenced the development of clinical pharmacy practice across NHS regions in South East England), and represented the profession nationally as a member of the Nuffield Inquiry (an important milestone for the whole profession). Of course, later in his career as professor of pharmacy practice, and as head of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Manchester, as well as chair of the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE), Peter led important developments in undergraduate, postgraduate and post-qualification pharmacy education.

Well known and very widely respected in his two posts as district pharmaceutical officer, based at Northwick Park and Royal Free Hospitals, Peter was then appointed deputy chief pharmacist at the Department of Health, generating, for example, the important government circular, HC(88)54 (The Way Forward for Hospital Pharmaceutical Services) while also establishing a framework to support the development of pharmacy practice research (PPR).

As the first professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Manchester, he built up an impressive programme and career structure for PPR, spawning a solid and very successful practice research team and over 20 PhD students. Under his leadership and mentoring, the team achieved the top research rating, and helped to establish PPR nationally as a serious research discipline.

Hardly surprising then that a leading pharmacist of such calibre attracted so many prestigious national and international awards. Peter became a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) in 1994; was awarded the RPSGB Charter Gold Medal in 2002; was conferred Fellowship of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) in 2008, the same year he became a Commander of the British Empire (CBE); received an honorary doctor of science degree (DSc) in 2009; became an emeritus professor of the University of Manchester when he retired in 2011 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in 2012. He continued to work part-time beyond his retirement and became a Trustee of Pharmacist Support in 2012, taking on Chairmanship of the Board of Trustees in 2014, a post which he still held and in which he successfully modernised the organisation and its fundraising strategy.

A much valued professional mentor and role model to myself and to so many others, Peter was a very close personal and sincere family friend over nearly four decades. Together with his many professional colleagues and his numerous friends, we will miss Peter a great deal. He was a very proud father and grandfather and our thoughts are with all of his family, but particularly with his wife Sue, his son Alastair and his daughter, Rosie.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20202966

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