Elections 2019: By the end of your term, what would you hope to have achieved?

The results of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society national pharmacy board elections are due to be announced on or around 17 May 2019. To find out more about this year’s candidates and what they stand for, The Pharmaceutical Journal asked for responses to two questions. Here, the candidates explain what they hope to achieve by the end of their first term, if elected. 

RPS election candidates


Sharon ‘Sibby’ Buckle, advanced practitioner community pharmacist, Boots

When first elected I made three pledges: 

  • Decriminalisation of single dispensing errors for community pharmacists;
  • Sharing of patient records with pharmacists;
  • Raising the profile of pharmacy with decision makers and the government. 

Having achieved these goals, I want to take us further. With decriminalisation legislation enacted for community pharmacists, I want to achieve this for hospital pharmacy. 

By negotiating government policy change in 2014 for sharing the summary care record with community pharmacy, I’m pushing to achieve full interoperability of patient records, to real-time feedback patient data from pharmacy to GPs. Then tackle secondary to primary transfer of care. 

Working with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) executive, public affairs and communications teams, I’ll continue to raise the profile of pharmacy with the government and the media, and for pharmacy to deliver on the NHS ten-year plan, as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team, working alongside other healthcare professionals, with pharmacists as leaders in the emerging integrated care systems, sustainability and transformation partnerships and primary care networks (PCNs).

David Carter, director and shareholder of Galen Pharmacy Ltd; chair of Gateshead and South Tyneside local pharmaceutical committee

There’s a lot of change going on at the moment and a lot of uncertainty within the RPS membership; with a new clinical contract emerging for community pharmacy as well as the development of primary care networks. Many members will need to be clinically upskilled. But with change comes opportunities and I hope I’ll have done my bit by the end of my term to ensure that the RPS has done its utmost to help members with these opportunities and support members through it. 

Graeme Hood, commissioning pharmacist, NHS England and NHS Improvement (Midlands)

It is an exciting time to be practising as a pharmacist with new roles and different ways of working and thinking. In order to continue to evolve as a profession, we need a strong professional body to support the integration and development of pharmacists across all areas of practice so that these opportunities can be utilised. If elected I will bring a fresh new voice and ideas to the board and would promote engagement with members by strengthening and giving local practice forums (LPFs) a strong voice on what future campaigns and policies should be. I believe it is also important to engage the next generation of pharmacists and would aim to provide early career pharmacists with opportunities to be part of advisory groups within the RPS and on the board.

By improving integration, development and engagement I aim to help make us a more cohesive and stronger profession. 

Brendon Jiang, GP pharmacist, Click Federation; community pharmacist, Boots; community services pharmacist, Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust

If elected, I hope to look back on my three-year term fondly and proudly. That will be the case if I feel I have contributed to meaningful change. The outputs I hope to achieve will be threefold: 

  • Increasing member numbers both new, returning and a reduction in those leaving;
  • A maximum of two consecutive fixed terms for board members followed by a mandatory one-year stand down period before being eligible for re-election;
  • Pharmacists from all sectors integrating with PCNs and actively supporting the ‘NHS Long Term Plan’ through RPS guidance, support and resources. 

Fatema Mamdani, hospital pharmacist, UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Pharmacy is a fundamental part of the healthcare system; despite this, we are often still not recognised as the experts of medicines. If elected, I would like to work collaboratively with stakeholders on national campaigns which actively include pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, so that we can be recognised and valued as a profession. I would also like to promote and showcase the work being done by LPFs, and support LPFs to deliver successful events to engage their local members. I am also committed to advancing the RPS and ensuring it is recognised as the professional body for all pharmacy professionals to seek support and guidance from. I hope to make the RPS feel accessible to members of all ages and from all sectors by providing adequate support for pharmacy professionals. 

Duncan Petty, research practitioner in primary care pharmacy, University of Bradford

First, I want to see improved integration of pharmacy across hospital, community pharmacy and general practice settings. Improved integration and communication will best be achieved through better use of digital technology. Those of you who have worked in general practice will know that having ‘read and write’ access to the medical record is transformational in improving the quality of advice given and improving patient safety. Having shared records could open the door to clinical pharmacy services in the community setting. Digital technology is a priority in the ‘NHS Long Term Plan’ with a focus on medicines and prescribing. The RPS will be a organisation to bring together stakeholders to provide vision on application of digital innovations and advise on training.  

Second, I aim to achieve the development of new clinical services in community pharmacy, including roles in prescribing safety, medicines optimisation in care homes and national minor ailment schemes. 

Amira Shaikh, deputy senior clinical pharmacist at Islington GP Federation; NHS 111 pharmacist adviser; RPS ambassador

My aim during my tenure will be to ensure I am advocating the interests of pharmacists and ensuring the profession is at the forefront of an evolving healthcare system. 

Through my role as RPS ambassador, I have come to realise how pertinent it is to be aware of the current challenges faced by members and it is fundamental that these challenges are identified at grassroots level.

The landscape of pharmacy is rapidly changing and we have seen a remarkable shift from the traditional role of dispensing medications with now a greater demand and focus towards our broad clinical skill set. 

By the end of my term, I will strive to ensure pharmacy has become a recognised integral cog of the NHS wheel. It will then be as important to sustain this after my term to ensure our profession always ‘has a seat at the table’ in the important decisions for the future of healthcare. 

Tracey Thornley, senior manager, contract framework and outcomes, Boots; academic pharmacist (University of Nottingham); health economist

Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to human health and pharmacists across all sectors have a vital role to play in supporting good stewardship. Every pharmacist, whether patient facing or not, has an opportunity to save lives through supporting research, promoting self-care, prevention (such as importance of vaccinations), use of diagnostics and clinical decision tools to identify whether antibiotics are needed, and if they are, how to use them appropriately. I am an active member of the RPS antimicrobial expert advisory group, and am involved in a number of collaborative research projects to operationalise what this looks like in practice. I want evidence to be the beating heart of what the English Pharmacy Board does; all our work should be underpinned by robust arguments and good data. If re-elected, I want to use my time on the board to continue to champion pharmacists’ pivotal role in supporting antimicrobial stewardship. 

Andre Yeung, specialist pharmacy adviser/pharmacist consultant; local professional network chair, North Cumbria and North East 

If elected, it would be easy for me to join the board and to focus on an agenda that has already been set, but this may not be in the best interests of RPS members.  

I will focus on three priority areas, in each I would like to achieve progress: 

  • Transparency: I would like to have significantly improved the transparency around RPS meetings, decisions and activities;
  • Relevancy: I would like to have helped the RPS create a strategy relevant to all pharmacists in all sectors of pharmacy and to define what success looks like; 
  • Effectiveness: With my background in large-scale projects, I would like to advise the RPS executive team so that they can make that strategy a reality for the whole profession. 

I would like to have helped achieve a profession wide mission: “To deliver an RPS that meets and exceeds the aspirations of our whole profession.”  


Brian Addison, lecturer in pharmacy practice (Master of Pharmacy course leader), Robert Gordon University

The RPS has an important role to play in supporting members to meet the requirements of revalidation and I hope to have ensured that by the end of my term as a board member, the Scottish Pharmacy Board (SPB) has ensured that the RPS has strengthened its support provision to members. 

I hope that I will have helped the RPS to reinforce its commitment to championing the role of pharmacy within Scottish healthcare and to have strengthened its position as the professional leadership body for all pharmacists. I also hope that I will have encouraged the RPS to take a stronger role in promoting the profession of pharmacy. I think the RPS has a clear role in promoting pharmacy as a valued career choice and I will work with fellow members of the RPS in Scotland to inspire future generations of pharmacists. 

William ‘Iain’ Bishop, eHealth pharmacy adviser; clinical informatician and clinical safety officer, NHS National Services Scotland

I have a number of achievement targets that I aim to deliver during my term. First is to ensure that I actively brief the RPS SPB on the current and continually changing digital landscape, so that they understand the opportunities for pharmacy to be represented and active in. Second, I would like to see the development of a digital leadership course for pharmacists to inform and engage with the membership. Finally, I would want a number of RPS members to be developed into enhanced careers, such as clinical informaticians and clinical safety officers. These are roles that are just developing in Scotland and pharmacy needs to be at those tables. It is only by developing keen individuals that we will be able to embrace and shape the digital healthcare future. Failure to do this will guarantee that change will happen around us and be forced upon us. 

Omolola Dabiri, pharmacy adviser at NHS 24 and locum pharmacist (community and hospital), Aberdeen; independent prescriber

I would hope to have achieved the following: 

  • Increase in value RPS offers members;
  • Support and rollout of a programme of coaching and coaching training for pharmacists and preregistration pharmacists;
  • The availability and accessibility of error management training to pharmacists and pharmacy teams; 
  • Increased engagement and participation of members and minority groups currently in the RPS; 
  • Increase in number of individuals from minority background, joining RPS Scotland, so as to have more robust views;
  • Representation of RPS Scotland at the Assembly;
  • Improvement of work conditions to achieve better ‘at work experience’ for pharmacists and pharmacy teams. Pharmacists to be up-skilled, capable, aptly rewarded and to feel confident in their delivery of excellent pharmaceutical care to their patients;
  • Increase in motivation of members by having clear support for career paths and up-skilling in the changing landscape of the NHS and healthcare delivery. 

David Henry, community pharmacy lead, NHS Glasgow Community Health Partnership

By the end of my term I would wish to have helped in increasing the profile of the RPS and helped to increase membership, encouraging pharmacists to join by showing them the benefits of membership. I would also wish to have contributed to raising the profile of pharmacy.  


Adam Mackridge, deputy head of pharmacy for primary and community care (East), Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board 

At the present time, I view supporting the development and evolution of the pharmacy profession as a key role of the RPS. This involves setting the standard of ‘what good looks like’ and influencing stakeholders both outside and within the profession to work together for the benefit of all.

I would seek to use my skills, experience and knowledge to support the work of the RPS and by the end of my term, I would like to see the Society having supported the evolution of the pharmacy workforce to enable the spread of innovative practice and enable pharmacists to practice at the top of their license in all sectors, making a valued and important contribution to the health system in Wales and providing job satisfaction to the pharmacists and other members of the wider pharmacy team. 

  • Of the 19 candidates standing for election, 14 provided responses
Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, April 2019, Vol 302, No 7924;302(7924):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20206430

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