Campaign letter for RPS elections 2021: Shahzad Ahmad on how pharmacy must respond effectively to the pace of change

This is a campaign letter for the 2021 RPS national pharmacy board elections. The views expressed in this letter belong to the author. Find out more about the RPS elections.

“The pace of change in healthcare is accelerating. Pharmacy needs to respond effectively as a united, more representative profession.”

If I have the privilege to be elected to the English Pharmacy Board, I will seek to build upon the positive work that has already been done, champion inclusion and diversity at the highest levels and strive for the recognition that pharmacy deserves.

Working on the front line and as a former General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) inspector, I have seen more than 600 pharmacies and different models of care. My experience has given me a deep understanding of the challenges that pharmacy faces.

When working at the GPhC, I did my utmost to support pharmacy. In part, this manifested itself in my contribution to the guidance for safer pharmacy teams, and for independent prescribing. Previously, I sat on the Accreditation and Recognition Board, where I helped to guide the direction of education for the next generation of pharmacists.

The pandemic has further demonstrated the tumultuous landscape pharmacy is in and will continue to face. My current role working in the digital health space and previous Board level experience have predicated my desire to support and guide pharmacy through the challenges it faces.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in how things work and how I can help people. It was this innate need that led me to pursue pharmacy. It was the same need that motivated me to get involved with the GPhC to improve pharmacy standards. And it is the same need that eventually led me to leave the GPhC with the intention of supporting my colleagues further.

Despite the questions about engagement and relevancy that are always asked, the RPS remains the most respected of our representative bodies.

I am passionate about the impact that the pharmacy profession has on local communities and I am emboldened by its response during COVID-19, and the efforts that have gone into keeping services running for local people.

The healthcare landscape is changing quicker than ever. I am passionate about ensuring our impact is recognised adequately. And I am passionate about ensuring that our colleagues can continue their significant impact in the face of the challenges we know to be coming.

It is only by effective, coordinated leadership that we will be able to respond swiftly and appropriately.

Shahzad Ahmad, election candidate, English pharmacy board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Last updated
Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, April 2021;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.79228