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.
In a changing world, we need change. Pharmacy has changed over the years; so have pharmacists.
It is time to hear and involve the voices of experienced pharmacists from different sectors to achieve changes in our RPS. I was part of the Transcom Committee led by Nigel Clarke in 2008 before I had my son in 2009. This opportunity has come when childcare is out of the way; I now feel that the time has come for me to put my experience in and bring fresh ideas and positive solutions to RPS by being a member of the RPS Board.
I started my career as a clinical pharmacist in an acute trust in Nigeria; I did my overseas qualifying examinations to register in Britain at the University of Sunderland, and did my pre-registration with one of the best pre-reg tutors at an independent pharmacy in southeast London. I started my career after registration with a large multiple community pharmacy, taking on different roles from manager to relief and store-based roles, then locuming across different sectors owing to family and childcare. Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am involved in raising awareness, as well as working currently in a pharmacy-led vaccination centre.
I am advocating for working together with all pharmacists from all sectors to reflect what the profession stands for; to hear the voices that will be used to make change and work to make it happen, which can be in terms of welfare at work, job satisfaction or personal development.
I have had the opportunity to have worked across most pharmacy sectors as a locum and as an employee. I know and have heard of some of what pharmacists need and what most go through. Pharmacists want to be cared for, as we care for our patients. Pharmacists worry about how they are perceived, about pay, how they are valued – and pharmacists need a society that listens to them. They want openness and accountability, which is all that I am advocating for.
As men and women of honour in pharmacy practice, I believe there are workable solutions we can work with. And as a member of the board, if voted in, we can achieve this together.
We need effective leadership that allows members to have confidence in the association.
It is for those reasons — about us, our colleagues and the RPS — that I have decided to come on board.
Sherifat Muhammad Kamal, election candidate, English Pharmacy Board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society