The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Assembly has agreed that elected National Pharmacy Board members should be restricted to serving three consecutive terms, before taking a mandatory break.
A majority of assembly members voted in support of the proposal at a meeting held on 15 July 2020. Of the 14 Assembly members, 13 were present, with apologies received from academic member Duncan Craig.
There was much discussion as to whether the change should apply retrospectively, or be applied from the next round of board elections. Assembly members Sibby Buckle and Martin Astbury suggested that it should not be retrospective, whilst others, including Claire Anderson and Ewan Black, expressed support for a middle ground. Following the discussion, Sandra Gidley, president of the RPS, said that there “seems to be consensus for a middle way”, in which the decision would not be fully prospective (applying from the next election) or retrospective.
It was agreed, by a majority of seven, that the current term for serving board members would count as the first of three consecutive terms, meaning that those currently on the board are entitled to stand for two more terms before taking a break.
However, RPS member Mohammed Hussain, who first proposed the idea of board term limits at the 2019 RPS annual general meeting, said the changes were a “missed opportunity” to revive the current national boards as term limits did not apply retrospectively.
He said : “The resetting of previous served terms undermines the new rules on fixed terms”.
The changes will take effect from 1 October 2020, and any member wishing to comment is invited to get in touch by 18 September 2020.
Paul Bennett, chief executive of the RPS, said: “Members can comment on these changes through our gazetting process and we welcome feedback from members through this channel.”
At the same meeting, English Pharmacy Board member Andre Yeung was elected as Treasurer of the Society, replacing Mahendra Patel, and Bennett announced that the Society was now starting work on a new five-year strategy for 2021–2026 and that a draft final version of the strategy would be shared with the Assembly by April 2021.