Simon Dukes, chief executive officer of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), will leave his role in September 2021, it has been announced.
Dukes joined the PSNC from Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System, a counter-fraud organisation, in 2018.
He will remain in post until the end of September 2021, while he continues to lead the PSNC’s negotiating team as it works towards an agreement with the government on arrangements for the third year of the current five-year community pharmacy contractual framework.
His resignation comes after the PSNC struck a deal with the government, following a year of negotiations, in June 2021 for the repayment of COVID-19 costs to community pharmacy contractors.
In a statement, Dukes thanked his team for their work, which he said included improving relationships between the PSNC and the government, and supporting contractors through the COVID-19 pandemic by negotiating bank holiday payments and funding for delivery services to patients.
“It has been an honour to serve as chief executive of PSNC for the last three years, and a genuine privilege to work with such a dedicated, knowledgeable and unbelievably hard-working senior team and committee,” Dukes said.
“Deciding to step down was never going to be easy, but I do believe now is opportune. In addition to having time to prepare for high-level negotiations on the Contractual Framework beyond the five-year deal, a new CEO arriving in post later in 2021 will be able to engage fully with the changes that will emerge from the independent review [of the PSNC and local pharmaceutical committee representation].
“I wish nothing but success for the PSNC, hard-working community pharmacists and their teams, and the wider sector.”
The PSNC has said that its appointments panel has already met to begin a recruitment process, with further information to be issued in due course.
It added that the new chief executive will join the PSNC ahead of another intense period of negotiations for the sector, including looking ahead to what happens after the end of the current five-year pharmacy contract.
Mark Burdon, an independent contractor and a member of the PSNC’s appointments panel, said the “appointments panel is made up of contractors and contractor representatives, so contractors and LPCs [local pharmaceutical committees] can be assured that we understand what is needed to do this important job”.
He added that there will be “a lot for the new incumbent to juggle”.