The process for elections to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) National Pharmacy Boards for 2020 was launched on 13 March 2020, with the opening of nominations. These are due to close on 3 April 2020. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic is now established in the UK, there is considerable concern that pharmacists are expending all their energy on working to help combat this fast-moving crisis, supporting patients and members of the public. As a result, an election would be a diversion from the priority of the nation and the profession, and it would be inappropriate to divert them from this.
Holding an election at this extraordinarily difficult time would require any standing member of the Society to have to complete a lengthy nomination process, then canvas for support amongst the electorate. This is not felt to be appropriate, both for our members and for the various employees of the Society who would be required to work on the related communications and member engagement activities to support the election process, thereby taking them away from critical work around COVID-19.
Given the exceptional and unprecedented global and national circumstances, the RPS Assembly has decided to take the emergency executive action below:
- The 2020 election scheme will be withdrawn and the 2020 National Pharmacy Board elections will be cancelled;
- Board members whose terms of office would come to an end in June 2020 will be granted an extension of one year to their term.
The board members affected are:
|English Pharmacy Board
|Scottish Pharmacy Board
|Welsh Pharmacy Board
Should these members choose to stand for election in 2021 and be successfully elected for a further term of office, it is anticipated they would choose to step down from office one year early in 2023 (when their term of office would have come to an end had they been re-elected in 2020) rather than serving the full three years.
As the term of office on their respective National Board for six of the Assembly members comes to an end in June 2020 — indicated by * in the list above — these members were excluded from the decision-making process and the final decision was taken solely by the remaining eight Assembly members.
Members wishing to comment on the above should email the relevant returning officer by 26 May 2020.
- Returning officer for England: email@example.com;
- Returning officer for Scotland: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Returning officer for Wales: email@example.com.