The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has appointed Paul Bennett as its new chief executive.
Bennett is a pharmacist and joins the Society from his role as chief officer at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Pharmaceutical Committee, a position he has held since autumn 2014. Before this, Bennett was the professional standards director and superintendent pharmacist at Boots UK.
Bennett has also held senior leadership roles and superintendent pharmacist positions at Safeway Stores Plc and E Moss Ltd, and has worked closely with NHS commissioners.
Bennett has also been an active participant within several pharmacy leadership bodies. In 2007, he became chair of the first RPS English Pharmacy Board, and in 2008 took up the chair of the National Pharmacy Association, a trade association representing pharmacy owners. He was a non-executive chair of Pharmacy Voice, and served on a number of subcommittees as a longstanding member of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, which represents community pharmacy contractors across England. Bennett is also active in local professional networks, as a member of the RPS Wessex Steering Group and Wessex Local Professional Network Core Group.
Commenting on his new appointment, Bennett says: “I am passionate about the advancement of the science and practice of pharmacy and driven by an ambition to support pharmacists, wherever they may practise, to improve the public’s health and wellbeing.
“I look forward to working closely with the president, the Assembly, the national pharmacy boards and of course the great team of staff at the Society, to build upon the work done over recent times to support the development of pharmacists and continue the journey to build a viable and sustainable organisation. Together we will deliver the agreed strategy and further strengthen the position that the Society now occupies as the voice of the profession.”
Bennett says that one of his “highest priorities” will be engagement with members.
“I look forward to meeting and hearing from as many members as possible. I strongly believe that an influential and effective professional leadership body listens to, and is responsive to, the voice of its members,” he said.
Martin Astbury, president of the RPS, welcomed Bennett to the Society. “[Bennett] brings a depth of understanding of the pharmacy sector, particularly rooted in community pharmacy. Through his leadership roles he has developed a strong understanding of the importance of professional standards in changing times, the imperative to improve patient care and of the commercial and regulatory challenges and opportunities. I look forward to working closely with him and our members to continue to shape the future of the profession.”
Bennett will take up his appointment as chief executive in July 2017.