I first met Alan Webb when I moved to Scotland in 1978, and we have been friends ever since. Alan registered with the Pharmaceutical Society in 1964, having studied at Sunderland. He worked for Pfizer in Ramsgate until 1966, when he returned to his native North East to take up a post with Winthrop Laboratories. In 1973 he went to work as a hospital pharmacist in North Shields.
Alan was promoted to chief pharmacist at the Western General in Edinburgh in 1977, and in 1979 he took up the post of chief administrative pharmaceutical officer (CAPO) for Forth Valley Health Board. On retiring, he continued to work as a locum in community pharmacy for several years.
My contact with Alan increased in 1984 when I was appointed CAPO for Lanarkshire and we worked on many projects together as colleagues and friends. Alan was secretary of the Scottish CAPO Group from 1990–1992 and chairman from 1992–1994; he helped organise ten Scottish hospital pharmacists seminars and was secretary of the Stirling and Central Scottish Branch of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for many years. His prolific note-taking meant that he could always advise on “who had said what to who and when” which, at times, was quite infuriating — as was his amazing eye for detail and his striving for perfection. He demanded high standards of others, but not as high as those he demanded of himself.
Alan was one of the kindest individuals I have had the privilege to meet. He had a genuine concern for the wellbeing of his fellow man and would go to great lengths to help others. His passing at the relatively early age of 76 years is a massive loss to the profession which he loved dearly and for which he was a great ambassador. His pharmacy colleagues have lost a true friend and he will be sorely missed.
My sympathies are with his wife Anne and children, Brian and Helen.