It’s with incredible sadness that I learned of the passing of Bill Darling FRPharmS. Bill passed away after a short illness.
Bill Darling was a true giant in the profession of pharmacy and in the NHS generally. I have known him personally my entire life as he used to sit next to my late mother and father in lab classes at the then Sunderland Technical College (now Sunderland University) in the early 1950s where they studied pharmacy and became life-long friends.
On qualifying as a pharmacist, he took over the running of the family pharmacy business and pursued a political career. He was quickly elected to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain’s Council and became the youngest ever president. He continued to serve on the Council over the next 50 years.
In addition he held numerous other roles nationally and locally during his long career, including recently in the 1990s as chairman of South Tyneside and Gateshead Health Authority, Chairman of the NHS Counter Fraud Service and chairman of governors at the University of Sunderland.
He was rightly awarded CBE for his services, and was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant in Tyne and Wear by the Lord Lieutenant in 2000.
He will be greatly missed, and will be a huge loss to the profession he loved. Our thoughts are with his wife Ann, and children Ian and Paul at this incredibly sad time.