The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Welsh Pharmacy Board (WPB) held its summer meeting via Zoom on 24 June 2020. In attendance at the meeting were Elen Jones, RPS director for Wales; Iwan Hughes, RPS Wales policy and public affairs executive; Jonathan Lloyd Jones, RPS Wales policy and engagement lead; Karen Hodson, RPS Wales practice and policy lead; Gino Martini, RPS chief scientist; Amandeep Doll, RPS inclusion and diversity co-ordinator; and Annamarie McGregor, RPS Local lead.
Apologies were received from board member Paul Harris.
Welsh Pharmacy Board elections
Elen Jones reminded the board that owing to the cancellation of the 2020 National Pharmacy Board elections, those members whose tenure was due to end this year would be asked if they would continue in place for another year. Board members to whom this applied were board chair Suzanne Scott-Thomas, and board members Paul Harris, Richard Evans and Rob Davies. It was noted that all four had agreed to continue until 2021. It was further noted that if those candidates are re-elected in 2021, they will serve for a further two years rather than three to take this arrangement into account.
It was also noted that Scott-Thomas was one year into a two-year tenure as board chair. Minutes of the meeting record that Scott-Thomas said she was “mindful not to impose another year on the WPB at this stage, particularly given that she would need to stand down next year”. The board gave its support for Scott-Thomas to continue in place, with no objections.
Jones noted that during the pandemic the RPS had been working as a ‘One RPS’ team, and highlighted some key work that had been undertaken with stakeholders in Wales. This included writing to Vaughan Gething, Welsh cabinet minister for health and social services, urging more support for the sector; and to Jane Hutt, Welsh government chief whip, to highlight issues affecting pharmacy staff from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, including risks related to COVID-19. Amongst other activities, Jones and Scott-Thomas had presented oral evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee on COVID-19, followed up by written evidence.
Inclusion and Diversity report
Doll updated the board on the RPS’s inclusion and diversity work, with the board welcoming the five-year strategy report that was published on 22 June 2020. It was noted that RPS members who had attended an engagement workshop in Wales, which informed the strategy, had expressed great enthusiasm and support for the work.