RPS Elections 2019: three board members explain why members should stand

Current members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s national phamacy boards, Ewan Black, Jodie Gwenter and Nadia Bukhari, discuss why members should stand for election.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society building in London

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) national pharmacy board elections. The Pharmaceutical Journal asked three board members why they stood for election and why other members should consider doing the same.

Source: Ewan Black

Ewan Black, Scottish Pharmacy Board

Whenever I am asked to explain why I continue to be such a strong supporter and advocate of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), I unapologetically reiterate that it is all about professionalism. I feel strongly that if we want to continue to be considered as professionals, we need a strong and representative professional leadership body — a body that fights to preserve our professionalism by supporting us to be the best we can and by speaking for us with authority and common sense.

If the RPS is not there to speak up on our behalf with a remit and authority, I struggle to see who else is going to make the effort

Basically, if the RPS is not there to speak up on our behalf with a remit and authority, I struggle to see who else is going to make the effort.

There are clearly unfortunate and ongoing downward pressures on our profession and any further fragmentation will exacerbate this. Consequently, I would urge anybody thinking of standing for a position on the boards — irrespective of their field of practice — to do so. Uniquely, the RPS attempts to speak for the entire profession and, as such, it is essential that it hears a wide breadth of well-informed opinions: it is crucial that it should be representative of all and, therefore, relevant to all.

So if you, like me, want to maintain and enhance our professionalism as our roles evolve, I would urge you to consider standing in the board elections.

If you think you can contribute to the future of our profession and feel you want to, you can — stand for the board and you will.

Source: Jodie Gwenter

Jodie Gwenter, Welsh Pharmacy Board

I am eight months into my term as a member of the Welsh Pharmacy Board and there is more fire in my belly than ever before, thanks to RPS staff and fellow board members. It’s hard not to feed off the energy and buzz of leadership, and there is plenty in supply as an elected member. Joining the board has given me a precious platform to funnel my vision and passion for pharmacy at a time when the profession is taking centre stage in healthcare.

There is a firm sense of responsibility when you begin your term as a board member. Pharmacists have voted for you to invoke change, to deliver on that vision and to represent their views and experiences from the frontline. I stood for election out of a sense of duty to my colleagues, family and friends who work in pharmacy and use pharmacy services. So if you feel the same, stand for election.

You get to work alongside like-minded leaders across Great Britain and the sectors, all of whom share one common goal

The role is certainly a challenge, but in a good way. You get to work alongside like-minded leaders across Great Britain and the sectors, all of whom share one common goal: to shape the future of our profession by championing pharmacy.

You will be expected to attend formal board meetings and keep in touch on a regular basis. You will debate some of the most challenging, controversial and leading topics affecting pharmacy. I quite often find myself glancing around the room with a sense of respect and pride for the calibre of minds representing the profession and the organisation.

As one of the youngest members, the environment can seem intimidating. But I rise to the challenge, knowing that I represent a majority share, demographically speaking. I am a practising pharmacist and a ‘middle manager’ and that’s important: find your niche and bring that angle to the board.

Source: Nic Bunce / The Pharmaceutical Journal

Nadia Bukhari, English Pharmacy Board

From my observations, there was a lack of representation from black, Asian and minority ethnic women at RPS board level, which was one of the main reasons I stood for election.

Being from a community, hospital and academic background, I felt I would bring a range of experience onto the board in having a holistic view of the profession.

The board contributes to shaping pharmacy’s future and bringing grassroots ideas, opinions and views to the table

I am now in the second year of my three-year tenure and remain committed to advocating for the profession — in particular, focusing on education and training opportunities, and the challenges that can impact practising pharmacists at all levels. I also use this platform to express the views of other RPS members to ensure they are listened to and heard.

I also contribute to the RPS Faculty and Education Board by bringing my 16 years of experience in academia.

There are many misconceptions of the role of board members, and its important to understand how the board operates and what the remit of the board is before making a decision to stand. I spoke with a variety of existing board members before putting myself forward to gain insight of this and would welcome any questions from candidates who are considering standing.

The board contributes to shaping pharmacy’s future and, more importantly, bringing grassroots ideas, opinions and views to the table, which ensures that members’ opinions are heard. Being a board member gave me the opportunity to get involved with these things at a national level.

I firmly believe, in order for the profession to progress and excel, we need to have new faces on leadership boards who can bring their passion and expertise by offering their insights and fresh perspectives, but who can also fight for change where needed.

The deadline for nominations to the RPS’s national pharmacy boards is 17:00 on 4 April 2019. For more details, visit: https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/your-rps/announcement/national-pharmacy-board-elections-2019/20206279.article

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, RPS Elections 2019: three board members explain why members should stand;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20206281

You may also be interested in