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Ash Soni returns to RPS presidency

Community pharmacist Ash Soni has again been elected as president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). The RPS Assembly voted Soni into the post at a meeting held on 18 July 2017.

Three people were put forward as nominees for the post — Soni, outgoing president Martin Astbury and John McAnaw, chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board.

Soni, who has held the post on two previous occasions, running consecutively between 2014 and 2016, said he was “delighted and humbled” by the Assembly’s vote and paid tribute to Astbury: “I know exactly how much energy and judgment the role of RPS president requires, and I am grateful for the work and long hours Martin has given to the RPS in the last 12 months.”

In a statement to mark his election, Soni also highlighted the scientific base of the pharmaceutical profession. “We are seeing growth in the roles that pharmacists are playing but we must continue to drive for this to be in an integrated way, recognising that all pharmacists in all settings are scientific clinicians.”

He also emphasised the variety within the profession, saying that “wherever there are medicines, the profession should have a presence. In community pharmacies, hospitals, GP surgeries, universities and the pharmaceutical industry, pharmacists have a current and growing range of opportunities to have a positive impact on healthcare.

“As new roles continue to evolve, we must not lose sight of enhancing the traditional roles in community and hospital pharmacy. In Scotland and Wales, there is much greater recognition and a growing and developing role across the multiplicity of settings. We need to use these examples to develop practice to improve the confidence and skills of all our members so that all feel that opportunity beckons.”

Soni is the owner of Copes Pharmacy, London, and also chairs the NHS England (Pharmacy) Local Professional Network for London and the Primary Care Pharmacy Association’s Community Pharmacy Group.

All Assembly members are entitled to nominate themselves for the position of president, provided that their nomination is seconded by at least one other Assembly member. Nominees were required to submit their interest, together with a supporting statement, by 7 July 2017.

By a show of hands, David Thomson was unanimously re-elected to his post as treasurer of the Society. Thomson was the sole nominee for the post, after Mahendra Patel chose to withdraw from the candidacy before the Assembly meeting.

Read Soni’s full statement on the RPS website.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203227

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  • Ash Soon, newly re-elected president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

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