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Scottish board sees future as a “royal college” body

Scottish Pharmacy Board

February board meeting

Attendance Present at the meeting were the chairman (Rose Marie Parr), the vice-chairman (Frank Owens), Ewan Black, Christine Bond, George Downie, John Hanlon (lay member of Council and ex-officio board member), Alastair Jack, Howard McNulty, Sandra Melville, Derek Stewart, Charles Tait, Billy Templeton, David Thomson (pharmacist member of Council and ex-officio board member) and Angela Timoney.

Apologies There were no apologies for absence.

A professional leadership body for pharmacists akin to a medical royal college, could evolve from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's new Scottish Pharmacy Board.

At its inaugural meeting, held on 21 February, members of the board agreed that it could be in a strong position to evolve into such a structure to provide innovation and leadership for pharmacists in Scotland when the Society’s regulatory and professional leadership roles are separated. Members firmly believed that, under the devolved structure of the Society, the board is already the focus for leadership and professional development in Scotland.

The board reached its opinion after receiving a special presentation on the Westminster Government’s White Paper on professional regulation, published on the same day (PJ, 24 February, p207). The board welcomed the briefing and agreed, as a key stakeholder, to participate fully with the Society’s process of response.

Election of officers The board began its meeting by adopting the Society’s governance handbook for the national boards and then electing a chairman and vice-chairman in accordance with procedures set out in the handbook.

The board elected Rose Marie Parr as its first chairman. Commenting on her election, Dr Parr paid tribute to the previous Scottish Executive, in particular the work of Angela Timoney and David Thomson in driving forward the devolution review. She highlighted her aim to guide the board towards better partnership working and more involvement with the membership. She said: “I have high expectations of the new board. I look forward to its evolution into a powerful organisation that strongly links to our members in Scotland and gives them the structures and support that they expect and need for the future challenges and professional opportunities ahead.”

Frank Owens was elected vice-chairman of the board. Mr Owens stated that he believed that pharmacy had a major role to play in providing solutions to some of the health care issues faced in Scotland. Adding that the board had to address a number of opportunities and challenges ahead, he said: “I am committed to working with colleagues around the table, in addressing those challenges and in maximising the opportunities, both in supporting the delivery of high quality pharmaceutical care services in Scotland and in promoting pharmacy as a key public health resource.”

Strategy and business plan The board agreed that much work would take place in its early meetings to establish a strategy and a business plan to implement and to identify the most effective way of working as a body. The board expressed a desire to forge closer working relations with the branches and a more constructive dialogue with the wider membership. It was also agreed to consider how to take forward the annual meeting of members and to encourage more members to participate and attend.

Communications The board agreed to establish a communications working group, under the chairmanship of Frank Owens, to take forward a communications strategy that would include internal communication with members, communication with the political community and public relations activity relating to a wider audience.

Manifesto for Scottish pharmacy The board approved the final design and content of a manifesto for Scottish pharmacy, aimed at political policy makers, health policy opinion leaders, other health professionals, patient interest groups and the public. The board noted that the manifesto’s launch had been planned to link with an official reception for the new board to be held in the Scottish Parliament on 21 March, sponsored by Helen Eadie, MSP, Labour member of the Scottish Parliament Health Committee.

It was noted that the manifesto would be distributed extensively and that the branch network would have a key role to play in engaging with the political community at a local level, using the manifesto as a platform to discuss local issues.

“Momentous occasion” In drawing the meeting to a close, the chairman said: “This is a momentous occasion for Scottish pharmacy. The Scottish Pharmacy Board is an opportunity to take the future into our own hands. It provides us with a platform to provide support for and leadership to our profession and put pharmacy at the heart of health care discussions.”

Earlier, before its official business, the board had welcomed remarks from the Society’s President, Hemant Patel, who paid tribute to the work of the Scottish Executive and its role in establishing the devolved board structure. He said that Scotland led the way in many pharmacy practice areas and highlighted the opportunity afforded to the board to provide a strong voice for pharmacists in Scotland.

Members of the Scottish Pharmacy Board

Scottish Pharmacy Board: left to right, Alastair Jack, John Hanlon, Charles Tait, George Downie, Angela Timoney, Christine Bond, Howard McNulty, Rose Marie Parr, David Thomson, Billy Templeton, Frank Owens, Sandra Melville, Ewan Black, Derek Stewart

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10003421

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