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Leading change

Much has already been discussed in these columns and elsewhere about the opportunity and challenges for our profession and we are not short of strategy documents both within and out-with pharmacy to indicate a direction of travel. So now, we have to ask ourselves how we make the change happen. The time for deciding where we are heading is coming to a close and we must just get on with it. It really is “now or never” and delays will have significant consequences and I, for one, will do everything I can to ensure we have a great future.

Of course, progress is happening but often in pockets and not quickly enough. We have to find a way to accelerate and apply a systems-approach to change.

I meet many pharmacists who want to be excited and inspired but are unsure and anxious about their future, disillusioned by demands from every direction, and under significant workload pressure. We want to do more, we want to make a difference, we want to be professionally satisfied but how do we find the confidence and make time?

For pharmacy to reach its full potential, we need all aspects of the profession to be joined up around a compelling, clearly communicated and inspiring vision; a picture of the future that we feel part of, that we can own and can see why we need to change what we do. We intuitively hold on to what we know and understand but, to thrive in the future, we will need to transform. We will need brave steps and bold leaders who will take us into the future.

So that is why I want to be on the English Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. I have much to learn about the detailed debates that will be had but what I do know and understand is the importance of engaging each and every pharmacist in where we are going — helping to see the reasons why change is necessary. Unless we have pharmacists from all backgrounds, experience and cultures understanding why change is necessary and what their role is and can be, then all the strategy documents in the world will not change anything. My commitment to our Society is to engage and inform so that we inspire and enable pharmacy to transform from where it is now to where it can be.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11138530

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