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Tribute to Peter Noyce

It is with much sorrow that we mourn the passing of professor emeritus in pharmacy practice Peter Noyce. Already with a successful career in hospital pharmacy and at the Department of Health behind him, Peter arrived in Manchester in 1991, aged 45, as one of the first professors in pharmacy practice in the UK, establishing the Drug Usage and Pharmacy Practice Group (DUPPG) at the University of Manchester. He was head of this group throughout his career at Manchester (1991–2011), and he was head of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences for a four-year spell. He was integral to setting up the Pharmacy Practice Research Resource Centre (PPRRC) and the Centre of Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE), chairing the CPPE Executive Board for over 20 years; he was a member of the pharmacy panel for the national Higher Education Funding Council’s (HEFCE) Research Assessment Exercises in 2001 and 2008, and he stayed on part-time after his retirement to help guide the school through the first Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Peter had a clear vision from the very start about what he wanted to do when he came to Manchester; in very tangible ways, he achieved his goal of helping to put education and research about pharmacy practice on the map, amassing a number of government appointments and personal honours that serve as a reminder of those achievements, and about which he was all too often reticent to broadcast. Over his 25-year career as an academic he was a UK Medicines Commissioner (2002–2005) and Government Professional Advisor (2007–2010) for the establishment of the new pharmacy regulator, the General Pharmaceutical Council. He was awarded the Charter Gold Medal of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (2002), and, in 2008, he was appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to healthcare in the UK; in 2009, he received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (Hon DSc) in recognition of outstanding achievement in pharmacy.

But Peter achieved so much more. He helped shape the careers of countless people during his time at Manchester and he leaves behind a very meaningful and long-lasting legacy in the students, professionals, researchers and teachers he mentored in his 25-year career as an academic. He knew before the term became fashionable, that capacity building for pharmacy practice research was vital if the discipline was to succeed, and he recognised the value other disciplines, particularly the social sciences, could bring to this research. Peter honed his supervision skills with his first PhD students, Karen Hassell and Keith Ridge, helping them establish their own careers, paving the way for over 20 more PhD students. With Judy Cantrill, he attracted further funding and doubled that first cohort of pharmacy practice PhD students, adding Ellen Schafheutle and Mary Tully.

Peter was an outstanding leader, a true visionary, and he made going to work every day challenging, rewarding, and fun. He was generous with his time, and his advice, but he was also a great listener and offered quiet acts of true kindness. He had high standards and high expectations of those around him; he rarely failed to see the best in people, he inspired and took great pleasure in the achievements of others, and he was always the first to celebrate the successes of those around him.

Even when Peter retired, he continued some work at the university until recently, and in 2012 he became a trustee for Pharmacist Support, taking on the role of chair in 2014. Beginning to have more free time, he stayed in the area that he adopted as his home, living life to the full, enjoying his retirement with his wife Sue, spending time travelling, and becoming a grandfather. He was immensely proud of his two children Rosie and Alastair; we grieve with them the untimely loss of their father, a wonderful man of whom they can be truly proud.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20202931

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