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Royal Pharmaceutical Society

RPS elections 2020: three board members explain why members should stand

Current Royal Pharmaceutical Society national pharmacy board members Tracey Thornley, John McAnaw and Dylan Jones discuss what members can achieve by standing for election.

Nominations for the 2020 Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) national pharmacy board elections opened on 13 March 2020. The Pharmaceutical Journal asked three board members why they stood for election, and why other members should consider doing the same.

Tracey Thornley English Pharmacy Board member

Tracey Thornley, English Pharmacy Board 

I believe the RPS is instrumental in promoting the value of all pharmacists, now and in the future, as equals alongside other healthcare professionals. I stood for election because I wanted to support and influence this agenda, using robust evidence to underpin changing practice.

While I am used to working collaboratively with others as part of my day job, it took me a while to work out how I could best utilise my skill set within the RPS, and as part of the English Pharmacy Board (EPB). Being part of the RPS feels like an extension of my day job — it provides a different perspective and allows me to think more broadly. It has offered me the opportunity to represent the profession on numerous issues, including antimicrobial resistance — a topic I know is of global importance.

Everyone has something to offer. We all have different skills and experience, which is important for debate and challenge, but one thing that we all have in common is a passion for the profession that enables us all to work together as one. Being on the EPB, and supporting the RPS, is hugely rewarding, and something that I would recommend to anyone.

John McAnaw chair of RPS Scottish Board

John McAnaw, Scottish Pharmacy Board 

I stood for election to “put my money where my mouth is” and have an opportunity to influence the direction of travel for the professional body and the profession. Essentially, I wanted to do two things: 

  1. Ensure that members get value for money after paying the membership fee;
  2. Ensure that pharmacy’s profile is further raised with healthcare professionals and the public, so that people become more aware and appreciative of what pharmacists do (and are capable of doing) across all sectors.

I also wanted the balance to be right between doing things for members, and doing things for the greater good of the whole profession: both of which are important.

Having been a member of the RPS since its split from the governing body in 2010 — which led to the formation of the General Pharmaceutical Council — and with membership now being a choice rather than being compulsory, I wanted to make sure the RPS continued to be responsive to the needs of its members by providing the right resources to support personal development and professional practice.

Being an elected board member means that I can influence (or challenge) RPS strategy and policy in relation to the Scottish landscape, and make sure we evolve into the future rather than remain stuck in the past. 

Dylan Jones member of Welsh Pharmacy Board

Dylan Jones, Welsh Pharmacy Board  

This is my first term and the end of my second year as an elected member of the Welsh Pharmacy Board. I attended a board meeting as an observer initially: seeing the expertise from board members and staff around the table, the topics discussed, and the realisation of the influence and input of the RPS into everyday pharmacy at all levels confirmed my desire to become a board member.

This is an exciting time for pharmacy in Wales. The profession now, more than ever, needs a strong and robust professional leadership body. This is a rapidly changing environment for pharmacy, and especially community pharmacy. Guiding and influencing the direction of pharmacy from grassroots through to the strategic level, engaging with stakeholders, and helping shape the future of the profession is what the RPS is all about.

Working alongside staff, other board members and leaders within all aspects of the profession is a privilege. As the role of pharmacists evolves, having a strong voice for all sectors of pharmacy is essential. This will ensure that the professional standing of pharmacy is maintained and enhanced. If you think you can contribute to this, then I urge you to consider becoming a board member.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20207780

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