Why did you stand for election?
I believe I can make a positive contribution to the RPS Board workings in Scotland. Being on the Board is so much more than attending 4 meetings a year. I have now served one term (3 years) on the Scottish Board and this year was elected by other Board members to be Vice-Chair. This has allowed me to become familiar with the workings of RPS across Great Britain; how to make things happen and what does not work! I hope to use that experience in a second term of office to further increase my contribution to the Board, working to capitalise on opportunities for our members in Scotland.
Since qualifying I have worked in most sectors of Pharmacy. Currently I work for NHS Education for Scotland (NES) Pharmacy. Along with the rest of the team, we provide continuing professional development to all front-line pharmacy practitioners including educational support for any new services in Community Pharmacy and Foundation training for Hospital and Primary care. My job has a national remit and I am always on the road, meeting practitioners and RPS members from all areas of practice and all geographical areas! This is helpful for listening and collating the problems, worries and opportunities for RPS members. I also meet regularly with the National Acute Pharmacists Group (NAPs), and Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) and have a good knowledge and understanding of current and potential national developments and workings in all sectors.
Scottish Government is soon to publish the ‘refreshed’ Prescription for Excellence policy document. The coming years offer a tremendous opportunity for pharmacy and we need a strong and motivated Board to capitalise on this development; a board which has the experience and working knowledge of how to make things happen. This is our chance to make a real difference to our profession and to patient care.
What do you want to change as a result of being elected?
I believe the role of the Scottish Board is to listen to RPS members, understand Scottish priorities and shape the agenda at a national level; focusing on the issues that really matter to members and improving the care we can provide to the Scottish public. Board members need to make themselves more available- to find out what RPS members want and need from their Professional Body.
In my opinion two obvious priorities for the new Board would be developing and extending the membership of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland and creating stronger relations with patients and the public to support pharmacists’ future roles. However we must not ignore some real issues facing Pharmacy such as workforce pressures, the issue of supervision, revalidation and the challenges ahead for the profession within the Scottish Government’s health and social care integration agenda. We need RPS representation at every high level meeting where decisions are being made that will affect RPS members. We must become proactive rather than reactive. Lastly I believe we must also continue to work on the excellent lobbying work that is done by the Scottish RPS team, explaining to potential and current MPs what Pharmacy can offer to the Healthcare team as described in the RPS Scotland manifesto. This has, and will continue to bring opportunities and funding to our profession.