- What one change at the RPS could have the most impact on increasing RPS membership?
Being the leading voice for pharmacists by pharmacists across all sectors and to also lead the way by action rather than words. We are facing many challenges and the RPS has not been very vocal or supportive enough. If we are expecting pharmacists to pay yearly, we need to show the RPS is value for money and that they are championing for pharmacists.
- Who or what do you think is having the biggest influence on policy in pharmacy at present?
The idea that you can simply do away with bricks and mortar pharmacy and replace them with Amazon-type online companies. It looks brilliant to the government as it looks like you can save millions but in reality, it will be detrimental to patient care as they will not have the same level of access to a pharmacist face-to-face who can also intervene at any time. It will also be detrimental to the profession as it puts thousands of pharmacies at risk of closing which would increase unemployment to all pharmacy staff.
- Should the RPS be more politically vocal or should it stick to quiet diplomacy?
It definitely needs to be far more politically vocal than it currently is. Pharmacy have severely underestimated the importance of strong engagement with policy makers and ensure the profession has a strong representation. Talking to politicians has more clout as they have the power to change pharmacy’s fortune but only if we increase dialogue with our local MPs.
- Do RPS members get value for money from the Society?
Currently many feel they don’t. The RPS needs to be more vocal about what it does and engage far more with both members and non-members. Most pharmacists actually don’t know what the RPS does and shows how out-of-touch they are with grassroot pharmacists. One of my main priorities would be to increase such engagement to increase membership.
- Should Board members be expected to be proficient in social media?
Social media is an excellent way to get information out to the masses and engage with people so board members should really be far more active than they already are as it will increasingly become more prominent in the coming years. It’s not only a good way to engage within the wider profession but also the general public and other healthcare professionals which will increase multi-disciplinary collaboration in the healthcare sector.