Date of prep: December 2020
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Alex MacKinnon FRPharmS, Director for Scotland, has announced his retirement. Alex has been Director for Scotland since 2010 and served as interim CEO of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society during 2017.
After graduating from Strathclyde University, Glasgow, in 1975 with a BSc Honours in Pharmacy, Alex has held a number of senior community pharmacy-related posts including Head of Corporate Affairs for Community Pharmacy Scotland from 2007-2010, Head of Professional Service Development, Communication and External Affairs for the Scottish Pharmaceutical General Council 2005 – 2007 and Head of Government Relations for LloydsPharmacy in Scotland 2003 – 2004.
He will be retiring in the middle of 2020.
Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Scotland Rose Marie Parr paid tribute by saying:
“On a personal level and as a pharmacist working in Scotland, I would like to recognise and very much thank Alex for all his hard
work and efforts in his role as the RPS Director for Scotland and especially for the significant contribution he has made to the
profession over the last ten years. Alex has always been a friendly and approachable professional with Pharmacy at the very heart of everything he does and I know that he will be truly missed by many pharmacists across Scotland and indeed the UK.
“I would pay tribute to Alex’s passion and enthusiasm for our profession and his representation for individual pharmacists at all stages of their careers. As CPO in Scotland, I have found Alex a pleasure to work with, I really do wish him all the very best in his retirement as Director of the RPS in Scotland, but of course continue to admire and respect his tireless work for the profession in the future, as both a distinguished RPS Fellow and as a retired pharmacist.”
RPS Chief Executive Paul Bennett said:
“I would like to recognise and thank Alex for the tremendous contribution he has made to both the RPS and the wider profession over the last ten years as RPS Director for Scotland.
“His dedication to, and passion for, our profession has been evident from the very first day I met Alex and will be sorely missed by all of us who have worked closely with him. I would particularly like to pay tribute to his advocacy for the profession at numerous Scottish Parliament engagements, never losing sight that RPS members are at the very centre of the organisation and making their wellbeing and professional advancement his prime concern.
“Alex will leave a strong legacy in Scotland whilst knowing he departs at a time when his team are focussed on supporting our members and placing our profession at the forefront of healthcare.”
Chief Executive at Community Pharmacy Scotland Professor Harry McQuillan said:
“I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Alex over the past twenty-five years and he has always been an ambassador for the entire profession whoever his employer has been or whatever sector he has operated within. From his early days at Savory and Moore and R Gordon Drummond he developed his passion for community pharmacy. This was further enhanced during his Lloyd’s pharmacy experience and it was during this time that he was heavily involved in the development and delivery of our then ground-breaking and world-leading community pharmacy contract. This is something I know the network is extremely grateful for.
“A move to Community Pharmacy Scotland followed and Alex excelled in his public affairs role. He is very measured, calm and comfortable in anyone’s company and always looks for an opportunity to promote what the pharmacy profession does and could do.
“The opportunity to lead the professional body in Scotland saw Alex appointed to RPS’ Director and he undertook this position with his usual dignity and diligence as well as an understated tenacity. I was not surprised that Alex was asked to undertake the interim Chief Executive role for Great Britain as his qualities are easily recognised.
“I did have the pleasure of seeing Alex’s “Mr Hyde” persona, compared to his usual measured “Dr Jekyll” at the twenty-four-hour Le Mans race one year, but that’s a story for another day. Oh, and don’t give Alex the Sat Nav, I still have flashbacks! I wish Alex both health and happiness for a long and prosperous retirement, he certainly deserves it.”
Commenting on his decision to retire, Alex said:
“It has been a distinct privilege being able to fulfil my role as RPS Director for Scotland for what will have been almost a decade. I have enjoyed a long and wonderful career in pharmacy, so many great colleagues and friends along the way, so many opportunities and challenges to have been involved in.
“My decision to retire has not been an easy one to make, with the pharmacy agenda as complex and challenging as ever. The professional body needs to be at the forefront of enabling the profession and its membership to maximise the opportunities that still and always will present themselves in the future.
“However, it really is time for me to retire and I am looking forward to having more time with family, lots of hobbies and of course motorsport! I now look forward to supporting my professional body through the Fellows’ group and the retired pharmacists’ group.
“Finally, a huge thank you to all the wonderful teams, colleagues, and friends across the years who made my pharmacy journey so enjoyable and rewarding.”
Pharmacy in Practice is a UK pharmacy publication with its roots in Scotland.