New Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England announced

The NHS in England has today confirmed the appointment of the next Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England.

David Webb, currently Chief Pharmacist and Clinical Director for Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, will join the Medical Directorate and lead the national pharmacy team from February.

In his new role, David will be a member of NHS England and NHS Improvement Medical Directorate’s senior management team, the UK Government Chief Medical Officer’s senior clinical group, Head of the Pharmacy Professions in England and the principal advisor on pharmacy and medicines use in the NHS, which includes supporting the Department of Health and Social Care.

The new appointment follows Keith Ridge retiring from the role, after 16 years in the post.

David said:

“The last two years has been an extremely challenging time for all NHS colleagues, but it has also highlighted the absolutely vital and positive role that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play as clinical professionals in the NHS team.

“Whether it’s been hospital teams supporting the care of over half a million very ill patients, community pharmacy teams delivering over 21 million jabs across the country, or primary care teams being at the forefront of the vaccination programme in local communities, they have been central in every part of the NHS COVID-19 response – in addition to pharmacy teams everywhere continuing their usual clinical roles of supporting patients and delivering safe and effective health services.

“I’m very proud to be appointed to be Chief Pharmaceutical Officer and to lead the next stage of the transformation of pharmacy practice working with colleagues across the healthcare system to support them, listen to them and enable them to continue to deliver to the highest standards, helping the NHS recover services, improve the use of medicines for patients in the 21st century and deliver on important Long Term Plan commitments”.

Chair of the RPS in England Thorrun Govind said:

“I warmly congratulate David on his appointment and look forward to working closely with him and his team on how we can help the pharmacy profession support excellent patient care and the NHS recovery in England.

“This transition comes at a crucial moment and with further changes in the next few years, it is vital that the RPS, NHS England and leaders across pharmacy continue working together on key issues such as the future of pharmacy education, staff wellbeing, and advancing pharmacy practice.”

NPA Chief Executive Mark Lyonette commented:

“We look forward to working with David on a can-do agenda for community pharmacy.  He has a huge agenda ahead, including covid recovery and long term NHS ambitions such as tackling antimicrobial resistance and increasing access to primary care.  His success will depend heavily on a productive partnership with NPA members, in relation to clinical services, preventative care and many other areas.

“I hope he will embed a pharmacy-conscious culture amongst colleagues throughout NHS England, building on the profile created by community pharmacy’s vital contribution to the NHS’s covid-19 response. We also want to see continued progress on integration, with a golden thread of pharmacy running through hospital, practices and community”.

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