MHRA appoint new Chief Executive


Dr June Raine has been appointed as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) new Chief Executive, having been the interim CEO since 2019.


Dr Raine played a crucial part in setting up rolling reviews during the pandemic to ensure the UK was the first in the world to authorise the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford University AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines.


Dr Raine’s work has helped improve patient safety and patient engagement and has helped establish the UK as a world-leading destination for life sciences and the development of new and cutting-edge innovation in medicines and medical devices.


Before becoming interim CEO, Dr Raine was Director of Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines and has worked for MHRA and its predecessor organisations since 1985.


Dr Raine qualified in medicine at the University of Oxford and undertook postgraduate research leading to an MSc in pharmacology.


After several general medical posts, she joined the then Medicines Division of the Department of Health and has worked in several licensing and patient safety areas including widening the Yellow Card Scheme for patients and the public.


Health Minister Lord Bethell said:


“It is thanks to Dr Raine’s strong leadership during the pandemic that the UK was the first country in the world to authorise COVID-19 vaccines.


“The MHRA is widely regarded as one of the best regulators in the world with the highest standards of safety and I’m delighted to confirm Dr Raine’s appointment as CEO.


“I’m confident Dr Raine will build on MHRA’s success during the pandemic to make sure NHS patients are among the first to receive cutting-edge treatments in the future.”


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NHS Education for Scotland appoint new Chief Executive


Scotland’s NHS education and training body has appointed a new Chief Executive who will take up the post next year.


Karen Reid, who is currently the Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council, will start the role at NHS Education for Scotland (NES) from February.


She has also previously held the post of Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate and has provided interim Chief Executive leadership of Education Scotland.


Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:


“I am sure that Karen Reid’s extensive experience within in the public sector will be an asset to NHS Education for Scotland as they continue to deliver education, training and workforce development to NHS staff despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.


“Her knowledge and enthusiasm will enable us to keep building the skilled and sustainable workforce which Scotland needs as we navigate the current crisis.”


NES Chairman David Garbutt said she was one of Scotland’s foremost leaders in public sector design and delivery, and scrutiny and improvement in health and social care.


“She is passionate about education and learning and committed to improving outcomes for people and communities,” he added.


Ms Reid said: “I have worked extensively with NHS and social care colleagues over the years and I’m excited about the opportunities which working with NES presents.”


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LloydsPharmacy announce new superintendent pharmacist


Victoria Steele will replace outgoing Superintendent Steve Howard, who retires from the business at the end of this year.


Victoria qualified as a pharmacist in 2000 and joined McKesson UK in 2011. Currently Deputy Superintendent for LloydsPharmacy and Head of Clinical Governance and Professional Standards, Victoria provides expert guidance on clinical and patient safety issues.


McKesson UK CEO Toby Anderson said:


“I’m delighted to congratulate Victoria on her new appointment, both for the opportunity it presents for her as an individual and as the first female Superintendent Pharmacist in LloydsPharmacy’s history. Victoria has played an integral role in the business’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on getting medicines to patients safely and the health and welfare of our colleagues. Her knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for the profession will be incredibly valuable in such a pivotal year for pharmacy.”


Victoria Steele commented:


“I am delighted to accept this new challenge and carry on the great work that Steve has achieved. I hope to use my passion for patient safety, professionalism and safeguarding to continue providing patients with the best possible care as well as encouraging good pharmacists to become great pharmacists. I look forward to helping guide the business through this challenging time with our patients’ interests at the core of everything we do.”



RCN Scotland director announces retirement


The leader of Scotland’s largest nursing union has announced her retiral early next year.


Theresa Fyffe has held the post of director of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Scotland for 14 years.


The former critical care nurse has been praised for her dedication to the profession and “transforming” the work of the RCN in Scotland and across the UK, which has included leading a campaign on safe staffing.


In a blog reflecting on her leadership, Ms Fyffe said that a passion for nursing was one of the key elements in doing the job well.


“Our members need to know that you are accessible, that you will listen and act on their behalf to make a real difference for nursing,” she said.


“To me it was the part of the job I looked forward to the most – getting out and having conversations with health care support workers, care assistants, nursing students, nurses and nurse leaders – and it was a great disappointment that I had to cancel the visits planned for this year.”


Ms Fyffe, a former deputy chief nursing officer, said it was important to “have courage” and “be brave enough to challenge” when it came to championing the needs of the nursing profession.


“But, at times, you also need to change path or tactics when progress isn’t going as planned,” she added.


Appearing before a Westminster committee earlier this month, Ms Fyffe said it was “deeply offensive” that staff working in care homes are deemed low skilled simply because they are poorly paid.


The post of Director for the RCN in Scotland will be advertised shortly.


Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary said: “Theresa has been an outstanding colleague and leader within the RCN, as well as a great source of support and advice to me, personally.


“Her passion for nursing, her dedication and commitment to the profession, and her remarkable leadership abilities and sense of vision have made a real difference – both to the organisation and to the members we represent.”


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Professor Steve Howard to retire from LloydsPharmacy


After 35 years working for LloydsPharmacy, Steve Howard has decided to retire at the end of this calendar year.

Steve started his career as a clinical pharmacist in hospital before joining LloydsPharmacy as a Pharmacy Manager and has since spent time in various roles including Head of Internal Communications and Training and Development Director.


A graduate of Manchester University, Steve is also a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, a Faculty Fellow, and serves as a Visiting Professor at the University of Huddersfield and the University of East Anglia.


A succession plan is in place and will be announced in the next few weeks.  Steve will become a part-time Non-Executive Adviser to McKesson UK to oversee collective Clinical Standards and Governance procedures and processes.


McKesson UK CEO, Toby Anderson, said:


“Steve has made a great contribution throughout his career with our business and I would like to say a huge thank you to him for his dedication, service, leadership and professional guidance over the years and in particular during the recent considerable period of change.”


New RPS early careers pharmacist advisory group chair appointed


The new RPS Early Careers Pharmacist Advisory Group has appointed its first Chair.


Atif Saddiq, a portfolio pharmacist in General Practice and Academia currently working as a lecturer at the University of Bradford, will head up the group for the next three years.


Atif said:


“I am delighted to have been appointed as Chair. We will work to help provide direction for our peers to allow them to achieve their ambitions.


“We often hear that pharmacists feel frustrated not always being able to use the breadth of their core skills and knowledge. This group will create new opportunities for younger pharmacists and provide guidance to inspire, inform and involve them in creating a professionally rewarding future.


The Advisory Group will provide external representation for early career pharmacists to ensure that they are recognised as crucial stakeholders in the pharmacy sector across England, Scotland and Wales.


Gail Fleming, Director of Education at RPS, said:


Congratulations to Atif on his appointment as Chair of the Advisory Group. This is an exciting opportunity for him to lead the group and facilitate their contributions to our work.


“The group is going to play an important role in helping to shape the future of our profession and I am confident that Atif’s tenure will meet the core values of the RPS and represent our early career pharmacists to the best of his ability.”


RPS is also creating a wider reference group of Early Careers Pharmacists up to 10 years qualified, which will work alongside the advisory group. It will help identify needs around professional development, practice support and advocacy, as well as acting as a source of expertise, advice and opinion to inform RPS policy decisions and operational delivery plans.


The group is now looking for new volunteer members to help test a range of products for the RPS and provide feedback to support our membership offer for early career pharmacists.


If you wish to be part of the new wider reference group, please email: by Friday 24 July.