RPS Scottish Deputy Director says farewell


RPS Scotland Deputy Director, Aileen Bryson has today stepped down after 9 years working within the policy and practice team.


Jonathan Burton, Chair of the SPB, said:


“Aileen has been instrumental in supporting and promoting pharmacy in Scotland and has been a valued and supportive colleague.  She was due to retire in April, but selflessly stayed on to help with the Covid-19 programme and has had an important role in our work to build a better future for pharmacy.”


Alex MacKinnon, RPS Scotland Director, said:


“Aileen’s contribution to the work of RPS, the Scottish Pharmacy Board and the Scottish Directorate team has been significant. It has been an absolute delight working with Aileen over what has been almost a decade. Aileen’s skills and contribution in the areas of advocacy, policy development and stakeholder engagement have been much valued by all of her colleagues in the organisation and indeed in the wider external marketplace.  Working with Aileen has been inspiring, with lots of memories, lots of positive outcomes and lots of challenges overcome. She will be greatly missed by everyone and I wish her a very long and happy retirement.”



Professor Ian Bates secures global pharmacy workforce role


Professor Ian Bates has been appointed as the director of the FIP Global Pharmaceutical Observatory (FIP-GPO) by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). The appointment was made by the FIP Bureau at its April meeting.

FIP has been collating and analysing global pharmacy workforce and practice data regularly since 2006 from more than 90 countries and territories. The focus over 14 years and across FIP’s member organisations has been to produce data intelligence on workforce capacity, gender distributions, sector of practice, licensing, regulation, education and training capacity.


The FIP Bureau approved a new FIP position of director for the FIP-GPO. Prof. Bates, in this post, will direct the work to improve, refine, expand and grow the intelligence through partnerships for the benefit of FIP member organisations and partners, with the overall aim of supporting the transformation of practice to meet the increasing healthcare demands being experienced across all countries.


Professor Bob Sindelar, chair of the FIP-GPO Advisory Board, welcomed Prof. Bates’s appointment and said:


“I know that the knowledge, experience, vision and leadership skills that Professor Bates brings to this new post along with the extensive list of his previous successes position him extremely well to lead the work of the FIP-GPO during this next stage of its ambitious development.”


Professor Bates said:


“This is an exciting challenge, coming at a time of disruption in our profession. If we are to accelerate the importance and impact of our members and our entire pharmaceutical workforce, we will need data-driven intelligence. I’m looking forward to engaging with all our members and practitioners in order to contribute to this crucial goal.”


FIP president Dominique Jordan said:


“The appointment of Professor Bates by the FIP Bureau is timely and important for FIP. I am delighted to work with Ian and the team he will direct at FIP. Together, we will ensure the FIP-GPO is a fundamental benefit for FIP member organisations and partners. For me, the FIP-GPO is of central importance to our federation and will assist us in meeting the needs of the profession as we secure our position as essential in all communities and societies, in primary health care and universal health coverage. With data and intelligence, we will be able to support the transformation of both practice and the pharmacy workforce, to bridge the gap we see between nations and meet increasing healthcare demands. I look forward to the next steps and work during the coming months, with the support of FIP Bureau and the GPO Advisory Committee.’’



Additional interim Deputy CMO for Scotland appointed


Professor Marion Bain has been appointed as an additional interim Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, following the appointment of Dr Gregor Smith as the interim Chief Medical Officer.


Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman MSP commented:


“I look forward to working with Professor Bain and I’m confident that, as Deputy Chief Medical Officer, she will make a significant contribution in our ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic.


“Professor Bain is the Scottish Government’s former Senior Medical Advisor for Public Health Reform. Most recently, she has been working as the Director of Infection Prevention and Control in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.  She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh and has particular research expertise in the use of routine health information for public health and clinical research.


“Professor Bain will work alongside our other interim Deputy CMO, Dr Nicola Steedman.  And she will support our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith.


“Her appointment will provide additional capacity in that key role and further ensure that we benefit from the very best public health expertise available.”




Sanjeev Panesar elected as a new NPA board member


Sanjeev Panesar has been elected as a new National Pharmacy Association board member.


The pharmacy owner who runs Pan Healthcare, a group of five community pharmacies located in Birmingham, will represent NPA members in the West Midlands region.


Since qualifying in 2009 Sanjeev has worked in independent and multiple community pharmacies, becoming a Superintendent Pharmacist for a chain of five Pharmacies in 2011.


In 2014 he became an active member of Birmingham and Solihull LPC, representing the views of Independent Pharmacies and giving his opinion on various matters affecting contractors. He has been working alongside committee members to help develop services and relationships with key stakeholders.


The NPA Board sets the policy, strategic direction and objectives for the Association. Board members are expected to contribute to debate in sharing ideas and deliver fresh thinking throughout the period of their service.


Commenting on his election Sanjeev said: “Community pharmacy is facing challenging times, however, it is also being recognised for the value and skills it offers to the NHS.


“Now is an ideal time to develop collaborative working relationships between healthcare professionals in primary and secondary care which I hope to influence.


He added:


“I believe my experiences have given me an insight into the moving parts behind community pharmacy which will help me to give the NPA team a fresh outlook and add increased value for its members in the future.”


NPA Acting Chair, Andrew Lane, said:


“Sanjeev has already established a record of furthering the interests of community pharmacy and we are excited to have him onboard. He brings experience and fresh thinking and will be a great fit alongside the excellent team already in place.”



RPS Director for Scotland announces retirement



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.”



Diane Leicester-Hallam to leave PDA and pharmacy


Diane Leicester-Hallam has announced she is set to leave the Pharmacists’ Defence Association as Director for Member Services and will shortly also leave the pharmacy sector.


Diane will move on to take the position of Executive Director at the Northern Consortium. This organisation is an educational charity focused on advancing access to education. The consortium is comprised of ten northern universities.


Diane joined the Pharmacists’ Defence Association as Director for Member Services in October 2018 after nine years as the Chief Executive of the pharmacy profession’s independent charity, Pharmacist Support.


During her time at the charity she successfully transformed the service offer to be much more relevant and responsive to the needs of today’s professionals, increasing the number of services, people supported and external recognition and support too.


Previous to this she enjoyed a career in the retail sector, before returning to education and graduating with a honours’ degree in law in 2000. This marked the start of a new career within the charity sector, initially as an advocate and specialist advisor, before moving into management at the Citizens Advice Bureau, then Help the Aged, where she lead a remote team of specialist caseworkers who delivered a financial literacy programme across the UK.


Diane commented;


“I’m really grateful to all those who have supported me and made me so welcome in the sector. Thank you to all those who supported and helped me along the way. I’ve had the privilege of working with and learning from, so many amazing, dedicated people who have taught me so much.


“Pharmacy is a great profession and deserves more recognition. I hope my contribution has supported those that needed help most. I wish everyone well for the future.”


Johnathan Laird Managing Director of Pharmacy in Practice commented;


“Diane has been a complete breath of fresh air in her dealings with the pharmacy profession. I want to thank her for her care and support as a member of the Pharmacy in Practice editorial board. Many people, myself included, have benefitted from her advice, support and service over the years. She will be greatly missed from the sector.


“There are few people in pharmacy public life who have the skill and insight to cut through the myriad of complex and at time contentious issues in pharmacy but Diane has done this over the years with ease. Her achievements in the PDA and for a longer period in Pharmacist Support are well documented and should be celebrated.


“Diane’s passion is in charity work and whilst I was sad to hear that she will be leaving, I was delighted to hear that she had secured such an important future role. I, and I’m sure many others, wish her all the very best for the next stage in what has already been a remarkable career.”