After 16 years in the position, Keith Ridge, England’s chief pharmaceutical officer (CPhO), will step down in February 2022.

The chief advisor on pharmacy and the use of medications, as well as the head of the pharmacy profession, Ridge has over the years played a leading role on issues such as medicines optimisation, digital medicines and pharmacy educational reform.

Ridge began his training at the University of London’s School of Pharmacy, spending his early years as a registered pharmacist in clinical practice and the pharmaceutical industry. While serving as the chief pharmacist for NHS hospital services in North Glasgow, he restructured the pharmacy service across eleven hospitals in the area, and established and led the cancer pharmacy group for the West of Scotland.

Subsequently, he was recruited by University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust to design an automated system for controlling medicine supply at a brand new hospital.

He has been instrumental in establishing the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which was later renamed as National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and the General Pharmaceutical Council. Ridge has also been the driving force behind the ‘healthy living’ pharmacy.

NHS England and Improvement has invited applications from senior pharmacy leaders registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council, with a masters degree in pharmacy (or equivalent) and a postgraduate or management qualification, or equivalent experience to apply for the top pharmacist role in the country- Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England.

Candidates with demonstrated excellent knowledge and experience of working in or with the Department of Health and Social Care, the NHS, and other health organisations can apply till August 19 for the post.


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