Simon Dukes has announced that he will be resigning his post as chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee at the end of September.
In a statement this afternoon (July 20), PSNC said it has already been looking for a new CEO to “lead the organisation from October 2021” after Dukes decided to step down.
Dukes, who joined PSNC in 2018 from counter-fraud organisation Cifas, said: “Deciding to step down was never going to be easy, but I do believe now is opportune.”
Sector shocked and sorry to see Dukes go
Often described as by pharmacy insiders as “a breath of fresh air” when he joined PSNC to replace Sue Sharpe who led the organisation for 16 years, Dukes’ resignation has shocked the community pharmacy sector.
“This is a very sad news,” said Bharat Shah, founder of Sigma Pharmaceuticals, giving his reaction. He added that it was going to be a huge loss for community pharmacy, particularly at this very ‘critical time’.
“Simon has done so much for community pharmacy in the last few years and just recently got an agreement from DHSC to compensate contractors for the extra costs they incurred during the pandemic.”
“Sorry to see him go,” said Graham Phillips, award-wining community pharmacist and owner of Manor Pharmacy.
“He was a real breath of fresh air and was starting to make a difference not least the fundamental reform of PSNC and a credible relationship with government and the NHS.”
Malcolm Harrison, CEO of Company Chemists’ Association, said Dukes’ departure would leave the PSNC with some very big shoes to fill.
“Simon has achieved much during his three years at the helm of PSNC and shown a real commitment to community pharmacy. I and everyone at the CCA wish him all the very best for the future.”
PSNC’s appointments panel has already met to begin a recruitment process for the critical role which comes at a time of change for both PSNC and the LPCs as the new CEO will have to oversee an intense period of negotiations for the sector.
“We will shortly be commencing a rigorous selection programme to find Simon’s replacement,” PSNC chair Sue Killen, said.
Dukes has steered PSNC and community pharmacy through a critical period, including leading negotiations that led to the agreement of the five-year national contract CPCF as well as driving the organisation’s work to support contractors through the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a statement, Dukes will remain in post until the end of September and continue to head up PSNC’s negotiating team, leading its work to agree the arrangements for Year 3 of the five-year CPCF deal.