The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) welcomed the news that Amanda Pritchard has been appointed as the first female chief executive of NHS England.

Pritchard, who is currently NHS England’s chief operating officer, will assume the new role on August 1.

Thorrun Govind, Chair of RPS England, said: “This appointment comes at a crucial time for the health service in England; recovering from the pandemic, with teams under continued pressure, growing demand on services, and forthcoming NHS reforms.

“Pharmacists and pharmacy teams have given their all during Covid-19 and amid all these changes it’s vital staff get the support they need.

“A key challenge for the NHS will be implementing new Integrated Care Systems and this must include a focus on medicines optimisation across care settings.

“I’d urge NHS England to ensure a voice for pharmacy to help make these changes a success.”

RPS hopes the new chief executive will work effectively with professional leadership bodies, who will offer expert advice and insights to help support much-needed reforms to NHS England.

“Delivering integrated health and care services throughout England will also depend on investment in our workforce and a long-overdue upgrade to health and care records,” Thorrun added.

“I look forward to working with Amanda and the NHS leadership on how pharmacists’ clinical expertise can support the NHS recovery, improve medicines safety, and deliver high-quality patient care for the future.”

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