Sandra Gidley, first female president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), has announced that she will be stepping down from the role this June.
Gidley said she will not be contesting in the English Pharmacy Board elections this year.
Gidley served as the chair of the English Pharmacy Board from 2015-2019, before being elected as the RPS president in July 2019. Her term ends in June.
“I have always been a strong supporter of a maximum number of terms for an elected board member. I strongly believe that this is good governance and that it brings new thinking into the organisation,” Gidley said, commenting on the reason of her decision.
“I cannot think of a better way of demonstrating my commitment to this than to stand aside myself, with the hope that new candidates will be successful in this election.”
During her tenure as the top executive of the English Pharmacy Board, the RPS in England led on the creation of new roles for pharmacists in general practice, care homes, and urgent care.
Under her leadership, the RPS has also lobbied successfully for community pharmacists to gain access to patient care records and won an end to the automatic criminalisation of dispensing errors, among others.
Most recently as president, Gidley has overseen the RPS response to Covid-19 as well as initiatives to improve the inclusion, diversity and wellbeing of the profession.
Reflecting on her time as president, Gidley said: “I have had the double privilege of being both Board Chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board and President. I have sought to serve the profession through many difficult times – none more so than the current Covid-19 crisis, which has asked a lot, in some cases far too much, of our profession.
“I leave with a sense of optimism about the future but I do not underestimate the work that remains to make sure all sectors of pharmacy get the recognition they deserve.”