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Professor Mahendra Patel joins UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board


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The nine independent expert members of the UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board announced  

Professor Mahendra Patel OBE, CEO of the Oxford University Centre for Research Equity (CfRE), has been appointed as an independent expert member of the UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board.   

The newly established Board comprises nine independent expert members (IEMs) with outstanding leadership capabilities, who were appointed through open recruitment, ensuring a “broad, balanced, and diverse” representation.

Sir Hugh Taylor KCB, the Independent Chair of the Board, and the UK Chief Pharmaceutical Officers (CPhOs) – Andrew Evans (Wales), Cathy Harrison (Northern Ireland), Alison Strath (Scotland), and David Webb (England) – announced the appointment of IEMs in an open letter to the UK pharmacy professions.

“Bringing a wealth of experience and expertise, they will play a pivotal role in the Board’s work to deliver an exciting vision through supporting a new and dynamic phase of collaboration,” the CPhOs said.

As the CEO of CfRE, Professor Patel spearheads efforts aimed at addressing inequalities in healthcare.

Commenting on the appointment, Patel said: “It is a privilege to join this distinguished board of independent pharmacy experts, national pharmacy groups, and professional leadership bodies from across the UK.”

“The work we undertake must translate the UK Pharmacy Commission’s recommendations into tangible initiatives that elevate the pharmacy profession, driving excellence in practice and research to address health disparities and enhance outcomes for all.

“By fostering a culture of collaboration and inclusivity we will be paving the way for a progressive and aspirational future for the pharmacy profession.”

The CfRE stated that Patel’s appointment to the UK PPL Advisory Board has further strengthened its commitment to “advance the pharmacy profession and collaboration with key stakeholders to address health and care inequalities.” 

Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board

The establishment of this Board was the principal recommendation of the UK Commission on Pharmacy Professional Leadership’s report, published in February 2023.

The independent UK Commission report outlined that there is “an urgent need for the pharmacy professions to work collaboratively to deliver on their potential and, together, address a wide range of professional issues.”

Constituted as an independent public body, the Board aims to enable greater collaboration across the pharmacy professional leadership bodies (PLBs) and specialist professional groups (SPGs), which are its constituent members.

Over three years, the UK PPL Advisory Board, consisting of 21 members, will lead the delivery of the recommendations and ambitious vision set out by the UK Commission to:

  • Support and enable collaborative working.
  • Develop credible and authoritative leadership that is effective and speaks with one voice to the government, regulators, patients, employers and others in the public interest.
  • Contribute to the ambition of realising the future potential of pharmacy professionals in the NHS and other settings.

Sir Hugh Taylor was appointed as the Independent Chair for the Board in October 2023.

He is currently Chair of the Health Foundation, a Trustee of Cicely Saunders International, and Chief Negotiations Adviser (Voluntary Pricing and Access Scheme for branded medicines) at Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

On his appointment, Taylor said: “I am delighted and honoured to be taking on this role as Independent Chair.”

“Pharmacy is an integral and vital part of our health system. The aim of this Board is to lead and support collaboration across the professions in the UK, so that they can look to the future with ambition and confidence and realise their full potential. That is a hugely exciting mission – and one I very much look forward to supporting.”

The Board members will meet four times a year. During the inaugural Board meeting on 23 April 2024, they will discuss the formation of a patient and public reference group, as well as a broader pharmacy stakeholder forum.

“These will feed advice and views into the Board meetings to ensure we’re in touch with the full range of pharmacy bodies, enabling us to involve even more colleagues in the work of the Board and ensure the greater transparency we’re keen to achieve,” Taylor said.

The Chair of the patient and public reference group will likely become a member of the Board once appointed.

Independent Expert Members of the Board are:

  1. Professor Mahendra Patel OBE, Director, Centre for Research Equity, University of Oxford
  2. Raymond Anderson, Director of Northern Pharmacies Ltd, Associate Consultant of Health and Social Care Leadership Centre, Belfast
  3. Laura Angus, Chief Pharmacy Officer/Director of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation, NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board
  4. Rebecca Chamberlain, Standards Manager, General Optical Council
  5. Mildred Johnson, Chief Pharmacist/Clinical Director of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation, Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
  6. Dr Berwyn Owen, Community Pharmacist, Fferyllfa Penygroes Pharmacy, Caernarfon
  7. Shilpa Shah, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy North East London
  8. Panayiotis Sphikas, Head of Pharmacy Operations, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  9. Ellen Williams, Director of Regional Pharmacy Training Pharmacy Workforce Development South

Other Board members include

  1. Sir Hugh Taylor KCB: Independent Chair
  2. Nonyelum Anigbo, President, British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association: Ex Officio Member – Specialist Professional Group
  3. Professor Claire Anderson, President, Royal Pharmaceutical Society: Ex Officio Member – Professional Leadership Body
  4. Dr Jeanette Dickson, Chair of Council, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges: Ex Officio Member – Professional Leadership Body
  5. Sheelin McKeagney, Chair of Pharmacy Forum Northern Ireland: Ex Officio Member – Professional Leadership Body
  6. Mohamed Rahman, President, UK Clinical Pharmacy Association: Ex Officio Member – Specialist Professional Group
  7. Karen Shuker, President, College of Mental Health Pharmacy : Ex Officio Member – Specialist Professional Group
  8. Nicola Stockmann, President, Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK: Ex Officio Member – Professional Leadership Body
  9. Dr Graham Stretch, President, Primary Care Pharmacy Association: Ex Officio Member – Specialist Professional Group
  10. Joseph Williams, Chair British Oncology Pharmacy Association: Ex Officio Member – Specialist Professional Group

Recruitment is underway for an IEM for Scotland, and the Ex Officio Member – Chair of Patient and Public Reference Group.

Additional details about the Board can be found here. 




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