Why we're Members of the Society
The new membership year starts on 1 March 2013.
There are many reasons why people become members of the Society. Here a number of our members give their reasons for joining.
Chris Green MRPharmS, UKCPA Chair and members of the General Committee
UKCPA encourages excellence in the delivery of pharmaceutical care to patients by leadership and partnership working.
The RPS is a new organisation with a new tone and new collaborative ways of working, through active partnerships and shared advocacy. Working together means the strengths and missions of both organisations are enhanced.
We are clear about the benefits to our members of being a member of the Society.
As professionals we believe we need a credible and authoritative voice. The Society is harnessing the expertise through all specialists and experts across all sectors and communicating to patients, the public and other bodies on behalf of the entire profession.
We at UKCPA will be renewing our membership with RPS and would encourage all our members to do so in order to build a stronger profession.
Professor Roger Walker FRPharmS, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer - Wales
I'm joining because I want to be part of the only body that embraces all members of the pharmacy family and represents them whatever their individual roles and in whatever sectors they work.
I want to be a member of a body that speaks authoritatively on all aspects of pharmacy, protects and represents the interest of members and is both proactive and reactive in promoting and supporting the role of pharmacy.
Peter Cattee MRPharmS, Chairman Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies
My own reasons for renewing are primarily because I owe much of what has happened in my life to Pharmacy, I have made many friends, I have found an endless source of stimulation and challenge and apart from my family it has been the most formative things in my life - whilst these things have not happened directly as a result of the RPS I know that they would not have happened had the RPS not existed.
The imagination, hard work and perseverance of those who created the Society in 1841 may, in some respects, be rather similar to what is needed in the situation we find ourselves in today – but I feel it would be a tragedy, and an insult to all those who have worked to create so much before us, were we not to accept this challenge.
I believe the strength of the organisation can only be fully realised by a large and committed engagement from the majority of members; that is individual as members, making a personal choice to invest their time and money in their own future – I would ask all pharmacists to consider this, and to try to do their part.
Steve Tomlin MRPharmS, Consultant Pharmacist - Children's Services
Our new Society will unite the profession and provide ways for us, as members, to demonstrate our professionalism in a way which is understood by the public and other healthcare professionals.
That’s why I’m joining our new Society.
I want to be assessed by my professional body and peers in order to define my level of competence within my field of work. I want this level to be designated so that other healthcare professionals and perhaps more importantly the public know what sort of service to expect.
The bottom line is that to be part of a ‘profession’ you really need a professional body. A professional should be inspirational and I would hope that people will join to be part of that professional aspiration.
Joanne Kember MRPharmS, Pharmacy Manager
For me, a professional body serves two distinct roles. An 'external' or outward reaching role in building and developing our professional standing, and representing our best interests to other professionals, the NHS, industry, research and government; and an 'internal' or inward reaching role which supports each of us as professionals.
Historically we have 'operated' as disparate groups of professionals and this has weakened our professional image and our 'voice' in comparison with other professionals.
Now is a particularly important time to engage with the professional body. We are being given a unique opportunity to develop a body which truly represents all of us, and delivers what we want it to deliver both professionally and personally.
I’m joining the new professional body because I believe its support will optimise my professional standing in a multidisciplinary working environment. I’m confident it will promote my professional development, and will give me the personal support I need to maintain a happy and healthy work/life balance.
We need to realise that the new Society can only deliver on the agenda that is communicated to it and by joining we will become the voice that shapes this. I say to my fellow pharmacists – join it, let your voice be heard, shape it and let our profession take its rightful place amongst other highly regarded professions.
David Miller MRPharmS, Chair, Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists
I'm joining our new Society as this is the one chance we have to create a high quality body that is externally valued to raise issues, provide leadership and fight for all sectors of the profession collectively.
I know of no other respected profession that does not have an accreditation and leadership body. It will be to the detriment of the profession if we all stand back and disengage. So I will be making my financial and personal contribution. I encourage others to join me.
To speak with one voice the professional body has to have a mandate and the confidence of all pharmacists irrespective of their role in pharmacy. That credibility can only be achieved if the majority of the profession in each sector join. It is the divided part of pharmacy that creates heat and news, but the united part is what provides light and moves us forward.
Hemant Patel FRPharmS, Secretary North East London Local Pharmaceutical Committees
The time is rapidly approaching when pharmacists have to decide whether or not to continue membership of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. As a member of the RPS and a past-president, I urge all my fellow pharmacists to renew their membership.
To my mind there are four reasons to join the reinvigorated and reforming Society: professional self-interest, altruism, gratitude and forgiveness.
To read more on Hemant's reasons for renewing his membership, read the article which first appeared in the PJ.
Barbara Wensworth MRPharmS, Education & Training and Radiopharmacist
Pharmacists need professional support in their working lives. The Society will offer pharmacists a huge national network of colleagues and professional support which they can access easily.
It has given me a lot of help in my career and I don't want to lose that benefit. I think as registrant of the GPhC I'm going to need a lot more support than I did in the past.
The new body will be a great force for pharmacy but we need everyone on board. Together we can be strong.
Kirit Patel FRPharmS, Chief Executive, Day Lewis Pharmacy Group
I passionately believe that it is important for pharmacists who want to see a ‘leading from the front’ organisation that they become part of the new professional body.
I am clear about the benefits of joining the professional leadership body. I hope that other pharmacists will feel the same – and be aware of its value in enhancing their professional kudos and reputation.
I am joining because I am a great believer that only through one unifying, strong voice will pharmacy ever be recognised and excel.
For many years I have long held the opinion that we needed a robust, influential, supportive and unifying professional body that provided comprehensive leadership, and was recognised by its membership and external stakeholders as a leader and visionary in pharmacy affairs.
I am proud to join the new professional body – and I am confident that it will respect members’ views and aspirations, and support them professionally and educationally.
Judie Finesilver MRPharmS, Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, IT Interest Group Committee member
I am joining our new Society as I believe it is important to be a part of any emerging organisation to influence the direction and vision for future strategies.
We have evidence that pharmacists can improve both the safety and cost-effective use of medicines and are valued for more than simply supply functions in both hospital and primary care settings. The use of technology in pharmacy can support patient safety and so improve patient care.
The professional body needs credibility to speak for all sectors of the profession, so we can neither sit on the fence nor allow others to speak for us. We must all take part to ensure that a true representation of views is noted and taken forward to improve and benefit patient care.
Gill Hawksworth FRPharmS, Teacher Practitioner
The professional body for pharmacy is important to provide support for professional leadership and development both nationally and locally whilst representing and promoting the professional interests of its members.
I am joining the Society because I am proud to be an FRPharmS. Being a member means to me that I will be empowered to make a real difference to patients through support for CPD and revalidation locally delivered by my Local Practice Forum. In the future I hope to have the opportunity to advance my practice knowing it will be recognised by RPS through their commitment to credentialing.
Professor Anthony Smith FRPharmS, Principal and Dean of the School of Pharmacy, University of London
I am joining our new Society to show my commitment and support of the profession and to be involved. We each individually need to be at the centre of pharmacy and to show appropriate leadership. We need to help the outside world understand more of the important role of pharmacy.
The profession needs a credible and authoritative voice to show how pharmacy can contribute to effective patient care.
As pharmacists there is much more that unites us, including of course our overriding commitment to the safe and effective use of medicines by our patients, than divides us.
Adam Thomas MRPharmS, Area Manager
I’m joining the new Society as a proud member of the pharmacy profession who strives for the profession to gain higher levels of recognition for the work we do.
To have the opportunity to be a part of a professional body is a privilege rarely available to many occupations. Membership should be something to be proud of and symbolises a dedicated, skilled and devoted professional person who has proved a high level of both academic and ethical credentials.
For me the professional body is a necessity in providing a sense of solidarity and security and instilling trust and faith from onlookers. It is also vital in re-enforcing pharmacists' professional status to allied health professionals and to promote confidence in members of the general public.
Pharmacists should join if only to promote pharmacy as the skilled profession it is. More members mean a wider viewpoint and a larger forum for debate with more ideas and shared opinions. With more members we are undoubtedly stronger as a profession.
Steve Howard MRPharmS, Professional Standards Director and Superintendent, Lloydspharmacy
I’m joining our new Society because I firmly believe it is really important that each of us makes a clear commitment to the development of the profession by engaging and supporting the launch. This is a once in a generation opportunity for us to unite as a profession and back the professional body in word and deed.
We need a strong and authoritative professional body which is able to provide both support and leadership to the profession. We need a body which champions the cause of pharmacists at every opportunity and is able to engage stakeholders in policy development and other professions to improve how pharmacy is perceived.
I would encourage all my colleagues to join, to get involved, to contribute to the Local Practice Forums, and help make this great profession even greater.
Fiona MacLean MRPharmS, Lead Clinical Pharmacist
I’m joining the new Royal Pharmaceutical Society to demonstrate my commitment to the profession and to influence its ability to deliver the vision for pharmacy.
Pharmacists require a credible and respected leadership body. By joining and becoming involved I can help shape and influence the new Society.
I encourage all pharmacists regardless of the sector in which they work to join the new Society. The success of our new Society will be determined by its members. Speaking as one voice will be our strength and that can only be achieved through all pharmacists engaging with the new Society.
David Green MRPharmS, Associate Director, Community Health Services
The profession needs a successful professional body.
I will be joining so that I can influence how the profession evolves particularly within the primary and community healthcare sector. I expect to be involved and to share my experience to help build a powerful and influential national body, which is seen by other professions as encouraging high professional standards and providing leadership.
When I need professional support I will know where to turn and where to gain that support.
Without the professional body I will be more isolated as a professional.
Shilpa Gohil MRPharmS
I’m joining because I want to be active in contributing and have the choice on deciding how I want my profession to develop now, and in the future. I want to help shape the outcome of the vision of the profession.
The Society represents the profession and not sectors like the other bodies, it is not a union or an academic institution but it develops the professional and personal development of a pharmacist.
Alastair Jack MRPharmS, NHS Tayside
I am joining because I am proud to be a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the recognition of integrity that this brings.
We are members of a comparatively very small profession. There are several sectors and settings where pharmacists play vital roles that are hard for the public in particular to appreciate. The complex range of pharmacist roles coupled with the tensions between private sector and NHS priorities mean that internal conflicts often arise. In addition, the different perspectives that can arise between employees and their employers, whether they be multiples or smaller contractors, can also lead to divisions. We need a body that can transcend all this and provide all pharmacists with the security and confidence that it is the single point of contact and reference for professional matters.
Cathy Cooke MRPharmS
I’m joining because I want to promote pharmacists as the 'experts on medicines' and I believe that the Society is the right body to do this. Other organisations cater for aspects of practice or working practice concerns, the professional body represents the professional needs of pharmacists.
Khalid Ahmed MRPharmS
I’m joining because I want to see change and it starts now!!! This is a unique opportunity
that would never occur in my lifetime and it would provide me with a platform to promote pharmacy to a level that it truly deserves.
Being a part of the only membership where you will gain contact from people of all forms of pharmacy life is an ideal opportunity to join. Knowing about changes as well as the new dynamics in pharmacy would
only be known via such platform.
Jonathan Buisson MRPharmS, Senior Professional Affairs Manager, Boots
Pharmacy needs a strong and respected professional body to represent the profession’s interests to Government, the media and other healthcare professions. Other professions have their Royal Colleges and learned societies. Pharmacy will not make progress without its own equivalent body.
I’m joining because I want my voice heard and my opinions listened too. Pharmacy is a very broad profession covering many different areas. I want those on the edges represented just as much as those in the most high-profile areas.
Pharmacy won’t get anywhere if you sit back and think others will do it. The professional body will be what its members’ make it and will do want they want it to do. But you need to join to make your voice heard.
Sandra Gidley FRPharmS
I see encouraging signs that the Society is becoming more responsive to its members’ needs and by joining in I can have a say in the direction of travel. A profession without a strong representative body will not be taken seriously by those in power so if we want pharmacy to be treated seriously as a profession we all need to do our bit and start by having faith and paying the fees.
Patsy Rogers MRPharmS
The new society is more focused on what individual pharmacists think and takes our opinions into consideration. I have been looking at the online LPFs and feel this is a valuable tool to keep in touch and discuss issues with other pharmacists across the country. A professional body for pharmacy is very important to keep pharmacy on the map and provide the support that every pharmacist needs throughout their career.
Sally Greensmith MRPharmS
I’m joining because pharmacists need leadership and representation at all levels. The split of functions is an excellent opportunity for RPS to really lead the profession and provide the kind of support that pharmacists have wanted for a long time. Pharmacists also need an efficient and able organisation to represent the views of all sectors of the profession to counterbalance the regulatory duties of the GPhC.
I want support particularly as revalidation is around the corner and this will be a scary concept to many of us in whatever form it takes.
Gemma Donovan MRPharmS
I think the professional body is important as it is likely to be the only opportunity pharmacy will be given to create a strong collective body for all pharmacists. Without a strong body which represents all practice and sectors of pharmacy, the profession could lose out on having a lot of influence within healthcare and pharmaceutical science, meaning the potential of pharmacists will continue to be under utilised and our skills under recognised. I think that alone is a reason that every pharmacist should join the professional leadership body.
Diane Leakey MRPharmS, MHRA
I am joining because it’s important that pharmacists have a voice in the healthcare arena to match those of the other professions.
Ronald Pate MRPharmS
The new PLB is important to me since I am looking for an organisation to champion leadership in pharmacy professional service provision. This will involve accrediting and credentialing professional practice such that as pharmacists develop their professional service provision there is an overarching governance framework that the public, the profession and employers alike can all have confidence in. I believe this will lead to improved services for patients, an enhanced professional image for pharmacists and greater public standing for the profession. This in turn will result in pushing forward the frontiers of professional practice and provide opportunities for improved remuneration for individual pharmacists. This is why I am joining and why I believe all pharmacists should join.