The RPS Annual Review 2019

Our year in pharmacy.

Welcome from RPS President Sandra Gidley

A word from RPS Chief Executive Paul Bennett


It's been another eventful year in the life of RPS: putting pharmacy at the forefront of healthcare and living up to our promise of being inspiring, empathetic and relevant for our members. That's why we surveyed all our members, to help us further understand what you want more of - and less of - and we'll continue listening.

What stood out for me in 2019 was our work on Inclusion & Diversity and workforce wellbeing. Society in general - and that includes our own profession - is better when diversity is embraced, opportunities are equal for all and people feel can be their true selves in the workplace. We want our profession to be like that for everyone, but sadly it isn’t yet. I look forward to taking this work forward in 2020, with the publication of our strategy and a commitment to back it up.

Two bumper events in 2019 were our Science & Research Summit early in the year and Annual Conference, which returned in September. Attendance was great for both, and members told us they welcomed the opportunity to connect with each other and the RPS in a stimulating, friendly and welcoming environment. We'll be building on this in 2020.

Finally, our world-class clinical reference sources, including the BNF, MedicinesComplete and our other highly regarded RPS publications as well as the MEP, soon to go into its 44th edition, proudly remained go-to guides for pharmacy practice.

As I write this, the threat of coronavirus is a great challenge and uncertainty for everyone. Whatever the professional challenges ahead, we will continue to be here for all our members – dependable, relevant and supportive.

Thank you for being a member and helping us do the work we do on your behalf.

Paul Bennett CEO

2019 in numbers...






















The RPS in 2019

Working for YOU

Your wellbeing and development has never been more important to us.

In 2019, we improved our apps, updated publications, wrote more guides, added more new e-books, and held better and bigger events than ever before.

Working for EVERYONE

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Our teams work across the country and across every sector to improve support for pharmacy and gain recognition for all the vital work you do.

In 2019, we began our campaign for Inclusion & Diversity, looking to make pharmacy a more welcoming profession and make equality a reality across the workforce.

2019 also saw the beginning of our Workforce Wellbeing campaign, fighting for pharmacists to get equal access to a support service that's funded by the NHS.

Campaigns and policy documents in 2019

A year of achievements

Annual Conference

2019 saw the welcome return of the RPS Annual Conference, on the theme of Medicines Safety. 

We gave all Members free entry, and almost 600 took advantage of the offer, coming from around the world to join us for a packed Sunday of discussions, presentations, displays, networking...and a delicious free lunch!

Science & Research Summit


You would have been forgiven for being a little star-struck at the array of talent on display at February's Science & Research Summit. 

Guests included Professor Dame Sally Davies, former Chief Medical Officer for England, now UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance; Sir Andrew Dillon - Chief Executive at National Institute for Health and Care Excellence; and Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, Chair of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

One-to-One Support

Our One-to-One Support team spent 421 hours on the phone supporting our members, as well as fielding questions via email and twitter. The most-asked questions were about legal and ethical problems, pharmacy practice and professional development. 

When feedback on the service was requested one member commented: "Your professional service is one of the best in the world. Quick, effective and very pharmacist friendly!"


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Revalidation is a concern for many pharmacists, so we spent the year updating and adding more resources to help our members revalidate.

Particularly welcome was an update to our MyCPD app and online MyCPD portfolio, allowing members to synchronise CPD added using either - and then send it straight to MyGPhC for submission!

In the Media


We’ve been vocal in the media raising your profile as frontline healthcare professionals, speaking up on all channels about medicines and patient care.

From BBC Breakfast to Radio 4’s Today programme and Panorama, in 2019 RPS members were seen, heard or read about in the national and regional media on average six times every week.


We were very pleased to designate 37 RPS members as Fellows in 2019 - the highest honour we can bestow. Fellowship recognises individuals who have attained distinction in their pharmacy career, and because they are based on nominations from Members, they signify the esteem in which the individual is held by his or her peers.

Inclusion & Diversity

2019 was the year we launched our positive Inclusion & Diversity strategy campaign, organising events to promote inclusion, diversity and belonging. 

Staff and members walked at PRIDE in London; our Women in Leadership event was packed out, and we ran a BAME celebration event, celebrating the great diversity across our profession.

Assessment & Credentialing

Over 2019, we redefined our approach to assessing and credentialing levels of post-registration practice, developing a new strategy and professional development model. 

We launched the new RPS Foundation Pharmacist Framework at our Annual Conference and developed a centralised post-approval service for NHS consultant pharmacist posts in England and Wales. 

A review of our Faculty service led to the establishment of a new advanced pharmacist credentialing service.


Podcasts are very popular with many of our members, so we set up a special page on our website, Podcast Central, to bring our regular podcasts together in one place: the PrezCast, PharmSci Today, Hospital Pharmacy Now and more. 

They're soon to be available on regular podcast channels, too!


The RPS Mentoring platform was reviewed, rebuilt and relaunched in 2019, to help our members find a mentor or become a mentor. 

Following the relaunch, almost 800 members from across the profession had signed up by the end of 2019, looking for advice, guidance and encouragement on all areas of their career.

Museum & Library

LucyWorsley at RPS

Based in our London HQ, the RPS Museum and Library are always popular with visitors. In 2019 the Museum attracted over 2,300 visitors, ran 62 tours and retained Full Accreditation from Arts Council England. 

Library use continued to increase, particularly that our e-Library, which grew by an impressive 372%.

The Museum is regularly visited by the media, researchers and historians, such as Lucy Worsley and Helen Rappaport (pictured).

Pharmaceutical Press & MedicinesComplete

In 2019 we launched our Palliative Care Formulary on MedicinesComplete - the expert source of drug information in palliative and hospice care. 

MedicinesComplete as a whole received an average of 1,096 enquiries per hour in 2019 - over nine and a half million throughout the year. 

The BNF notched up two million queries per month on its app - not bad for a publication celebrating its 70th birthday!

The Pharmaceutical Journal


The PJ was officially the most used and valued RPS member benefit in 2019. 

It was nominated for best print publication of the year at the 2019 Memcom awards, as well as winning Pharmacy Writer of the Year at the 2019 Avicenna awards - which explains the 41% increase in website users in 2019. 

The PJ also merged with Clinical Pharmacist after members asked for just a single journal.