RPS Annual Review 2022

A message from RPS President Professor Claire Anderson and CEO Paul Bennett

Prof Claire Anderson, RPS PresidentWelcome to our look back at 2022 with the RPS, and a timely reminder of all the hard work undertaken by everyone at the RPS throughout the year.

2022 hasn’t always been an easy year for many of us, and I’d like to extend my personal thanks to all of our members across the profession, across Great Britain, and around the world, for all of your incredible work and commitment throughout. We promise that, more than ever, the RPS will be there for you throughout 2023.

I was lucky enough to visit many areas of the UK during 2022, and see first-hand many of the remarkable contributions our members are making to healthcare. With luck, I’ll see more of you in 2023!

Some of you in London may have spotted me in October, cycling ten miles for Ride for your Lives around the Royal Colleges and Societies for the UK Alliance on Health and Climate Change. And 2022 was, of course, the year we launched our Declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergency, to play our part in combatting climate change.

One highlight of 2022 was being invited to the reception that then-Prince Charles held for community pharmacy at St James Palace. After being introduced, we discussed how pharmacist prescribing will transform pharmacy, and the role of the RPS in this change. With the sad passing of our patron, HM The Queen, I hope our relationship with the new King will be just as constructive.

Thank you again for supporting RPS and our profession in 2022.

Professor Claire Anderson
RPS President

Paul Bennett, RPS CEO

Thank you for taking the time to read this year's Annual Review. It's an opportunity for us to report on all that the RPS has been doing on your behalf as our members in the advancement of the profession and pursuit of our Vision: to become the world leader in the safe and effective use of medicines, and our Mission: to put pharmacy at the forefront of healthcare.

We strive every day to do what is right for our members, for the profession, and for the public wherever medicines are concerned, and could not achieve this without your engagement and support. I would like to pay tribute to all of those who work with us on our expert advisory groups, our governance members and individuals who share their expertise in our advocacy work and the production of our professional guidance and support materials. All of these ensure we remain relevant to you, to the profession, and stay focussed on what you tell us is important to you.

In 2022, our self-commissioned independent review on member engagement and communications showed that we don’t always get everything right first time, but we are committed to improvement. We have never shied away from doing what we believe is right for the profession, even if that doesn’t always meet with universal approval, but if we misstep, we’ll admit it, and work to put things right.

A Commission into future pharmacy professional leadership was instigated by the four UK Chief Pharmaceutical Officers during 2022. We took that opportunity to share our vision for the future with a comprehensive response to a call for evidence. That helped to illustrate the strength of current leadership through collaborative member and staff efforts, while recognising that more can be achieved.

Despite such challenges, this Annual Review of 2022 illustrates how we focused on what was important throughout the year. We developed compelling visions for professional practice across all three nations, collaborating with a variety of professional bodies. We continued to advance our role in education and professional development, working closely with NHS education commissioners across Great Britain, celebrating our scientific routes, and supporting member participation in research by building awareness and capability.

Across the regions, our recent Ambassador appointments will help strengthen connections with members. Our events were reinvigorated, too, with many new webinars, and our Annual Conference in November, which sold out and was extremely busy.

Of course, while there was so much to celebrate in 2022 it was sadly also the year that we lost our patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who only one year earlier had written to congratulate all RPS members on the occasion of our 180th anniversary. She is much missed by us all.

Paul Bennett
RPS Chief Executive

2022 in numbers...

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Remembering our patron, Queen Elizabeth II

2022 will be remembered with great sadness by many for the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, our gracious patron for almost 35 years.

We've been proud to be known as the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in that time, and know that Her Majesty's patronage made a real difference to our work, and the work of our members. 

Her Majesty will be very sadly missed.

Recognising the threat of Climate Change

In 2022, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, working with Pharmacy Declares, published our Climate Change Charter

We were also proud to announce in 2022 that RPS has fully divested from fossil fuels.

The Charter invited pharmacy teams from around the world to sign up and commit to action on climate change, before it's too late. FIND OUT MORE

Consultations & Policy


To ensure that the views of our members were heard in 2022, we responded to over 50 consultations from stakeholders, including NICE, Department of Health and Social Care, GPhC, and the governments of Wales, Scotland and England. Topics included hub and spoke, amendments to the Poisons Act, 10-year Cancer Plan and Health Inequalities.

Find out more about our consultations in 2022

By responding to inquiries and consultations, we’re continually building engagement on these, and other topics, with stakeholder groups, members of parliament in all three countries and members.


Across Great Britain, we published a policy on pharmacist’s role on provision of fit notes following changes in legislation, and a position statement on how pharmacy can reach currently underserved populations and deliver accessible pharmaceutical care for everyone.

In our position statement Putting the patient first: how pharmacy can get it right we addressed professionalism, respect and prioritisation.

With the National Association of Link Workers, we developed a position statement on pharmacists and social prescribing, raising awareness and ensuring appropriate referrals.

Find out more on our policy pages

Inclusion & Diversity

RPS team at London Pride 2022We joined the 2022 London Pride March, celebrating all the LGBTQIA+ members of the profession.

We created more resources to help our members identify microaggressions against different protected characteristics, including LGBTQIA+ and Age.

Our Disability awareness campaign launched, showcasing individual experiences in pharmacy, with all of their challenges and barriers, and included a national roundtable on flexible working hosted by Scottish Parliament. We shared 17 blogs from a range of diversity and areas of practice as well as five social media lives and webinars from across the profession.

Pharmacist Charlotte Bell told us, “As a pharmacist who has experienced discrimination due to my neurodivergence, this document and the work around it will help our profession to strive to be better."

And we launched our year-long Parents & Carer campaign to produce guidance and highlight challenges experienced by parents and carers.


Laura Wilson, RPS Head of ScotlandPharmacy 2030, our professional vision for the future of pharmacy in Scotland. It was launched at a Scottish Parliamentary Reception with a group of MSPs in attendance.

2022 saw the launch of our Pharmacy in Scotland Best Practice Hub, with both written and video case studies.

Our Scottish Advocacy webpage launched at www.rpharms.com/scotland/advocacy

2022 saw strong engagement with MSPs, including those on the Health Social Care and Sport Committee. Almost all those interviewed in the Health and Sport Committee recalled satisfactory contact with RPS in the past year.

Our joint statement on reducing the environmental impact of prescribing and medicines use was published, in collaboration with professional leadership bodies across Scotland.

We re-established the Primary Care Clinical Professions Group for Scotland, helping to network with more healthcare professions.

Our #BeKind campaign in December got fantastic media coverage in Scotland.

We gave written and oral evidence to the Health Committee, demonstrating the importance of introducing a shared electronic patient record for the Scottish Alternative Pathways to Primary Care Report.

We gave a presentation at Scotland’s NHS event on Pharmacy 2030.


Elen Jones, RPS Director for WalesCommissioned by the Welsh Government, we launched new 2025 goals for the profession’s 2030 vision; Pharmacy; Delivering a Healthier Wales. Over 350 pharmacy professionals helped to build these goals, as well as other professional and patient groups. At the launch, 80 members were joined by the Minister for Health and Social Services to launch the new goals.

To raise awareness of key pharmacy issues among politicians, we hosted five events at the Senedd, including workforce wellbeing, sustainability, protected learning time, and independent prescribing.

Throughout 2022, we talked to two-thirds of Senedd members, and triggered an hour-long debate on pharmacy workforce pressures and it’s crucial role within the NHS.

60 delegates and some fantastic keynote speakers joined our Medicines Safety Symposium, in collaboration with the All-Wales Medicines Safety Group.

Following the RPS Wales policy on pharmacy and palliative care, we were commissioned by Marie Curie to develop palliative care standards for community pharmacy across the UK.


James Davies, RPS Director for England

To create an ambitious long-term vision for pharmacy practice in England, we worked closely with The King’s Fund in 2022. 600 people helped us develop our Vision for Pharmacy Professional Practice, with over 400 people joining our online events, and we received almost 700 online responses from pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, patients and users of pharmacy services, and organisations.

Our Workforce Wellbeing survey revealed your concerns about inadequate staffing (70%), lack of work/life balance (53%), lack of protected learning time (48%) and lack of colleague/senior support (47%).

Alongside other leadership bodies, we gave evidence to the influential Health Select Committee, highlighting pharmacists’ contribution during the pandemic. The Committee’s report called on the Government to develop a pharmacy workforce plan.

We joined 13 other pharmacy organisations calling on the Government to ensure the NHS Long-Term Workforce Plan supports the whole of the pharmacy workforce across the health service in England.

We continued working with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Pharmacy, raising awareness of pharmacy in Parliament. Their latest report highlighted the potential of pharmacist prescribers, calling for more investment in training.

To campaign for fair funding for community pharmacy we went straight to Number Ten!

We also spoke up for candidates who faced difficulties and delays sitting the foundation registration exam in England.

And we continued our campaign calling on the Home Office to ban the so-called “diet drug” DNP.


In 2022, we began our essential campaign to raise awareness of the possibilities of pharmacogenomics, or PGx, beginning with a dedicated pharmacogenomics webpage.

We spent much of the year working with other groups and experts, so the profession and individuals would recognise the important changes that this suite of new technologies and therapies is bringing to the profession.

If you hadn’t heard of PGx at the start of 2022, chances are you have now!

Science & Research

Our Science & Research team welcomed a new Chief Scientist, Professor Parastou Donyai, and new Science & Research Officer in 2022, and continued to provide high quality research support services to members. The majority of those we supported to secure research funding in 2022 successfully reached interview stage, or were awarded research funding.

Projects and initiatives

Working with the Pharmaceutical Journal, we launched the Outstanding Pharmacy Early-Career Research Awards (OPERA) in 2022. OPERA is for UK-based early career researchers and scientists working within an area related to pharmacy. Look out for the announcement of our first winner in May 2023!

We were successful in securing funding from National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) to develop nine e-learning modules to increase research awareness and capability in pharmacy, with the first module launched in October 2022.

National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) funded our development of nine e-learning modules to increase research awareness and capability in pharmacy, and the first was launched in October 2022.

All our research and evaluation hubs were updated in 2022, and we published five new research and evaluation guides.

We launched a new monthly blog on Research and Evaluation, published in the Pharmaceutical Journal.

Our Celebration of Science event was held on Thursday, 10 November, and, and covered the history of science and pharmacy, the contribution of pharmacists during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the future of science in pharmacy. As well as panel discussions with past and present RPS Chief Scientists, Professor Abdul Basit, from UCL was awarded the Harrison Medal, and there were talks from previous Harrison prize winners.

Chief Scientist Parastou Donyai was interviewed on Pharma Scene podcast #17. Due to popular demand, she returned for the Christmas special, Christmas Past, with the Aural Apothecary, and for episode #21, Breaking down language barriers in Pharmacy.

And there was a very welcome return to delivering face-to-face Qualified Person VIVAS!

On MedicinesComplete, over 14,000 pieces of content were updated in 2022.

1.2 million users made over 6.5 million searches, viewing almost 26 million pages across 182 countries and regions, and searching for Amoxicillin more than any other drug.

2022 also saw new print editions of:

The new Drug Monitoring Checker launched in January, as part of MedicinesComplete. This new tool provides evidence-based, actionable monitoring information to optimise drug treatment, and support confident decision-making in both primary and secondary care settings.

Electronic Medicines Compendium (emc) launched on MedicinesComplete, offering up-to-date product information for medicines licensed in the UK, directly from manufacturers. emc through MedicinesComplete features direct links to the evidence-based and practical guidance of British National Formulary and BNF for Children. For the first time, professionals can quickly access these two essential drug information products in one place, enabling informed decision-making on the licensed and unlicensed use of medicines. (emc is available on subscription to MedicinesComplete customers outside of the UK).

The PJ was shortlisted for seven national journalism awards in 2022, including Media Brand of the Year at the PPA awards and Podcast of the Year at the Medical Journalists’ Association Awards. Two of our reporters won awards: Julia Robinson was awarded Best Writer (B2B) at the BSME talent awards, and Carolyn Wickware was awarded Pharmacy Writer of the Year at the Avicenna Media Awards 2022.

The PJ’s news content was mentioned over 30 times in the national media in 2022, including on two newspaper front pages, and our journalists were asked onto BBC Radio, Channel 5 and other national broadcasters as ‘subject experts’ on national issues, such as medicines shortages and antidepressant prescribing.

Members say they most value CPD and learning resources, with approximately 70% of Members saying they valued this most about the PJ, followed by in-depth news and breaking news at third. Younger Members value scientific research considerably more than older cohorts.

Members had a positive perception of the quality of our news coverage, with very few Members holding a negative view (<5%). Members practicing for over 15 years or retired hold positive views of our CPD and learning resources, with 75% positive rising to 80% positive for students and those with fewer than 15 years practice.

The Pharmaceutical Journal sends weekly and monthly newsletters to all members, as well as learning and breaking news. If you would like to receive any of these, please sign up here.

And we were proud to again share the PJ’s Women to Watch list, celebrating 12 women for breaking boundaries and improving patient care.

RPS Ambassadors

2022 saw the setting up of our new RPS Regions and Ambassadors, to support on regional issues, introduce nearby contacts, or promote local events. In April, RPS Regions were launched, and in June we began recruiting our Ambassadors, quickly filling 12 of the 14 positions.

The new Ambassadors, along with Country Directors and RPS Heads of Departments, are creating regional events for 2023.

Find out more about our Regions, say "hi" to our Ambassadors, and look out for events near you in 2023 at www.rpharms.com/ambassadors

Social Media

Across all our social media channels in 2022, our 2,800 posts were seen a total of 6.7 million times, and gained us five and a half thousand new followers!

Our top tweet was sent on Monday, 17 October (see right).

And our top performing blog was Me and my mental health.

The single busiest day was during our the RPS Conference, Friday, 11 November, when over 600 people interacted , and over 10,000 saw our posts that day!

We got “down with the kids” with the help of our summer interns, who helped post our first Instagram Reel.

And it was gratifying to see our #BeKind campaign got over 50,000 views!

News & Media

In 2022, the RPS press office delivered pharmacy coverage through 5,160 online and print outlets, and across 443 broadcast stations

From BBC News to SKY, Radio 4, national and regional outlets across Great Britain, we were at the heart of the issues that matter to the profession. We highlighted workforce wellbeing and pharmacy pressures across the media, calling for a better working environment and fair funding for pharmacy.

Thanks to our work on HRT shortages this year, there’s been huge interest in changing the law, so pharmacists can use their professional discretion to amend prescriptions without the need for a serious shortage protocol.

We also won our decade-long campaign highlighting the dangers of industrial chemical DNP, as it was finally included in the Poisons Act (DNP is sold by unscrupulous dealers to vulnerable individuals wanting to lose weight).


Our e-Library was accessed almost 17,000 times, and 27 new e-books were added – giving a grand total of 115 titles now available to members. It was one of our ten most-viewed webpages in 2022.

Our databases (including Medline Complete) were accessed over 2,000 times.

Plans for 2023 include a showcase of some of the Library’s Special Collections, including the Hanbury Collection!


Our Museum microsite had another 284 historical pharmacy objects added in 2022, for a grand total of 939. See them on https://museum.rpharms.com

And our Museum Oral History page has three more oral histories from our existing Oral History Collection.

Offline, we audited another 1394 objects, photographed 630 more, and catalogued another 239, as well as expanding our COVID-19 collection; with the pandemic largely behind us, cataloguing those events is an important job.

We’ve been busy on social media, too, posting 40 of our popular Museum Monday tweets, three blog posts, and another humourous Christmas Podcast.

And thank you to each one of the ten volunteers who helped us out in 2022, sparing their time and energy to improve the RPS Museum!

We now have a new display in the RPS Scottish office, with 15 objects in the stairwell including and 18th century indentured agreement with a Perth surgeon apothecary.

After the Museum reopened on 16 May 2022 we’ve given tours to over 50 visitors, and took part in London Open House in September.


RPS President CLaire Anderson opens the ConferenceThe top Events news of 2022 was the return of our Annual Conference in November. It was a big hit, selling out and attracting over 800 people (including 250 “virtual” attendeees)! 

On the day, keynote speeches from Professor Sir Michael Marmot and Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed were both very popular, as were the 48 expert speakers in 37 sessions across four different content streams! In fact, 98% of attendees rated it Excellent or Very Good
Sign up now for our 2023 Conference

Also popular in 2022 were our Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) interactive webinars. Across 156 individual courses, 4,615 people attended for a total of 390 hours!

In all, throughout 2022, over 11,000 Members attended one of our 135 RPS Events – not including CPCS webinars. And many of these events were collaborative efforts, working with leading organisations including NICE, Royal College of Physicians (RCP), Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), and the British Pharmacological Society (BPS).

And for anyone who couldn’t join us live at a webinar, we’ve continued building our on-demand webinar library for RPS Members.

Professional Support

Our Professional Support team responded to over 3,300 enquiries in 2022, and three-quarters of members rated the service excellent or good.

117 vital Pharmacy Alerts were sent, including an Urgent Public Health Message in response to detection of Vaccine Derived Polio Virus type 2, a drug safety update: Pregabalin, and arrangements for primary care services in England in September.

Professional Guidance and Standards

Our popular Pharmacy Guides were being updated throughout the year, to keep them up-to-date and accurate.

42 existing guides were comprehensively updated, 75 obsolete guides were removed from our website, and 20 brand-new guides were published in 2022, including:

The team put together the latest MEP 45 in 2022, and were at the heart of developing our new digital MEP, so it was ready for launch in 2023. 

The team actively promoted our guides on social media, and even produced a Pharmacy guides webinar & video. As well as creating our new as well as updating our guidance for Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), they worked with colleagues and other national experts to promote and support World Antimicrobial Awareness Week in November, and an Antimicrobial Amnesty campaign.

People Team

Our People Team welcomed 63 new members of staff to RPS in 2022.

But that wasn’t all! RPS also became Disability Confident Employers, and provided disability training to all staff - there were almost 500 attendees at development sessions that included Neurodiversity, Goal Setting, and Disability Awareness.

Assessment & Credentialing

Our Assessment & Credentialing team launched the Core advanced curriculum and portfolio in September, and over 100 people joined them at the launch webinar.

The team received 43 consultant pharmacist portfolio submissions, and collaborated with UK stakeholders to publish a study around the self-reported consultant-level practice development needs of pharmacists across the UK.


Our Tech team got a new leader in 2022, Avril Chester, who has some big plans for them:

I joined RPS halfway through 2022, and my plan for the first 100 days was mostly to learn and listen, as I got to know the current technology landscape at RPS before attempting to make any great changes. We took the opportunity in 2022 to create a solid foundation for an effective digital future at RPS. I hope those changes will start to become apparent in 2023, as improved systems and new technologies make the RPS experience faster and smoother for members and staff alike!

Her team were busy maintaining all our systems in the background (which many of us probably didn’t notice!), but they were also switching our website to Open Source software, introducing new payment options (Googlepay and Applepay), supporting development in PhP for new initiatives in 2023, building the new Medicines, Ethics and Practice (MEP), and setting up a more environmentally-friendly printer setup in our offices.


We were also joined by a new Chief Education and Membership Officer (CEMO) in 2022, in the form of Neville Carter.

Our Education team manage the RPS Mentoring platform, and throughout 2022 had 623 new mentoring requests. 409 members signed up to find a mentor, and 93 new mentors signed up to help assist mentees.

When they weren’t doing that, the team were developing nine research e-learning modules, and working with over 350 MPharm students who attended our Foundation training recruitment (Oriel) workshops – helping them to feel more confident with that application process.

Our NHS CPCS Clinical Training sessions were extraordinarily popular in 2022, working with over 3,000 community pharmacists across England to develop their clinical skills via a series of webinars. It was a great example of a joint effort in healthcare, collaborating with leading organisations such as NICE, Heart UK and the Self Care Forum.


Our regular Pharma Scene podcast had some great guests throughout 2022, covering the different sectors, concerns, and interests of our members.

We spoke to pharmacists about Working as a Pharmacist Abroad and Leadership in Pharmacy; we looked at Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) and Pharmacogenomics; and we looked at different careers, whether in Academia or in Europe or in Industrial Pharmacy.

Join us in 2023 for more short, sharp updates on the Pharma Scene!