RPS President Sandra Gidley not seeking re-election

RPS President Sandra Gidley will not be seeking re-election to the English Pharmacy Board this year. Sandra was Chair of the English Pharmacy Board from June 2015-2019 and has been RPS President since July 2019 – the first woman to hold this position since the new pharmacy leadership body was formed in 2010.

During Sandra’s leadership 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; lobbied successfully for community pharmacists to gain access to patient care records and won an end to the automatic criminalisation of dispensing errors.

Most recently as President, Sandra has overseen the RPS response to COVID-19 as well as initiatives to improve the inclusion, diversity and wellbeing of the profession. Sandra also led work to make attendance at RPS Board, Assembly and AGM meetings easier for members, particularly during lockdown, opening these sessions out as virtual online meetings.

Reflecting on her time as President, Sandra 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.  

"I could think of so many reasons to continue, however I do want to be clear about the reason I have chosen not to stand for election this year.

"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. 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.   

"Over the last two years I have been extremely proud to have been President of an organisation which has led the way on inclusion and diversity in pharmacy and has started to think with clarity about its future.

"I know our CEO Paul Bennett and the Executive team have the full backing of my colleagues on the Assembly to take forward a new strategy for RPS that we will be launching soon

"I shall miss the company of so many good colleagues on all the National Boards as well as the staff, but with a third grandchild on the way I have plenty of diversions to look forward to. I will also have a chance recharge my batteries and think about how I can contribute to the profession in the future.

"Thank you to those who have supported me – and to those of you seeking election, I wish you all the very best of luck."