RPS Panel of Fellows

Our Panel of Fellows review all Fellowship nominations and have the authority to designate Members to be Fellows. 

They are appointed by the Assembly and meet in May and November to consider nominations and make a decision as to who should be awarded a Fellowship of the Society.

How to join the Panel of Fellows

Useful documents:

What's it like to be a member of our Panel of Fellows?

Panel member Rob Darracott explains how designating RPS Fellowships to members works. Panel member Rob Darracott explains how designating RPS Fellowships to members works.

Some years ago I was lucky enough to be invited to give the UCL School of Pharmacy New Year Lecture at the Royal Society. It was generally well received, but the most talked about slide was the last one. In it, I listed the dozen or so people who had influenced me throughout my career. Most of them were pharmacists, I am in contact with almost all of them today, some of them nearly 40 years after we first met. I call them my professional heroes.

Pharmacists are generally modest people. We don’t do enough to celebrate achievement, or individual excellence (and our Society is still struggling, if we are being honest, with finding the best way to tap into the pool of talent the Fellows represent, but that’s another story). I’ve been fortunate to meet great pharmacists throughout my career; I’ve worked with them, I’ve written about them, I’ve represented them. I might even have helped one or two along the way create their own inspiring story. So, when a vacancy arose on the Panel of Fellows I applied to join. To cut a long story short, I got the gig.

I’m just about the attend my fourth Panel meeting. A large box of papers arrived at home a couple of weeks ago. Full of detailed testimonials from pharmacists, work colleagues, employers and subordinates. About great, innovative, uber-professional pharmacists. Doing a great job for people and patients. Creating new services, developing talent, demonstrating excellence, showing leadership. I set aside a good couple of hours to read them all.

Everyone on the Panel does the same. We all know Fellowship is important.We’ve all experienced the thrill of receiving the letter from the Society, informing us that, without our knowledge, we’ve been noticed enough for someone (or more than someone) to put a submission together about us.To source our CV. To choose the words that convey what makes us stand out. How, in the words of the nomination form, a pharmacist goes “above and beyond” the day job.

I don’t believe anyone sets out to do less than a good job every day, but Fellowship is a recognition of those in the profession whose work is assessed by their peers as exceptional, inspirational, life-changing, or world-leading. Whose achievement defies logic, or organisation, or requires personal or professional courage. Of the innovators, or those with a lifetime of service to a community where the weight of evidence describes an individual whose work is genuinely extra-ordinary.

Some are easy to assess. If your immediate thought is: “I’m surprised they aren’t a Fellow already” you can quickly move on. Others are more difficult. In the submissions we will assess this week there will be one or two that don’t quite make it. Fellowship is not a long service medal.

But the vast majority of them will. Because those putting the nominations together, many of them Fellows themselves who know what it means, take the time and trouble to explain why an individual deserves special recognition from their professional body. That makes it easier for us, as we go around the table and vote to confer the “F” that means so much. And, if we see something in a submission that suggests a little additional information might make all the difference, we will ask the primary nominator to have another look.

So, I look forward twice a year, to reading about excellent professional colleagues, many of whom I don’t know and will never meet, but who mean something special to people who work with or for them, to colleagues in other health professions, to patients and the public. And the only person who probably would not thank me for suggesting that it would be great to see twice as many nominations in six months’ time, is the postman.

Rob Darracott, Panel of Fellows

Members

Surinder Bassan FRPharms Surinder Bassan FRPharms

Surinder Bassan graduated from Sunderland Polytechnic in 1972, registering as a pharmacist in 1973 after completing his pre-registration training in community pharmacy. He managed various pharmacies in the Potteries whilst reading for LLB as an external student of London University.

In 1976 he joined NHS, managing mental illness, psychiatric and geriatrics hospital pharmacies in Dartford. He accompanied consultants on ward rounds, realising the potential for pharmacy contribution to patient care as well as to the practices of ward-based teams.

In 1978 he was appointed Area Drug Information Officer based at Basildon hospital. Despite having completed Part 1 of LLB, he concluded Pharmacy’s future was in providing near-patient clinical services. He moved to Manchester to read for MSc in Hospital Practice specialising in rheumatology under Prof. Rowland.

Surinder joined Southend General Hospital; developing clinical services by introducing pharmacy based therapeutic drug monitoring, managing patients with resistant hypertension and epilepsy in clinics with medics. He started SWAP (Sampling Ward Activities of Pharmacists) in North East Thames Region. He produced a report of over 23,000 hospital pharmacist interventions which was submitted to DoH as evidence of pharmacists’ clinical contributions to patient care. He supported education and training of Nurses and Pharmacy Technicians as a lecturer at Southend Technical College.

Between 1983-85, Surinder set up and managed the Drugs and Poisons Information Centre at King Khaled University Hospital in Riyadh, gaining valuable insight into American based pharmacy systems.

On return to Southend in 1986, he developed Formulary and Prescribing Guidelines before being appointed District Pharmaceutical Officer for North Warwickshire in 1987. Based at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton he continued to develop clinical services and education and training avenues for Pharmacy & Nursing teams.

In 1990 Surinder was awarded Membership of the College of Pharmacy Practice. He also served as a member of Recruitment & Retention Committee of the College.

Various innovative developments followed, such as starting Needle Exchange facilities through A&E department and local community pharmacies (despite initial police reservations), pharmacist run clinics for diabetics & heart failure patients, robotic dispensing and a model demonstrating reduction in medicines administration errors through technician led mid-day medicines round.

In 1995, following a grant, a pharmacist was placed in a Dispensing Doctor Practice to rationalise prescribing, develop Formulary Guidelines, and start up clinics for Hay Fever and H. Pylori Eradication, which resulted in Surinder being awarded MSc in Clinical Pharmacy by Liverpool John Moores University in1997.

In 1997 West Midlands Chief Pharmacists realised there was a lack of succession planning. Surinder set up an Education and Development fund with the aid of the pharmaceutical industry to finance a part-time Diploma in Hospital Pharmacy Management in conjunction with Aston University. He co-ordinated recruitment and funding of potential students, all of whom subsequently went on to become chief or deputy chief pharmacists throughout the country.

From 1998 Surinder became a member of the RPS’ Adjudicating Committee for Registration of Overseas Pharmacist. Later he also became part of the team for accreditation Universities MPharm and Overseas Pharmacist Assessment Programme (OSPAP).

In 2005, Surinder completed the Executive MBA of Warwick University. The hospital benefitted with improved systems and governance arrangements in the management of NICE guidance.

In 2006 Surinder became Chief Pharmacist of University Hospitals Southampton. He led and developed a high-profile award-winning team which many other hospitals aspired to emulate. During his time the team was cited by DoH as a beacon site in successfully managing challenges of infection control and VTE. Collaboration with CCG resulted in establishment of a pharmacist in rheumatology and gastroenterology clinics, optimising treatment together with the consultants. A subsidiary company of the Trust was also established to manage out-patients supplies of medicines.

Surinder was designated as an RPS Fellow for Distinction in Clinical Pharmacy and for Services to the Profession in 2008.

He retired from NHS in 2012 but continued to practice as an Independent Pharmaceutical Consultant, holding interim Chief Pharmacist positions at Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Robert Jones Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Queen’s Hospital Burton and Great Western Hospital, Swindon.

Surinder is a member of the RPS, UKCPA and GHP. As an Associate of GPhC, he is a member of the International Registration panel and Fitness to Practice committee.

Alexander Daghlian FRPharmS Alexander Daghlian FRPharmS

Alexander Daghlian FRPharmS, is the founder, managing director and superintendent pharmacist of Alexander’s Pharmacies Limited . A group of three pharmacies in north Wales, which he established in 1994. 
Having read pharmacy, at the university of Bradford and graduating, he registered as a pharmacist in 1986. He completed his pharmacy pre-registration with Rowlands Pharmacy. He continued with them, firstly as a relief pharmacist manager in north Wales and then a pharmacist manager. He then went to work as a pharmacist manager in Sydney, Australia . After qualifying and registering , to practice as a pharmacist with the Pharmacy Board of New South Wales in Australia. 
Upon his return to the UK, he worked firstly as a pharmacist manager for Lloyd’s Pharmacy in Birmingham. He then went on from there to establish Alexander’s Pharmacies Limited. Winning the license each time, to open and establish three pharmacies, which now employ twenty pharmacy staff and care for over thirty four thousand patients. Alexander Daghlian is also an officer of the Research Health Authority, as the alt. vice chair of a research ethics committee for Healthcare and Research Wales. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in 2020, for distinction in the profession of pharmacy. 

Martin Stephens FRPharmS Martin Stephens FRPharmS

Martin Stephens graduated from Nottingham University in 1979, undertaking his preregistration training in South Warwickshire Hospitals, including a six-month placement in mental health. He worked as a junior pharmacist in the West Midlands with time at Kidderminster, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and Birmingham General Hospital; roles included introducing clinical services in learning disability units, medicines information, education and training, and clinical services in acute medicine.

Martin became Chief Pharmacist at Wolverhampton, developing clinical and directorate pharmacy services there and being actively involved in the Keele based clinical training programme. In 1997 he was appointed Chief Pharmacist for Southampton Teaching Hospitals where he oversaw the extension of clinical pharmacy, expansion of aseptic services and the appointment of consultant pharmacists for intensive care and anti-infectives. In 2006, Martin took on a broader clinical leadership role alongside the leadership of clinical effectiveness in the trust. 
Martin was appointed National Clinical Director for Hospital Pharmacy for 2008 to 2011 working on pharmacy’s role in thromboprophylaxis, safer transfers of care and better use of medicines. His final full-time role was as Chief Executive of Wessex Academic Health Science Network where he oversaw the set up and licencing, establishing the medicines optimisation programme and the successful initiation of a range of improvement workstreams.
Following retirement from full time work, Martin was chair of the pharmacy local professional network 2015 to 2020, visiting professor at the University of Portsmouth and chair of the Chief Professional Officers Medicines Mechanisms board. He also is lead of the learning groups for the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s Clinical Fellows.
Martin has contributed to a number of publications, is author of Strategic Medicines Management (Pharmaceutical Press 2005) and editor of Hospital Pharmacy (Pharmaceutical Press, 2nd edition 2011). Martin has a masters in health economics and management and he is a registered RPS mentor.