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.

Find out what it's like to be a member of the Panel of Fellows

Rob Darracott, one of the Panel members, gives you some insight into what it's like to be involved in the process of designating Fellowship to RPS members. Rob Darracott, one of the Panel members, gives you some insight into what it's like to be involved in the process of designating Fellowship to RPS members.

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


Dr Gillian Hawksworth FFRPS FRPharmS MBE Dr Gillian Hawksworth FFRPS FRPharmS MBE

Gill studied at Bradford University and registered as a pharmacist in 1974. After completing her pre-registration training in hospital she worked in community pharmacy as a manager opening her own community pharmacy in 1986 which she ran as an independent proprietor until 2002. 

With an interest in education Gill became and still is a CPPE local tutor for Calderdale and Kirklees in 1991. Gill was awarded a PhD in 1998/99 at the University of Bradford, where she was subsequently appointed an Honorary Doctor of Science in 2005. 

Gill changed her career direction by becoming an academic community pharmacist at the University of Bradford from 2005 to 2009 and then a senior lecturer in Pharmacy at the University of Huddersfield from 2009, becoming a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2010.

Gill was an active member of the Huddersfield branch of RPSGB throughout her career, becoming chairman of the branch in 1990. She subsequently became chairman of the Yorkshire regional committee in 2006. Gill has also been a Member of RPSGB Council between 1992 to 1998 and 1999 to 2000, Vice President of RPSGB 2001 to 2003 and President of RPSGB 2003 to 2004. 

She was awarded an RPSGB Fellowship for the profession of pharmacy and for the practice of pharmacy in 1997 and recently became a Fellow of the RPS Faculty in 2013, having been a member of the College of Pharmacy practice since 1996 and then a governor of the College of Pharmacy practice from 2005. 

Since 2009 she has lead the RPS West Yorkshire local practice forum, as well as being a member of UKCPA, where she has been Chair of the community pharmacy group and a Trustee since 2007.

With a wide range of interests in both Science and Public health, Gill became a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in 2003 and was appointed a member of the Chemistry, Pharmacy and Standards Expert Advisory Group of the MHRA in 2006 and a member of RPS pharmaceutical science expert advisory panel in 2010.

Gill has been recognised for her contribution to the profession and recognised by her peers by winning the College of Pharmacy practice Schering Award in 1999 (for outstanding contribution to Pharmacy Practice) and the RPSGB innovation award 2009. In addition she was honoured by being appointed MBE for services to pharmacy in Mirfield in 2002,  was winner of the RPSGB Gold Charter Medal in 2010 and received the RPS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 in recognition of her achievements in promoting and developing pharmacy throughout her career.  

Gill was appointed to the Panel of Fellows in 2014.

Prof. Geoffrey D Tovey FRPharmS Prof. Geoffrey D Tovey FRPharmS

Prof. Tovey was originally awarded a degree in pharmacy from Chelsea College and registered as a member of the Society in 1967. He is currently a Visiting Professor of The Institute of Pharmaceutical Science at King's College, London.

An internationally recognised Pharmaceutical Development Director who over a period of many years directed the pharmaceutical R&D of a wide range of dosage forms for new drugs and product line extensions for worldwide marketing for several leading pharmaceutical companies including Merck, Cyanamid (Lederle) and the SmithKline organisation (now GSK). Products included all dosage forms of 'Tagamet' cimetidine, the first "blockbuster" drug. Prof. Tovey retired from the latter company as Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development in 1997.

Prof. Tovey is a Founder attendee and organiser for the past 16 years of the Interpharm Research Conference, an annual meeting of senior academic and pharmaceutical industry leaders with the objective of promoting communication between the two sectors.

He currently advises companies as a specialist in pharmaceutics and dosage forms and also provides advice to companies as an independent expert witness in areas relating to intellectual property disputes.

Prof. Tovey has published a number of research articles and review publications and has some eighty patents in the field of product formulation, processing and design of tablets.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1987 and designated a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in 1992. 

Prof. Tovey was elected to the Panel of Fellows of the Society in June 2005.

Zafar Khan FRPharmS MBE Zafar Khan FRPharmS MBE

Zafar was awarded a degree in Bio-Chemistry and Physiology from the University of Karachi in 1966 and then a degree in Pharmacy from Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1970. He registered with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society 1971 and has been a member since. 

He was awarded the further degree of MSc in Bio-Pharmacy by the Faculty of Medicine from Chelsea College, University of London in 1976. He also completed several Post Graduate Courses in various pharmaceutical subjects relating to formulation and development in the Universities of Portsmouth, Brighton, Bath and London.

Zafar started his pharmacy career by working in a London hospital and later joined as a Research Officer in the Research & Development Department with Beecham Research Laboratories (now GSK). He continued Research & Development work in industry and joined as Senior Scientific Officer with Roche Products. 

Having worked for Hospitals and Pharmaceutical Industries for over ten years, he then established his own group of companies called 'Zafash Group' to provide healthcare including community pharmacies and private medical services.

Zafar served the 'local branches'and the region in the old and the 'forum' in the new structure of the RPS at different intervals as the chair for almost past 20 years. He has been involved in lobbying pharmacy and pharmacists interests in parliament for the past eight years. He has served as a member of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee and as a board member of a clinical executive committee for the past several years. 

He is presently leading five national and international charities working in the field of human sufferings and health care. He has been interviewed on pharmacy and charity work by almost all the major national and international television networks. 

Zafar was awarded the sole Inventor's status for two British patents on Pharmaceutical Compositions involving Penicillins and two other patents as a joint inventor. 

Zafar was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in 2006 as a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the community relating to his pharmacy and charity work. 

He was designated as a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in 2006 and then designated as a Life Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine in 2007. 

Zafar was elected to the Membership Committee and the Panel of Fellows in 2010 for the RPS.

Prof. Nina Barnett FFRPS FRPharmS Prof. Nina Barnett FFRPS FRPharmS

Nina Barnett studied pharmacy at Chelsea College (now Kings College London) and qualified in 1987 after completing her preregistration year at Charing Cross Hospital. 

Based at Northwick Park Hospital in North West London, she has undertaken a variety of hospital based clinical pharmacy roles including medicines information where she worked closely with primary care colleagues to deliver service in primary care to community colleagues and patients. She specialised in care of older people and completed a diploma and then MSc in pharmacy practice in 1997 with the London School of Pharmacy (now UCL). 

In her hospital role, she developed services linking hospital and primary care through joint working with the then Harrow Primary Care Trust and North West London Hospitals NHS Trust (now London North West Healthcare NHS Trust) established, in 2004, pharmacist roles identifying and managing medicines related risks, which developed into new roles across interfaces of care in 2007. 

She has also worked in care homes establishing a pharmacist prescribing role and more recently, reducing preventable hospital admissions from care homes. This work was recognised in the recent 2015 pharmaceutical care awards. 

In her national role within NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service, she leads on care of older people, polypharmacy/deprescribing and medicines adherence, creating resources and learning events as well as contributing to national work in the area.

Nina was appointed as a Consultant Pharmacist in 2007 and chaired the national group until 2010 and is now co-chair of the group. She has expertise in clinical leadership in the area of older people, teaching and pharmacist prescribing. 

She leads change and promotes the pharmacy profession through national media and has worked with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Department of Health and NICE. She is published in national and international journals. 

Nina has developed and delivered MSc level courses to health care professionals including care of older people and prescribing pharmacists at UCL School of Pharmacy and Kings College London. 

She has also designed and delivered health coaching training to consultants, GPs nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals and pioneered the use of coaching in pharmacy to optimising patient adherence.
She was awarded fellowship of RPS in 2011 and completed her faculty fellowship in 2013. 

She was appointed as a Visiting Professor at Kings College London in 2015. She is was appointed to the magistracy in 2013 and sits at the Central London bench. Her current work includes developing, implementing and validating a medicines support services focussing on reducing risk of preventable medicines-related readmission for older people in both hospital and primary care. 

This work has been shortlisted for a number of awards in 2015.

She leads development of the use of health coaching in medicines-related patient care.

Dr Rose Marie Parr FFRPS FRPharmS Dr Rose Marie Parr FFRPS FRPharmS

Rose Marie Parr undertook her pharmacy undergraduate degree and postgraduate degrees at the School of Pharmacy at Strathclyde University Glasgow and her Doctorate in Education at Glasgow University. She has worked in hospital pharmacy in the 1980-1990s in various posts in Lanarkshire Health Board and Forth Valley Health Board areas.

In 1993 she became the Director of Postgraduate Pharmacy Education for Scotland with a remit for all postgraduate education for pharmacists in the NHS. In April 2002 Pharmacy Education was brought together with other professional educational groups into the special health Board, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) which has a remit for all NHS staff in Scotland. Rose Marie Parr was the Director of Pharmacy for NHS Education for Scotland, and is now Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Scotland.

Rose Marie is also past Chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and a designated Fellow and Faculty Fellow of the RPS. Rose Marie is a member of the Scottish Medicines Committee (SMC) and also currently holds honorary Professorships at both Scottish Schools of Pharmacy; Strathclyde University in Glasgow and Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. 

Steve Churton FRPharmS Steve Churton FRPharmS

Steve is a Fellow and former President of The Royal Pharmaceutical Society from 2008 - 2010. He was responsible for leading the profession and the RPSGB through the transition from the combined professional body and regulator to establish the RPS and GPhC we see today.

He has enjoyed a career of over 30 years within the private healthcare sector, and, now semi-retired, he devotes his working time to the trusteeships of several charitable organisations and to providing independent consultancy services. He is involved in supporting the West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group as a lay member and vice-chair of the Board, using his professional, commercial and corporate experience to influence the delivery of cost effective solutions which improve the quality of life and healthcare outcomes for patients in West Leicestershire.

He is a passionate advocate for the profession, and for the recognition of the role and value of pharmacists to provide clinical expertise to the benefit of their patients. He takes a keen interest in developing the skills, expertise and confidence of pharmacists, and in recognising their achievements and contribution to the profession. Steve is currently enjoying seeing his son, a junior doctor, forge his early career in the NHS.

Robert Darracott FRPharmS Robert Darracott FRPharmS

After studying pharmacy at Nottingham, Rob Darracott qualified as a pharmacist in 1982 after a pre-registration year at the now closed General Hospital in Nottingham.  After two years working as a resident pharmacist in the NHS, and seven years on the editorial staff of Chemist & Druggist magazine, he spent the early 1990s in the pharmacy policy team at the Department of Health in London, where he was the sponsoring official for the first large scale primary care medicines management pilots in England. 

Rob left the civil service to join what was then Moss Chemists as the company’s first Professional Services Manager, where he built a team concentrating on new pharmacy-based services.

He was an original member of the team undertaking the research that created the evidence base for what became the New Medicines Service in England. He was at Moss, and then in Alliance UniChem’s international retail division, where he led on professional services development as a part of the European business development team researching entry into new markets across Europe, notably in Norway, the Netherlands and Switzerland, for 8 years. 

He left Moss to join the RPSGB as its first (and only) Director of Corporate & Strategic Development, with responsibility for policy, research, corporate governance, the secretariat, human resources, business intelligence and science. 

He joined the Company Chemists’ Association as its Chief Executive in 2007, leaving formally in 2015 to take up the role of CEO of Pharmacy Voice full time, having led the umbrella body from its creation in 2010.  Pharmacy Voice was closed down by its members in 2017.

Rob co-chaired the Modernising Pharmacy Careers’ review of pharmacists’ professional training and the Steering Group on Improving the Use of Medicines for the Department of Health.  He was a member of the Scottish Government’s Prescription for Excellence Steering Group, as co-chair of its stakeholder Reference Group.

He was appointed an Honorary Professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham in 2013.