As people start to think about who to vote for in this year’s election to the RPS National Pharmacy Boards in England, Scotland and Wales it’s worth bearing in mind that we are talking about passionate pharmacists who want to make a positive difference to the profession.
All will have ideas about how and what should be a priority for RPS, what policies would have the greatest impact and what areas should be a focus. Artificial intelligence, COVID-19, NHS policy and changes in the law are all likely to be in the mix, and all of us will have an opinion about what to prioritise.
This year we also want to make sure we are encouraging everyone to be part of our mission, to put pharmacy on the forefront of healthcare.
We want to encourage people to lend their vote to the candidate they believe in.
This year we’ve been absolutely delighted with the number and diversity of candidates standing for election – members from a range of sectors, as well people from different backgrounds and with different types of pharmacy experience has stepped up – thank you to everyone who has put themselves forward for election.
We’re learning from previous experience about online debates, or ‘hustings’. What we have seen is either low participation, (webinars), or quite high participation but frankly a chaotic and unpleasant experience.
This year we are leaving it up to you to engage with candidates on the forum, you and they choose. That could be through pharmaceuticaljournal.com, or any number of social media platforms, Whatsapp, Instagram or Twitter. Or you may want to speak to members at your place of work.
We know passions can run high, and people do have strong views and feelings – we’d like to remind everyone that social media is a very public forum. Before you post something, please do think about whether you’d be comfortable saying that face to face to someone in the real world – if not then maybe step away from the keyboard and take some time out to reconsider.
We’re not forcing anyone to use a platform or channel that you are neither familiar, or comfortable with, although the advice to RPS Board candidates is reach out to voters however and wherever you can.
For the rest of us not ready to become a board candidate but keen to get involved with the election, how you participate will be a personal choice, but why not direct your energy to supporting the candidate you believe in rather than the ones you don’t?
Ravi Sharma, Director for England
Clare Morrison, Director for Scotland
Elen Jones, Director for Wales