Hospital Expert Advisory Group

The RPS Hospital Advisory Group (HEAG) is a consultative group to the Boards of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). The Group provides expertise on issues of hospital practice which impact on the pharmacy profession and the public, and provides thought leadership to inform RPS policy.

For the purpose of this group, hospital practice includes providers of pharmacy services in or to acute, mental health, private, community services, prison, hospice and ambulance settings. It also covers areas of practice where hospital pharmacy expertise and influence is required to improve care e.g. whole health economy solutions to medicines optimisation challenges.


How the HEAG supports the RPS and the profession

Currently HEAG is supporting the RPS and the profession by:

Would you like to join the RPS Hospital Expert Advisory Group? Email [email protected]

See the group’s terms of reference.


To discuss the work of the Hospital Expert Advisory Group contact Catherine Picton, Professional Secretary

Catherine Picton Catherine Picton


Catherine Picton BSc MBA FFRPS FRPharmS

Catherine is an experienced healthcare and policy consultant who has worked with the Department of Health, NHS England, local and national NHS organisations, professional bodies and organisations, and health policy think tanks. Her particular areas of interest include health policy that supports the optimal use of medicines, with a focus on practical application and sustainability (policy to practice).

She has authored and co-authored an extensive range of reports, policy guidance and tools that support health policy implementation. She is currently Professional Secretary to the RPS Hospital Expert Advisory Group, is lead author of the RPS professional standards for hospital pharmacy teams and is supporting the update of the guidance for the safe and secure handling of medicines.

She is co-author of Now or Never: Shaping Pharmacy for the Future (2013) the report of an independent commission into future models of care delivered through pharmacy and Now More than Ever: why pharmacy needs to act (2014) the Nuffield Trust’s review of progress toward the recommendations made in the Now or Never report.  More recently she was a member of the advisory group supporting an independent review of community pharmacy clinical services by the director of policy at The Kings Fund.

Previously, Catherine was Managing Editor of Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. Prior to that, she worked as a practice research and hospital pharmacist.

Members of the group

Chair: Rob Duncombe

Rob Duncombe Rob Duncombe

Rob Duncobme

Rob Duncombe

Director of Pharmacy. The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

Ten years’ experience as a Director of Pharmacy. Member of the Medicines optimisation CRG. Member of the BOPA Executive committee. A passion for optimising the use of cancer medicines and deriving best value from the interventions we make in patients with cancer. Rob supported the introduction of dose banding of chemotherapy across England, and is chair of the Cancer Vanguard medicines optimisation workstream.

Iben Altman Iben Altman

Amanda Bevan Amanda Bevan

Mark Borthwick Mark Borthwick

Steven Buckley Steven Buckley

David Campbell David Campbell

David Campbell

David Campbell

Job title: Chief Pharmacist and Clinical Director of Medicines Optimisation, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Expertise: Strategic service development; hospital pharmacy management; system leadership and transformation; medication safety; strategic workforce development/redesign; clinical pharmacy practise innovation.

David Cook David Cook

Cathy Cooke Cathy Cooke

Cathy Cooke

Cathy Cooke

Current primary job title: Pharmacy Manager, Emerson's Green and Devizes NHS Treatment Centres

Areas of expertise:

Cathy's practice as a pharmacist has encompassed community pharmacy, primary care, health and social care services, secure environments and most recently secondary care. Her principle contribution to this group is her expertise in secure environment pharmacy and medicines management - covering prisons, immigration removal centres and police custody.  Cathy is chair of the Secure Environment Pharmacists Group and an Honorary Fellow and board member of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians.

Melanie Dowden Melanie Dowden

Oweikumo Eradiri Oweikumo Eradiri

Tim Hanlon Tim Hanlon

Jatinder Harchowal Jatinder Harchowal

Jatinder Harchowal

Mr Jatinder Harchowal,Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Jatinder is Chief Pharmacist and Clinical Director for Clinical Support Services in the Royal Marsden Hospital (RMH). Jatinder is also the medicines optimisation lead for RM Partners Cancer Vanguard.

Jatinder is a current Health Foundation fellow and completed the Health Foundation’s Masters in Leadership and Quality Improvement programme (Generation Q)

Karen Harrowing Karen Harrowing

Karen Harrowing

Karen Harrowing BA(Open), BPharm(Hons), DipMgmt(Open), CBiol, MRSB, FRPharmS

Quality Systems and Pharmacy Consulting

As well as being a Fellow of the RPS. I am also a Chartered Biologist and Honorary Member of APTUK. I started in NHS Hospital practice in 1980 as a Pharmacy Technician. I was Group Chief Pharmacist and Group Quality Systems Director for Nuffield Health before leaving in 2015 to embark on a portfolio career.

I undertake a range of assignments with providers including pharmacy and quality systems. I also work with regulators - GPhC committees and as CQC Specialist Advisor. I am a member of the Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme Board. In addition, I am a Director of the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS).

I have contributed to a number of RPS publications including the Hospital Standards. I have contributed a chapter in Hospital Pharmacy and have worked with AIHO on published guidance for CQC inspectors and key principles on Practising Privileges.

Lynn Haygarth Lynn Haygarth

Nikki Holmes Nikki Holmes

Iram Husain Iram Husain

Mark Jackson Mark Jackson

Liz Kay Liz Kay


Liz Kay

Professor Liz Kay

Appointed in 1998, Professor Liz Kay is Clinical Director for Medicines Management and Pharmacy Services at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, one of the largest teaching hospital organisations in Europe. She is visiting Chair in Pharmaceutical Care at the University of Leeds.

With a background in hospital management, Professor Kay now heads a department with over 500 staff.  She works through multi-disciplinary teams and across the health economy and is particularly interested in innovative projects to improve patient experience.

She is actively involved in many issues currently affecting the pharmacy profession through membership of several strategic initiatives across England and is the chair of the Medicines Optimisation Clinical Reference Group. She has a long standing interest in workforce development across pharmacy practice.  

Professor Kay was a Registrant Member of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) until March 2017.

Norman Lanningen Norman Lanningen

Norman Lannigan

Norman Lannigan

Current job title:  Head of Pharmacy and Prescribing Support Unit NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (Until 17th September 2017 then retired)

Expertise:  37 years experience as a pharmacist 27 of which as a Chief Pharmacist mostly with experience of providing professional leadership and management of acute pharmacy services and laterally as a Director of Pharmacy in Scotland involving cross system professional leadership of pharmacy services including community pharmacy, acute services, specialist mental health, public health and prescribing and GP practice support.  Current post involves a service with circa 800 staff, £420m spend on medicines from 300 community pharmacies and two large regional hospitals and two district general hospitals with circa 5000 in- patient beds.

Current interests are large scale service design and quality improvement, automation of services hospital and community pharmacy, workforce development, Pharmacoepidemiology; majoring on cancer medicines outcomes in “real world” patients.

Sandra Melville Sandra Melville

Richard Needle Richard Needle

Richard Needle

Richard Needle FRPharmS FFRPS

Richard Needle was chief pharmacist of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust for 20 years until his recent retirement from this role. He has had considerable experience of leading and working with national groups, including involvement with the RPS and the RPSGB, was the founding chair of the National CIVAS Group and has been involved as a contributor to, and author of, professional guidance documents, such as the Cytotoxic Handbook, the CIVAS handbook, the Quality Assurance of Aseptic Preparation Services and the revisions of the original Duthie report.  He has been an author of more than 20 publications and is an Honorary Professor of Pharmacy Practice – University of East Anglia.

Caroline Parker Caroline Parker

Caroline Parker

Caroline Parker, FFRPS, FRPharmS, FCMHP

Caroline is a Consultant Mental Health Pharmacist in Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, which one of the largest mental health services in the UK.  Her clinical role includes working as a member of a Psychiatric Intensive Care team, and in a Community Recovery team where as a qualified Independent Non-medical Prescriber she runs a Medicines Management Review Clinic.  

Caroline has worked as a specialist mental health pharmacist for over 15 years in several central London hospitals across a wide range of psychiatric services delivering direct patient care. She is the Director of Operations for the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (NAPICU) and has served on the NAPICU executive committee in a variety of roles since 2008. 

She is an accredited member and Fellow of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP), an accredited Faculty Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care.

Ben Rehman Ben Rehman

Tim Root Tim Root

Tim Root

Tim Root

Tim Root registered in 1977 after training at Westminster Hospital. After 18 years as Chief Pharmacist at the Royal Marsden Hospital, during which he became a founder member and then Chair of BOPA, he moved to the role of Specialist Pharmacist, Clinical Governance & Technical Services with East & South East England Specialist Pharmacy Services in 2003, which is now part of the NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service commissioned by NHS England. He took up the part-time role of Strategic Lead for the Medicines Optimisation & Pharmacy Procurement workstream of the NHS London Procurement Partnership in 2012. He is a member of several national working groups.

Paula Russell Paula Russell

Justine Scanlan Justine Scanlan

Richard Seal Richard Seal

Richard Seal

Richard Seal

Current Job Title: Regional Pharmacist, NHS Improvement & NHS England (Midlands and East)

Areas of expertise: Richard is a registered pharmacist with a Master’s degree in Prescribing Sciences. He has worked in a number of operational and senior NHS pharmacy roles in primary and secondary care and also with the Department of Health. 
In April 2017, Richard was appointed to a joint post as Regional Pharmacist across NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands and East.  Based within the Operational Productivity Directorate of NHS Improvement, his work includes delivery of the Hospital Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation Programme, providing professional leadership within the Region and support for the Regional Medicines Optimisation Committee. 
Richard is a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), a RPS Faculty Fellow and in 2015, he was appointed as a Fellow of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Richard is currently undertaking a research Doctorate in Pharmacy at Aston University focussing on quality and quality management systems in hospital pharmacy.

Anthony Sinclair Anthony Sinclair

Dave Thornton Dave Thornton

Dave Thornton

Dave Thornton

Clinical Pharmacy leadership and advanced clinical practice within Cardiology for over 20 years

Employment and Trade Union issues through being a member of the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists National Professional Committee for 14 years and a past President of the Guild.

Steve Tomlin Steve Tomlin

Steve Tomlin

Steve Tomlin BPharm FRPharmS FFRPS

Consultant pharmacist – Children’s Services, Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London

Clinical Reader – Kings College London

Professional Secretary – Neonatal & Paediatric Pharmacists Group

Steve Tomlin has worked in the field of children’s medicines for over 20 years and is still a hands-on clinical pharmacist. His main fields of expertise are paediatric medicines safety, medicines compliance and use of unlicensed medicines.

He represents paediatric pharmacy on many national forums and within the media. He works closely, advises and sits on many committees with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and Department of Health. He sits on the British National Formulary (BNF) strategy group and works with National Institute of Clinical Evidence (NICE) on the Evidence Summaries Of Unlicensed and Off-Label Medicines. Steve is also a Paediatric Specific Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspector for hospital inspections. He is the lead pharmacist for MedsIQ at the RCPCH.
He is also an Associate Editor of the Education & Practice edition of Archives of Diseases in Childhood.

Simon Wills Simon Wills

Simon Wills

Simon Wills

  • Head of Southampton Medicines Advice Service
  • Simon’s expertise lies in project management, information governance, medicines information, website development, education and training, research, writing skills, publishing
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