THE profession must have strong leadership and collaboration across pharmacy bodies and other healthcare organisations at every level. This is something that I have been advocating for many years, but we must now put into action.
We must complete, not compete; we must put the future of the profession first; we must unite and lead; and we must support the change we seek across all professional practice. This requires passion and determination; an open mind and a will to work with others; but most of all it requires a clear purpose with everyone takes ownership.
Why we do things, our purpose, defines us individually but should also define our professional body. How we realise that purpose and what the outcomes are will then follow. Success will be the result of doing the right things (good leadership), in the right way with the right people (good management).
While the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is in a far better place than it was, there remains much to be done to engage with the broader profession, to understand beliefs and needs so that our core activity reflects them. The RPS must unite, lead and develop our members to be the best pharmacists they can be and turn the tide of non-membership.
Pharmacy is increasingly mentioned in government policy; however, we must ensure that the rhetoric converts into a real, recognised, appropriately rewarded and empowered enhanced professional role.
My lifetime experience across many areas of the profession and management, mainly in community but increasingly with colleagues in hospital, primary care, industry and academia, can add value to the work of the Society. My passion for the profession, what it does for patient care and what it could do is undiminished. As a member of the English Pharmacy Board, I would work with others internally and externally to ensure that we have a clear strategic member-focused purpose, but also support an understanding of how this could be achieved.
Michael Holden is principal consultant at MH Associates and a fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. He is standing for election to the RPS English Pharmacy Board.
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