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Scottish RPS Board Candidate — Ross Ferguson

Ross Ferguson


Why did you stand for election?
I’ve been a supporter and a critic of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for over 20 years and I think it’s time to contribute from within the organisation – if the electorate want me.

We need to make changes to ensure the RPS remains relevant, representative and reflects the needs of members. My concern is that unless we make changes, membership numbers may reduce to such a level that it becomes non-viable. I want to avoid that.

I want to see if it is possible to influence change, or if the RPS structure makes that difficult. I feel I have the right experience, insight, drive and passion to represent members and not shirk away from difficult issues that the RPS might need to face.

I have experience as a pharmacy owner, a manager and a locum, so believe I am in tune with the majority of the membership and therefore will do a good job of representing them.

And while I applaud the efforts of GP pharmacists and feel this is a great role, it frustrates me that not enough effort has gone in to showcasing the role of community pharmacists who are capable of delivering similar benefits within their communities. Let’s drive that.

I like getting things done, I get frustrated by inaction — if you read my election blurb on the RPS site you can judge my experience. I want to bring the energy and ethos I exhibit in my work life, and my ability to overcome challenges to the board.

What do you want to change if elected?
I want to ensure that as the professional organisation for pharmacists, that the RPS delivers what members need: that includes the Pharmaceutical Journal (how much does this cost us?), the Faculty (are there really only around 400 members?), the services, support and leadership.

At the moment we’re running at just above 50% per cent membership and I think we need to improve on that. As part of this nomination process I discovered that less than one-third of My Uni friends are members – for them the RPS holds no appeal. We need to change that.

I want to use my experience and understanding of pharmacy, pharmacists, healthcare and business to help.

I also want to help the RPS communicate with members better. I know there have been some great results with the external media strategy, but I think our communication with members has been lacking for some time – that needs to be a priority.

We need more transparency across the organisation on a whole range of issues, otherwise the barriers between the RPS and members will remain – we need to feel part of the organisation, and it needs to be more customer focussed if the RPS is to finally shed the historical image associated with its previous regulatory function. It needs to loosen up a bit.

The more representative the RPS is, the better it will be at supporting and leading the profession, and ultimately this will be better for patients.

If any RPS members in Scotland want to get in touch and ask me questions directly, then please e-mail me.

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