In developing new roles for pharmacists we should not lose sight of the value of the core service they provide, Professor Ash Soni said as he was elected president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for a second time.

The election took place at the RPS annual assembly meeting on July 18. Mr Soni previously served as president from 2014 until June last year.

Ash Soni said he was “delighted and humbled” to be elected by his peers, adding that he was dedicated to supporting the Society and the wider profession. 

He paid tribute to outgoing president Martin Astbury, saying: “I know exactly how much energy and judgment the role of RPS president requires, and I am grateful for the work and long hours Martin has given to RPS in the last 12 months.”

Pharmacy’s presence in healthcare

Mr Soni spoke about the important role pharmacists play in healthcare and how he would support RPS regional Boards in developing this: “I will support the Boards as they deliver their plans to increase the involvement of pharmacists within multidisciplinary teams. We are seeing growth in the roles that pharmacists are playing, but we must continue to drive for this to be in an integrated way, recognising that all pharmacists in all settings are scientific clinicians.

Mr Soni

“As a community pharmacist, I absolutely believe that every pharmacy must have a pharmacist present, but I would go much further than this. I believe wherever there are medicines, the profession should have a presence. In community pharmacies, hospitals, GP surgeries, universities and the pharmaceutical industry, pharmacists have a current and growing range of opportunities to have a positive impact on healthcare.

“As new roles continue to evolve we must not lose sight of enhancing the traditional roles in community and hospital pharmacy. In Scotland and Wales there is much greater recognition and a growing and developing role across the multiplicity of settings. We need to use these examples to develop practice to improve the confidence and skills of all our members so that all feel that opportunity beckons.”

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