David Webb has been appointed the next chief pharmaceutical officer for England and will take up his post in February, it was announced on Friday (January 7).
Mr Webb is currently chief pharmacist and clinical director for pharmacy and medicines optimisation at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London. He has led the pharmacy response to Covid-19 in South East London and acted as director of specialist pharmacy services in London, East and South East England.
He will replace Keith Ridge, who is to retire after 16 years as CPhO.
Leading national and regional teams at NHS England & Improvement, Mr Webb will oversee the deployment of pharmacy professional advice in England and will act as professional leader to over 70,000 registered pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. He will also be the senior responsible officer tasked with reducing inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and addressing overprescribing in the NHS.
He will lead the NHS’s medicines optimisation strategy, as well as educational reform agendas, the promotion of inclusive practice and “transforming” practice in all pharmacy settings in line with the objectives set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.
Mr Webb said: “The last two years have been an extremely challenging time for all NHS colleagues, but it has also highlighted the absolutely vital and positive role that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play as clinical professionals in the NHS team.
“Whether it’s been hospital teams supporting the care of over half a million very ill patients, community pharmacy teams delivering over 21 million jabs across the country or primary care teams being at the forefront of the vaccination programme in local communities, they have been central in every part of the NHS Covid-19 response – in addition to pharmacy teams everywhere continuing their usual clinical roles of supporting patients and delivering safe and effective health services.
“I’m very proud to be appointed to be chief pharmaceutical officer and to lead the next stage of the transformation of pharmacy practice working with colleagues across the healthcare system to support them, listen to them and enable them to continue to deliver to the highest standards, helping the NHS recover services, improve the use of medicines for patients in the 21st century and deliver on important Long Term Plan commitments.”
Congratulating his successor, Mr Ridge said it was “an honour to be handing over to him”. He thanked colleagues at NHSE&I for their support during his tenure as CPhO.