Nigel Clarke will finish his term as GPhC Chair in March 2022. In this blog post Nigel reflects on his time in the role and sets out the key challenges for the future, as we start the recruitment and selection process for a new Chair.
It has been a great privilege to serve as the chair of the GPhC over the last eight years.
During my tenure we have taken forward significant changes to how we regulate pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies to drive improvements in pharmacy practice and protect patient safety. These changes have included a review of the professional standards themselves, introducing revalidation, starting to publish pharmacy inspection reports and taking forward major reforms to the education and training of pharmacy professionals.
We have also developed our Vision 2030. This is an ambitious ten-year vision which will focus our efforts on the difference we want to make to the way in which the GPhC undertakes its role.
We are now looking for an inspirational leader to take over as chair, who has the qualities needed to take the GPhC through the next phase of its development and help us achieve our vision. We need someone with the right skills and experience to take on this important role, whatever their background.
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic
Our vision of ‘safe and effective pharmacy care at the heart of healthier communities’ and the supporting strategy has helped us to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has guided our response and will continue to direct our work in the future.
We are currently looking at how we respond to the pandemic, build upon our initial work and determine what our future operating model should be. The experiences of the last year have highlighted something of which the GPhC was already aware – that pharmacy encompasses rapidly changing and developing professions with increasing clinical responsibilities and opportunities.
The GPhC needs to be alive to these changes and anticipating how they will impact on patients, as well as the professions and how they are regulated. At the same time, the broader world of healthcare professional regulation is changing. The results of the Government’s recent consultation on regulatory reform are not yet known but could well lead to change, for example moving from the current structure of a 14-member non-executive council to a smaller unitary board. The new chair will need to lead the GPhC through that process.
Shaping the future
The new chair will have the opportunity to help shape the future of pharmacy and of health professional regulation as we plan for change. They will be joining a motivated group of people, including our council members, staff, and associated workforce, with a shared commitment to do our best for the patients and public we serve and the professions that we regulate.
It is important that the GPhC reflects the diversity of the communities we serve and the professions we regulate. We have developed a diversity action plan for the recruitment of our new chair to help us identify the practical steps we can take to attract a broad and diverse range of suitably qualified candidates.
We have convened a panel, chaired by Mandisa Greene, the first Black president of the College of Veterinary Surgeons, to interview candidates for the role and recommend an appointment to the Privy Council.
If you are interested in being part of this rapidly developing landscape and have the qualities and commitment that we need, we would like to hear from you. You can find out more in the Working for us section of the main GPhC website.