The Pharmacists’ Defence Association has announced today (June 29) the appointment of Claire Ward as its new director of public affairs.

Ms Ward will lead the development of relationships across Westminster and the devolved nations on behalf of the PDA as part of an increased commitment to taking the issues facing the 26,000 PDA members to the door of policy makers, said the union.

The new appointment will also help the PDA to develop its broader contacts across the pharmacy sector, building on Ms Ward’s previous experience as chief executive of the Independent Pharmacy Federation and more recently as chair of Pharmacy Voice.

In announcing the appointment, PDA chairman Mark Koziol, said: “Pharmacy could do so much more to support the needs of patients and the NHS, but recently, the decision makers in Government have been provided with a very underwhelming brief of what we can deliver.

“Like most pharmacists, we are very passionate about what pharmacy can do, and it is time that we strengthened our direct lines of representation and dialogue with Westminster. We will seek to provide a much more realistic and positive appraisal of the possibilities that pharmacy offers.

“Claire is a very accomplished, well connected and experienced pro-pharmacy campaigner. She will be a formidable addition to our team and we are delighted that she has agreed to take charge of our Parliamentary relationships and beyond.”

Claire Ward added: “I have always believed that pharmacists could offer so much more to patients and at a time when the NHS needs to think differently, it is essential that individual pharmacists’ skills and contributions are recognised, protected and rewarded.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring my knowledge from across the pharmacy sector and politics to support the PDA and to champion the profession. The ongoing cuts are having a direct impact on employees and locums. We need politicians and policy makers to understand that this is not the way to deliver safe and effective care to patients.”

Ms Ward remains non-executive director of Sherwood Forest NHS Foundation Trust and an associate director of Interchange Solutions, which provides consultancy services in field of anti-bribery and corruption.

Ms Ward will be a formidable addition to our team

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