Pharmacist Paul Bennett has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
Mr Bennett joins the RPS from the position of chief officer of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Pharmaceutical Committee, where he has worked since 2014, and will take up his post at the beginning of July.
Prior to this, he was professional standards director and superintendent pharmacist at Boots UK. He has also held senior leadership roles and superintendent pharmacist positions at Safeway Stores Plc and E Moss Ltd and was a member of the Moss Board at time of the merger between Alliance Pharmacy and Boots.
Mr Bennett has been chair of the first RPS English Pharmacy Board, chair of the National Pharmacy Association, a member of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, a member of the RPS Wessex Steering Group and of Wessex Local Professional Network Core Group, and non-executive chairman of Pharmacy Voice.
His appointment brings "a wealth of professional and commercial experience gained from both national and local pharmacy organisations alongside strong leadership credentials from business and from close working with NHS Commissioners of service and others," said a statement from the RPS.
Mr Bennett said he plans to make engagement with RPS members a priority:
“I am delighted that I have been invited to join the Royal Pharmaceutical Society as its new chief executive at this important time for the profession. As a pharmacist myself, I am passionate about the advancement of the science and practice of pharmacy and driven by an ambition to support pharmacists, wherever they may practice, to improve the public’s health and wellbeing.
“I look forward to working closely with the president, the Assembly, the National Pharmacy Boards and of course the great team of staff at the Society, to build upon the work done over recent times to support the development of pharmacists and continue the journey to build a viable and sustainable organisation. Together we will deliver the agreed strategy and further strengthen the position that the Society now occupies as the voice of the profession.
“One of my highest priorities will be engagement with members, and I look forward to meeting and hearing from as many members as possible. I strongly believe that an influential and effective professional leadership body listens to, and is responsive to, the voice of its members.”
RPS president Martin Astbury welcomed Mr Bennett to the role, saying: “I warmly welcome Paul to the role of chief executive of the RPS. He brings a depth of understanding of the pharmacy sector, particularly rooted in community pharmacy. Through his leadership roles he has developed a strong understanding of the importance of professional standards in changing times, the imperative to improve patient care and of the commercial and regulatory challenges and opportunities. I look forward to working closely with him and our members to continue to shape the future of the profession.”