It’s election time. The NPA has a new board – more on that later – and voting in the RPS English, Welsh and Scottish Pharmacy Board elections will open on April 30.

Twitter is alive with election chat. Candidates’ views are scrutinised and challenged like never before, opinions exchanged, arguments fought out. It’s lively, heated, raw, irreverent, direct – and that’s fantastic. Democracy at work.

Social media offers both perils and possibilities for candidates. Some are more adept than others at exploiting it to create a personal political ‘brand’, but you need broad shoulders, and if your principles and aspirations don’t chime with the voters, you’ll get found out as there’s nowhere to hide.

There have been instances of mud-slinging where things have got out of hand, which is rather unedifying, but if raised levels of interest and engagement mean voter turnout rises above a paltry 11 per cent, that can only be a good thing. Good luck to all the candidates. To our readers – do your homework and don’t forget to vote.

Meanwhile, there are some welcome new faces on the NPA board, which should refresh and reinvigorate a group that had gained a reputation for being something of an ‘old boys’ club. Energy and fresh thinking combined with experience is exactly what’s needed.

Special congratulations to Reena Barai, the only woman on the new board and believed to be the first Asian female board member in the history of the organisation. Clearly the NPA has much work to do on the gender equality and diversity front.


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