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Potential redundancies not linked to cost-savings, says RPS president


Potential redundancies not linked to cost-savings, says RPS president

By Neil Trainis

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Claire Anderson has said its decision to consider making two roles in its executive team redundant is not based on a need to save money and insisted the professional leadership body’s "finances are on a secure footing".

Robbie Turner, the Society’s director of pharmacy and member experience, and Gail Fleming, its director of education and professional development, are believed to be on course to leave the organisation.

The RPS has in recent days stressed that no decision has been made on their futures and on Thursday claimed things had not gone beyond the “proposal stage.”

As well as insisting the RPS's finances are not a factor, Ms Anderson (pictured) said its focus on education will not diminish despite the prosect of Ms Fleming departing.

That has raised questions around the organisation’s future direction, with former chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge saying such a move would be “a strategic mistake” that “will undermine the future of both pharmacy practice and RPS.”

Ms Anderson said: “This is an organisational decision, as it is about operational matters. RPS finances are on a secure footing and this proposal is not about cost savings.

"We intend to continue our investment in education and professional leadership for the future of the pharmacy profession.

“Our excellent and dedicated teams will continue to advocate on behalf of the profession across all sectors and areas of practice, including education, workforce issues, independent prescribing and inclusion and diversity.

“In particular, our work on education, including post-registration curricula, assessment and credentialing, workforce planning, leadership development and mentoring are strategically important to our profession, right from undergraduate level through foundation to advanced and consultant practice.

“We are completely committed to maintaining this work and should the proposal go ahead, there would still be a leader on the Executive with responsibility for delivering on our education strategy.”

Ms Anderson said it was important “to protect the confidentiality of the process” and when asked by Independent Community Pharmacist if all members of the English Pharmacy Board and the Assembly were consulted about the two roles that had been identified as “at potential risk of redundancy," the RPS did not comment. 

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