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So how about standing for the NPA board?


So how about standing for the NPA board?

The election process for the next NPA board is now underway and I would urge you to think about putting yourself forward, says board member Sanjeev Panesar

As the newest and youngest member of the current board, I’d like to tell you what it has been like to serve in this role. Hopefully you will be inspired to step forward yourself. 

I decided to stand for the NPA board in 2020. My pharmacies in the West Midlands have been NPA members for longer than I can remember and we have always valued the association’s services, advice and support.

Many personalities

The NPA board is made up of many personalities who have years of invaluable experience, each bringing their own energy into discussions. Board members regularly challenge each other in a constructive and open dialogue and consider multiple points of view to ensure all avenues are considered before reaching a consensus on the way ahead.

Importantly, the board has representatives from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which facilitates an exchange of learning to support progress across the UK.

We are sometimes called upon to do media interviews about current affairs, from medicines shortages to pharmacy funding. 

This month I got my first experience of the BBC Breakfast sofa, with presenters Naga Munchetty and Ben Thompson, where I talked about the pressures facing the NHS and the need for more investment in community pharmacy services. I was very nervous, but the NPA press office helped me prepare and gave me some useful feedback afterwards. 

Another first for me was addressing the All-Party Pharmacy Group in parliament recently – an experience that made me very conscious of the responsibility we have as leaders to represent the sector professionally and strategically.

Updated constitution

At the last AGM the NPA adopted a more modern constitution that includes more board meetings taking place online, which will hopefully make it easier for people with other work or family commitments. The constitution will also ensure the board composition is replenished frequently while also retaining valuable experience and organisational memory. 

Service on the board is capped at three terms and this year’s elections will be staggered so that some of the positions are changed every two years.  

I have seen from the inside how the board works and would encourage anyone who has ever said to themselves, “maybe I can make things better”, to think about putting themselves forward. Yes, it is hard work, but if I can do it, so can you!

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