Ash Soni has been named president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).
Mr Soni – a member of The Pharmacist's advisory board – was voted into the role by RPS Assembly members today (18 July), replacing Martin Astbury.
Mr Soni said he was 'delighted and humbled' to be elected RPS president, and paid tribute to Mr Astbury.
Of his predecessor, Mr Soni said: 'I know exactly how much energy and judgement the role of RPS President requires, and I am grateful for the work and long hours Martin has given to the RPS in the last 12 months.'
Mr Soni added: 'I believe that the RPS is the guardian of the professional leadership for pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists.
'As President, I will ensure I take every opportunity to promote our great profession to help people to understand why we are such an important part of integrating care. At the same time, I will promote the great value this organisation offers to all pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists.
'I will support the Boards as they deliver their plans to increase the involvement of pharmacists within multidisciplinary team. We are seeing growth in the roles that pharmacists are playing but we must continue to drive for this to be in an integrated way recognising that all pharmacists in all settings are scientific clinicians.
'As a community pharmacist, I absolutely believe that every pharmacy must have a pharmacist present, but I would go much further than this. I believe wherever there are medicines, the profession should have a presence. In community pharmacies, hospitals, GP surgeries, universities and the pharmaceutical industry, pharmacists have a current and growing range of opportunities to have a positive impact on healthcare.
“As new roles continue to evolve we must not lose sight of enhancing the traditional roles in community and hospital pharmacy. In Scotland and Wales there is much greater recognition and a growing and developing role across the multiplicity of settings. We need to use these examples to develop practice to improve the confidence and skills of all our members so that all feel that opportunity beckons.
'I will work closely with the Board Chairs to ensure they can deliver on their ambitions for pharmacists in individual countries and also collectively where there is a common goal for the profession. For example, making sure we see through our campaign to remove the automatic criminalisation of those that commit dispensing errors.'