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David Webb appointed chief pharmaceutical officer for England

david webb

By Isabel Shaw
Reporter

10 Jan 2022

NHS England and Improvement has appointed the new chief pharmaceutical officer (CPO) for England.  

David Webb, who is currently, chief pharmacist and clinical director for pharmacy and medicines optimisation at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, will succeed Keith Ridge who is retiring after 16 years.  

As CPO, Mr Webb will be principal advisor on pharmacy and medicines use in the NHS and senior responsible officer for reducing inappropriate prescribing of antibiotic medicines. 

Mr Webb will also lead a team of 70,000 pharmacy professionals, working at both national and regional levels.  

In a statement published by NHS England on Friday (7 January), Mr Webb said: ‘I’m very proud to be appointed to be chief pharmaceutical officer and to lead the next stage of the transformation of pharmacy practice working with colleagues across the healthcare system to support them, listen to them and enable them to continue to deliver to the highest standards, helping the NHS recover services, improve the use of medicines for patients in the 21st century and deliver on important ‘long-term plan’ commitments.’  

He added: ‘The last two years have been an extremely challenging time for all NHS colleagues, but have also highlighted the absolutely vital and positive role that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play as clinical professionals in the NHS team.   

‘Whether it’s been hospital teams supporting the care of over half a million very ill patients, community pharmacy teams delivering over 21 million jabs across the country, or primary care teams being at the forefront of the vaccination programme in local communities, they have been central in every part of the NHS Covid-19 response – in addition to pharmacy teams everywhere continuing their usual clinical roles of supporting patients and delivering safe and effective health services.’ 

During his career, Mr Webb has also been the regional chief pharmacist for London, director of regional specialist pharmacy services for London, East and South East England and led the review of specialist pharmacy services for England in 2014.    

Thorrun Govind, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board chair ‘warmly’ congratulated Mr Webb on his appointment and said she ‘looked forward to working closely with him.’  

She added: ‘This transition comes at a crucial moment and with further changes in the next few years, it is vital that the RPS, NHS England and leaders across pharmacy continue working together on key issues such as the future of pharmacy education, staff wellbeing, and advancing pharmacy practice’.  

Liz Fidler, the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK president, who will be joining the chief pharmaceutical officer’s team in March 2022, tweeted congratulations to Mr Webb and said she was looking forward to working with him  ‘to realise the full potential of the pharmacy technician profession’. 

Leyla Hannbeck, the Association of Independent Multiple pharmacies (AIMp) chief executive congratulated Mr Webb on Twitter by saying she wished him ‘every success’ and that she looks forward to working with him, ‘in what is a pivotal time in our profession’. 

Meanwhile, Mark Lyonette, the chief executive of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), also tweeted to congratulate Mr Webb on his appointment and added that he was ‘very much looking forward to working’ with him.  


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