Pharmacy organisations have reacted to the news that the chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) will step down at the end of the year.
PSNC said it had begun the recruitment Sue Sharpe, who has held the position for over 15 years, who announced her departure earlier this week (9 May).
But the negotiator warned that it would 'take time' to find a suitable replacement for Sharpe.
Read on to find out how other pharmacy organisations reacted to the news.
Community pharmacy is 'indebted' to the outgoing chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), Sue Sharpe, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) said.
NPA chairman, Ian Strachan (pictured), paid tribute to 'exceptionally capable leader' Sharpe, who announced that she will step down from her role at the end of 2017 during the May PSNC meeting held in London on 9 May.
Reacting to the news, NPA Chairman Ian Strachan said: 'We are indebted to Sue Sharpe for her years of tireless service in this sector, during which time she has been a passionate advocate for community pharmacy and all that it stands for.
'In all the long years of her service, she has never lost sight of the fundamental truths of our sector – including the fact that the safe supply of medicines remains the core role of community pharmacy and should never be split apart from pharmaceutical services.
'With her particular background and experience, Sue stands out as someone who knows how to operate within the corridors of Whitehall yet also understands the pharmacy front line and cares deeply about what happens to contractors, pharmacy staff and patients.
'She is an exceptionally capable leader who will be sorely missed.'
Numark called for a 'high calibre' candidate to take over the 'instrumental' role in the current climate of cuts and uncertainty for the sector.
Managing director, John D’Arcy (pictured), said: 'Sue Sharpe made an outstanding contribution to pharmacy throughout a long career in the sector. Sue's wide and varied background and undoubted personal qualities brought a considerable skill set and perspective to the role at PSNC.
'PSNC faces a tough task in negotiating a remuneration package which meets the desire and requirements of a variety of stakeholders. Sue fully recognised and understood the differing vested interests and balanced these well - at all times maintaining a steely determination in negotiations and discussions with both Department of Health and NHS Executive.
'Sue was instrumental in the development of the structure of the pharmacy contract in 2005, which for the first time saw the inclusion of a remunerated clinical service within the contractual framework. She also engineered the process of acceptance of the new framework by pharmacy contractors.
'Community pharmacy has a lot to be thankful for as a result of the hard work, commitment and dedication shown by Sue and whilst recognising she will be in post for a little while yet, we wish her all the best for the future.
'We need a successor of a high calibre'
'What is abundantly clear is that we are now operating in very difficult, financially strapped times. With an NHS in crisis and a community pharmacy offering that is poorly understood by Government, we need to make sure that we secure an engagement and alignment with Department of Health and NHSE which sees pharmacy fully recognised and properly rewarded for what it does. Therefore, we need a successor of a high calibre to fill the very large gap created by Sue's departure.'
Both the General Pharmaceutical Council and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society were approached by The Pharmacist for their response on the resignation announcement, but declined to comment.