The new chief executive of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), Paul Rees, has promised to ‘deliver for NPA members, for the sector and for society at large’ after officially taking up the post.

Mr Rees, whose appointment was announced in September, has now replaced Mark Lyonette as NPA chief executive, although Mr Lyonette will remain at the organisation in a handover capacity before he begins his retirement.

Mr Rees said it was ‘a great privilege and honour’ to take up the position of chief executive.

‘I look forward to working with Mark during the handover period, and with the NPA Board and staff team over the coming years – and relish the opportunity to serve our hard-working members, who deliver vital patient care and other important services in communities right across the UK,’ he added.

Mr Rees began his career as a journalist, working at the Times, Sunday Telegraph and BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live, before moving into communications and public service.

His former roles include director of communications for the Home Office, director of policy and engagement at the Royal College of General Practitioners, and chief executive of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Nick Kaye, NPA chair, welcomed Mr Rees to his new role, describing him as ‘an excellent fit for our organisation’.

He added: ‘At the Royal College of Psychiatrists and throughout his career, he has made a significant impact and effected tangible change in healthcare and society.

‘I would like to take this opportunity once again to thank Mark for his great work as chief exec since 2018.’