Janet Morrison OBE has been appointed chief executive at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), after Simon Dukes stepped down last year, the negotiator has announced.

Ms Morrison, who is moving from the charity sector, will take up the role on 1 March. She is new to the pharmacy sector, but has had experience in the fields of health and social care with a ‘strong track-record’ in influencing public policy, PSNC said.

She has previously been CEO of Independent Age, an older people’s charity, and more recently the Black Stork Charity which worked very closely with the NHS.

Ms Morrison also worked as Deputy Chief Executive at the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) and the BBC.

She was awarded an OBE while working at Independent Age for her work as a founder and chair of the successful initiative Campaign to End Loneliness.

PSNC members voted unanimously for Ms Morrison’s appointment, which was approved in full by the committee yesterday (3 February), PSNC said.

PSNC chair Sue Killen welcomed Ms Morrison appointment and said she was an ‘exceptional’ candidate.

‘The interview process combined with Janet’s impressive career history showed us that she has both a clear view of the job to be done, and the skills to influence and lead effectively on behalf of community pharmacy,’ she said.

‘She joins at a challenging time for community pharmacies, and I know all in the sector will welcome her to the role and support her in it.’

Ms Morrison said she was looking forward to representing the sector and learning more about pharmacists' experiences ‘very soon’.

She said: ‘Community pharmacies offer so much to the nation and play a vital role at the heart of their communities as so many of us have found out throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This work cannot have been easy for pharmacy contractors and their teams, nor those who support them.

‘I am looking forward to representing this vibrant and important sector to policy makers, as well as working to build wider recognition of, and better support for, community pharmacies.

‘I know that PSNC has a lot of difficult work ahead of it, including some possible changes to the way that it works on behalf of pharmacies, and I am excited about taking up these challenges.’

Malcolm Harrison, chief executive of the Company Chemists' Association welcomed Ms Morrrison to her new role and said he looks forward to working with her closely.

‘Janet’s appointment as chief executive comes at a critical time for the sector which has proved itself indispensable during the Covid-19 period.

‘Community pharmacy is facing a workforce crisis and desperately needs funding and investment to ensure it can deliver for patients and members of the public and take pressure off other parts of the healthcare system.

He added: ‘We stand ready to support Janet in advocating for this investment and for greater recognition and support for all of the excellent work that pharmacy teams do.’

In July, Simon Dukes announced he would be stepping down as CEO of PSNC after over three years at the negotiating body.  

Meanwhile, in September, he called funding negotiations with the Treasury an ‘uphill struggle’ as the sector effectively faced a pay freeze for the next three years.