The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has appointed Dr Diane Ashiru-Oredope as an interim deputy chief scientist.

From August, she will be working part-time for one year to support the work of RPS chief scientist Professor Parastou Donyai.

This will be alongside her work in antimicrobial resistance at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), where she has been the lead pharmacist for healthcare-associated infections, AMR and sepsis for the last 13 years.

At UKHSA, Dr Ashiru-Oredope chairs the English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Use and Resistance (ESPAUR) and leads the development of national interventions to tackle antimicrobial resistance. She is also the honorary chair and Professor of pharmaceutical public health at the University of Nottingham.

Paul Bennet, chief executive of the RPS, said that appointing Dr Ashiru-Oredope to work alongside Professor Donyai ‘further strengthens’ the organisation’s science and research team.

‘Colleagues will recognise the fantastic contribution Diane has already made to our profession, and as a fellow of RPS with many interests, perhaps most notably regarding her work on AMR, I know this recognition is well deserved. We all very much look forward to working with Diane in her new role,’ he added.

Dr Ashiru-Oredope said that she was ‘honoured and delighted’ to be starting her new role, in which she said she would ‘continue prioritising the integration of science and research as fundamental pillars in pharmacy; for the benefit of patients and the public’.

Alongside her MPharm, Dr Adhiru-Oredope holds a diploma in clinical pharmacy, a PHD, is a Master of Public Health, a practitioner member of the Faculty of Public Health, and both a fellow and consultant faculty member of RPS.

A recent survey by NHS England (NHSE) found that pharmacy checks improved the safety and appropriateness of antibiotics, with an accompanying report highlighting the ‘essential clinical role’ that community pharmacy staff play in antimicrobial stewardship (AMS).

The report said that its findings ‘add to the evidence that community pharmacy can play a vital role in AMS and support the NHS in England to tackle the significant threat of AMR to public health’.

NHSE also said that community pharmacy had a ‘solid foundation of knowledge and experience’ to build upon as the new Pharmacy First service, which will allow pharmacists to supply prescription-only medicines including antibiotics where appropriate for seven common conditions, is introduced from winter 2023.