Sandra Gidley, current president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), will not be standing for re-election to the English Pharmacy Board this year, the body has announced.

Ms Gidley, who has been president of the society since 2019 — after taking over the role from Ash Soni — said that as a ‘strong supporter of a maximum number of terms for an elected board member’ she would not stand for re-election for a further year.

‘I strongly believe that this is good governance and that it brings new thinking into the organisation.

‘I cannot think of a better way of demonstrating my commitment to this than to stand aside

myself, with the hope that new candidates will be successful in this election,’ she explained.

Before being elected as the first female president of the RPS back in 2019, Ms Gidley was chair of the English Pharmacy Board from 2015-2019.

During her leadership of the English Pharmacy Board, the RPS in England led on the formation of new roles for pharmacists within general practice, care homes and urgent care.

Under her leadership, the RPS also lobbied successfully for community pharmacists to gain access to patient care records, the body also won an end to the automatic criminalisation of dispensing errors.

As president Sandra Gidley led the RPS’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as various initiatives including improving the inclusion, diversity and wellbeing of the profession.

Reflecting on her past two years at RPS, Ms Gidley said she was ‘extremely proud to have been president of an organisation which has led the way on inclusion and diversity in pharmacy and has started to think with clarity about its future.’

‘I know our CEO Paul Bennett and the Executive team have the full backing of my colleagues on the Assembly to take forward a new strategy for RPS that we will be launching soon,’ she said.

‘I shall miss the company of so many good colleagues on all the National Boards as well as the staff, but with a third grandchild on the way, I have plenty of diversions to look forward to.

'I will also have a chance to recharge my batteries and think about how I can contribute to the profession in the future,' she added.

Nomination for the 2021 elections are now closed. Voting will open at 9am on the 29 April.

Nine candidates will be selected for the English Pharmacy Board out of the 26 nominations.