Royal Pharmaceutical Society English Pharmacy Board Elections 2022
An offer to the candidates to be interviewed
Another year has gone by and another year of many great and some divisive decisions taken by members of the English Pharmacy Board and the RPS Assembly. The membership organisation (of which I am also a member) is currently undertaking its yearly tradition of holding elections for positions on its National Pharmacy Boards. This year the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) received 10 valid nominations for the five vacancies on the English Pharmacy Board. On the face of it, there is a 50% chance of being elected onto the Board this year. But the reality is it depends on who you are. If you’re someone who has served on the Board since the dawn of time, then you’re likelier to be successful than someone recently qualified.
I’ve always had the view that to truly understand more about a candidate, there’s nothing better than an in-depth conversation, something which cannot be captured in written communication on any forum. In this vein, my approach is to interview candidates so they have an opportunity to express their views. Evidence from the House of Lords Select Committee in their report titled “Broadcast general election debates” (link to final report pdf) found that live debates were successful and in the public interest. For the purposes of the RPS, I believe this to be case but it’d be a logistical nightmare to organise onsite debates, and at huge cost. The key findings from the report were:
A more informed voter, with this notable quote - Evidence presented by
Ric Bailey, Chief Adviser for politics at the BBC, and visiting Professor in Political Journalism at Leeds University, School of Media and Communication, said “the real success and what we are all jointly proud of is that the debates reached people who would not normally perhaps have become engaged in the election.”
Increased voter turnout - In 2005, the voter turnout for the UK general election was 61.4%, which increased to 65.1% in 2010. Witnesses did say how there was a correlation between public engagement generated by the debates and voter turnout. A study by Deloitte found that the debates impacted the way people voted, with 12% of voters changing their vote, and 7% deciding to vote when previously they had planned to abstain.
In 2017, 10.86% of the membership voted in the RPS National Board elections, therefore approximately 90% did not vote. There is opportunity for improvement for maximising the turnout within the existing membership. A sample of the evidence the select committee received can be seen in Box 1 below.
Since debates are out of the question, the next best option is for interviews (spoken, not written) to take place with all candidates. This has been the approach I’ve taken to try and improve the process for Board elections.
Point to note - a few years ago I reached out to a serving EPB member who said they’d only take part in such interviews if all interviews were completed privately then posted publicly online together so no candidate had an edge over the other. Logistically this is a no go from me so I won’t be pursuing this approach.
If you’re standing for the English Pharmacy Board, then please reach out to arrange an interview.
The section below will be used to show links to my interview with the candidates. Please consider bookmarking this article and visiting this periodically as I’ll be updating the links once more interviews take place. I am in conversations with a couple of people standing right now and I’ve undertaken one interview as they came forward first (info valid on 14/4).
Sharon Isobel BUCKLE
Sherifat MUHAMMAD KAMAL
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