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NPA to elect new chair as Andrew Lane steps down

National Pharmacy Association (NPA) chair Andrew Lane is stepping down after almost four years in the role, the organisation has revealed.

Nominations for the NPA board election are currently open until next week (February 17).

After the election process to vote 12 more board members has completed in March, the board will elect a new chair, the NPA told C+D.

Mr Lane will step down as chair after reaching the end of his term and his successor will begin in April, it said.

Anyone on the NPA board will be eligible to stand for the role, while all NPA members are eligible for a nomination to the board, it added.

It comes as NPA board member and former chair Ian Strachan resigned from the organisation in October, citing concerns that it was “increasingly…difficult to defend” the board’s position on many policies.


“Very rewarding”


Mr Lane, who began his term as chair in 2019, called on those who were passionate about independent community pharmacy to put themselves forward for a position on the board.

“The NPA board is made up of all kinds of personalities and different talents,” he said. “What unites us all is a passion for independent community pharmacy and a determination to pursue the interests of the sector and the patients we serve.”

He added: “You don’t have to be a high-profile figure or be extraordinary in some way to put yourself forward. What we want is true believers in pharmacy who feel they have something to offer in a leadership role.”

Mr Lane said that those who take up positions on the board will work hard but that it is “very rewarding to know you are doing your bit for independent pharmacies everywhere”.

“You also learn a lot along the way and develop new leadership skills, which you can use in your own business,” he added.


New term limit


The NPA recently amended its constitution to “make it easier for those with other work or family commitments” to get involved, it said.

Part of the changes include two-year term limits for chairs so they cannot be re-elected into the role after that time.

This “ensures the composition of the board is replenished frequently, whilst also retaining valuable experience and organisational memory”, the NPA said.


In England, there will be three areas elected by members with six or more pharmacies (North, Central, and South) and six regional areas voted for by members with one to five pharmacies.


NPA members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also each elect a member onto the board.


Nominations will be announced “on or before” February 24, with ballots opening soon after and the results announced in late March, the NPA said.


Writing in C+D last week, Mr Lane said “a fundamental rethink is needed if the sector is to recover, thrive and deliver for patients and the NHS”.


It’s not just about money but having contractual arrangements that are an enabler “rather than barrier” to progress, he said.

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