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AIMp appoints new chair as ‘long-serving’ board member steps down

The Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) has appointed David Vanns as its non-executive chairman.

The appointment follows the retirement of its “long-serving” chair Peter Cattee, AIMp announced on Saturday (March 25).

New chairman Mr Vanns – who is one of the co-founders of the organisation - will take up the role outgoing chair Mr Cattee has held since the year 2002 from April 2023, it said.

Also one of AIMp’s co-founders, Mr Cattee is a non-Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) representative on the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), it added.

Despite his retirement as chairman, he will remain on the AIMp board.


“The best of community pharmacy”


Mr Cattee said it has been his “great good fortune” to work with “almost all” of the owners of pharmacy groups throughout England, Scotland and Wales over the years, as well as “many other talented people throughout the sector”.

“The original founders and board members Yakub Patel, Kirit Patel, Steve Williams and David Vanns have all been instrumental in shaping pharmacy negotiations to better reflect the views of our natural constituency - pharmacy group owners”, he added.

Read more: AIMp boss hits out at ‘agenda to destroy’ community pharmacy

He thanked them for “placing their trust in me to represent their interests” during a “period of increasing consolidation”.

“I've done my best in what has become an increasingly difficult sector, but I have always believed that amongst you are the best of community pharmacy and that if there is a way to do something you are the people to find that way,” Mr Cattee said.

“I have no doubts that your energy, imagination and talent will ultimately prevail against the struggling leviathan we currently face, whatever its next turn,” he added.


“Dedication to AIMp”


An AIMp spokesperson thanked Mr Cattee “for his services and dedication to AIMp throughout the years”.

The organisation has grown to be “diverse and dynamic”, representing and supporting “pharmacy groups of all sizes”, they said

“Our main identity and what unites us in AIMp… is being independents, and we are very proud of our identity”, they added, saying they look forward to “representing and supporting our members in the best way possible”.


"Bedrock” of the sector


New chair Mr Vanns said he recalled the day he and four others founded AIMp in 2002 but that the organisation “is even more needed now”, with membership growing “significantly” every year from the initial 700 founding pharmacies.

The current government and NHS management’s “failure” to understand pharmacy’s “integral” role in national healthcare “has never been so evident”, he added.

“The principles behind AIMp were and remain to represent and stand up for family-owned national and regional independents,” he said. “These families are the absolute bedrock of community pharmacy.”

Read more: ‘Bring community pharmacy to the table and treat it with the respect it deserves’

“They risk their own money, often through generations, developing innovative pharmacies, deeply connected with their local communities, dedicated to keeping the sick and the elderly in their own homes,” he added.

Mr Vanns applauded the “tireless efforts” of AIMp CEO Dr Leyla Hannbeck in “so eloquently promoting the message of the valuable role that AIMp member pharmacies play in our national healthcare system”.

“I am looking forward to the board of AIMp redoubling our efforts to support her in standing up for the interests of our amazing members,” he said.

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