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Ash Soni returns as RPS president

ash soni rps president reelected elected
Mr Soni previously held the position from 2014-16

Ash Soni has been elected president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) for the second time, it has confirmed to C+D.

The presidential election took place during the society's annual assembly meeting today (July 18).

Mr Soni previously held the position from 2014 until his surprise departure last year, when he was replaced by fellow former president Martin Astbury.

In an RPS statement, Mr Soni said he is “delighted and humbled to have been elected”.

“I would like to pay tribute to Martin in his role as president over the last year,” he said. “I know exactly how much energy and judgement the role requires, and I am grateful for the work and long hours Martin has given to RPS in the last 12 months.

“As president, I will ensure I take every opportunity to promote our great profession, to help people to understand why we are such an important part of integrating care. I will support the [RPS national] boards as they deliver their plans to increase the involvement of pharmacists within multidisciplinary team.

“As a community pharmacist, I absolutely believe that every pharmacy must have a pharmacist present, but I would go much further than this,” he added.

“I believe wherever there are medicines, the profession should have a presence; in community pharmacies, hospitals, GP surgeries, universities and the pharmaceutical industry, pharmacists [have] a growing range of opportunities to have a positive impact on healthcare.”

The Twitter reaction
What do you think of Mr Soni's reappointment?

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Difficult times for community pharmacy and the profession in general. I am not an RPS member but I wish Ash Shoni well as president, as he undoubdtedly deserves support of all people of good will in his role. And a heap of good luck. Congratulations !

Myke Kofi, Locum pharmacist

Welcome back Ash! Like  the phoenix arising from the (ahem) ashes!

Now if you need any help with your massive in-tray/to-do list,

 you know who contact...

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

I have never been a member of the RPSGB since the split with the GPhC, I don't think I am a lesser pharmacist as a result.

David Tambyrajah, Community pharmacist

Dear Ash ,

can we please ensure all pharmacy worksteams are not run in isolation ie the Community Pharmacy reforms, Intergration fund and  pharmacists in GP practices. 

Would like you views on how the RPS can support the better intergation Community pharmacy into STP workstreams and into the GP 5 year forward view; working with all stakeholders ie PSNC, NPA and Primary Care Pharmacy Association.

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

More comebacks than Sinatra.

Former Cist, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I am not a member of the RPS. I am not convinced that it has a genuinely important role and I still mourn the loss of the RPSGB.  I have met Ash Soni once and spoken to him at length. *** my impression was that he is a very genuine guy, a great example of a community pharmacist, a role model, hard-working and full of enthusiasm and good ideas. It reflects very badly on the RPS that an apparent conspiratorial move resulted in his undignified exit but due presumably to incompetence he has returned. ***. Can I request that the C&D commits itself to an act of solid investigative journalism to reveal exactly what has happened here and why. The trail of events as presented so far reflect very badly on community pharmacy and indeed pharmacy as a whole. 

*** = this comment has been edited to comply with C+D's community principles

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Why the need to edit I wonder ?

James Waldron, Editorial

The first removed statement potentially breached C+D's community principle no.15 (personal attacks), and the second was potentially libellous.


James Waldron, C+D Editor

Yuna Mason, Sales

1. Ash Soni was asked about his position on remote supervision by Sandra Gidley on 18th June. He didn't reply. I'm worried that it means that he and the majority of the RPS board has picked a side - and that it isn't the pharmacist's.

2. Anyone remember that right after the funding cuts were announced, when the Sigma conference was held in Jamaica in February 2016, Ash Soni was there and a picture was published of him sitting outside (I assume in Jamaica but it might not have been). It was on C&D and elsewhere, but it seems to have been removed from the internet (worryingly!)

3. Since he's now the chairman of the Primary Care Pharmacy Association, will people wonder if he's able to represent all sectors of practise equally?

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

*This comment has been deleted for breaching C+D's community principles*

Uma Patel, Community pharmacist

Those who engineered the coup d'etat against him should be ashamed of themselves, they are not fit to be members of the Soc.

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