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‘Be careful what you wish for with Sue Sharpe’s replacement’

Sue Sharpe: "We are preparing the next stages in our campaign.”

Pharmacists should "be careful what they wish for" while the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) looks to recruit Sue Sharpe's replacement, a board member has warned.

Following Ms Sharpe's announcement this week that she will resign at the end of 2017, Mike Hewitson told C+D that pharmacists might not be as fortunate with the next PSNC lead.

"Sue has put in probably the most intense 18-months’ worth of work that any pharmacy representative has put in," he said. "She has been absolutely fighting tooth and nail for community pharmacy 24/7."

While no one was expecting the announcement, he said, "it probably doesn't come as a surprise for a lot of people, because we have all seen how hard she has been working".

Ms Sharpe most recently attended PSNC and the National Pharmacy Association's High Court challenge to the funding cuts in England.

“Now is probably a good time for her to ease off a little bit," Mr Hewitson added.

"This is the most thankless job in pharmacy”, because “whatever you negotiate is not right for somebody”.

"I honestly feel that Sue has played quite a strong hand over a period of time, and pharmacy and extended [parties] will miss her," Mr Hewitson added.

Sue Sharpe: “We need to continue to fight”

In a statement posted on the PSNC website following her announcement, Ms Sharpe said the last 18 months “have been very tough for the sector and for PSNC”.

When making her decision to resign, she had been “confident” the outcome of the judicial review of the funding cuts would have been released. "But we are still waiting," she said. 

"Whatever the outcome of the case, we will need to continue to fight to ensure that pharmacies’ support for patients and role in our communities is protected and developed," she said. "We are preparing the next stages in our campaign."

Numark: Successor must be of "high calibre"

Numark managing director John D’Arcy said the sector is “operating in very difficult, financially strapped times” and PSNC needs a successor of “high calibre” to “fill the very large gap” left by Ms Sharpe.

"We need to secure an engagement and alignment with the Department of Health (DH) and NHS England, which sees pharmacy fully recognised and properly rewarded," he said.

Ms Sharpe has made an “outstanding contribution to pharmacy” by bringing “a considerable skill set” to PSNC, and upholding a “steely determination” in negotiations with the DH, he added.

PSNC chair Mike Pitt said the negotiator "has already begun to consider a recruitment process for a replacement CEO", but finding the "right person...will take time".

7 Comments
Question: 
What should PSNC look for in its next chief executive?

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

SS should have obeyed the mantra that no deal is better than a bad deal and been prepared to walk away from dealing with ministers in the NHS, instead of being the nation's number one doormat. Thankfully she is nowhere near the Brexit negotiations.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Time to get rid of the PSNC... along with the GPhC, RPS, etc. Waste of money the lot of them - none of them do anything for the pharmacist slaving away in the dispensary, except make their life more difficult.

Olukunmi Popoola, Community pharmacist

I for one know how difficult negotiating is especially for a group that is a divided as community pharmacy but if you consider to outcome of these negotiations over the years they have been below par, ordinary and a 'yes sir - take whatever you are given' exercise.

 

Bushra Iqbal, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

SUE SHARPE RODE THE GRAVY TRAIN  RIGHT TO THE END,LET THE DOH GRIND US IN TO THE GROUND AND JUST STOOD BY AND WATCHED ALL THESE YEARS .WILL SHE ALSO BE GETTING A GOLDEN PENSION POT AT OUR (CONTRACTORS)EXPENSE? SHE JUMPED BEFORE SHE WAS PUSHED!

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

She made a lot of money for doing very little, you're just jealous. 

Roger Kramer, Senior Management

Has the sector not been fighting for a long time with no successes on any major issues? If PSNC is to be ignored by DOH who have always worked on the prejudicial basis that pharmacist should subsidide themselves from other business operating from their premises and impositions made on major issues do we then need PSNC at all, especially as any enquiries are used to beat down the sector rather than augment it?

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Admit it, you'd miss them if they were gone.  Plus they've had plenty of sucesses, the media just chooses not to report them.  They threw a lavish Contractor funded Christmas party, all of them managed to get in at least two Caribbean holidays last year and having provided insider information to the government over the cuts I believe a prominent, iminently stepping down member has secured a directorship at AmazonPharmay.com

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