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Boots exec Richard Bradley leaves multiple after 23 years

Richard Bradley: It's been a privilege to have been able to lead pharmacy in Boots over recent years
Richard Bradley: It's been a privilege to have been able to lead pharmacy in Boots over recent years

Former Boots’ pharmacy director Richard Bradley has left the multiple after 23 years in various roles, he has announced on LinkedIn.

Mr Bradley joined the multiple as a pharmacist and branch manager in 1997, before rising through the ranks all the way to pharmacy director for the whole of Boots UK in 2016 – a post he held until October last year, when he became the multiple’s advisor on future healthcare.

During his time, he also served as the managing director of Boots Ireland and pharmacy director for the multiple’s eastern region of the UK, the latter covering around 600 pharmacies.

Announcing his departure on LinkedIn last week (April 22), Mr Bradley said that it had been “the upmost [sic] privilege” to lead Boots’ pharmacy division, but he had decided to step away to spend more time with his family. He would be giving up the full-time role for “a range of board and advisory roles”.

“We’ve achieved some really special things together and had a positive impact on the health of millions of people,” Mr Bradley wrote. “Not a day goes by where I am not humbled and grounded by the care our teams bring to their communities.

“We haven’t just cared for patients – we’ve cared for each other – supporting, challenging and developing each other. And we’ve had some great fun while we’ve done it – and you know how important that is to me.”

A career marked by transformation

Mr Bradley’s tenure as the multiple’s pharmacy director was not without its challenges. He arrived in the role in the wake of allegations by the Guardian that the multiple had been pressuring staff to abuse medicines use reviews (MURs) for profit.

Once in the role, in 2018 it fell to Mr Bradley to defend Boots on a BBC Inside Out documentary on pharmacists under pressure, which focused attention on three cases where patients had died as a result of medication errors.

However, Mr Bradley was also one of two key figures in Boots behind its digital and in-store transformation, including the installation of “express” pick up lanes in 600 of Boots’ largest branches and an app for repeat prescriptions.

Moving to his current role as a senior advisor in October 2020, Mr Bradley has overseen the multiple’s future strategy for healthcare and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic – including its role in the vaccination programme.

Boots Ireland’s former managing director Bernadette Lavery was appointed pharmacy director for Boots UK in November 2020. Mr Bradley's responsibilities in his current role will now pass to Asif Aziz, Boots' new director of healthcare services.

In a statement, Boots said Mr Bradley “will be sorely missed and we wish him well with his future endeavours”.

This article was updated on April 29 following additional information from Boots.

5 Comments
Question: 
What do you think of Mr Bradley's departure?

Anonymous Anonymous, Information Technology

Call me old fashioned but it speaks volumes about a person's ability when even their resignation contains incorrect spelling! No wonder our 'profession' is finished if this is the type of person leading the biggest pharmacy chain and advising the GPhC and government!!!

John Banks, Community pharmacist

Richard is one of the good guys. He did his best for the profession & Boots. I wish him well with whatever he does next.

Heather Pharm Tech, Allocation & Distribution

“We’ve achieved some really special things together and had a positive impact on the health of millions of people,” Mr Bradley wrote

What about the health and welfare of your staff...?

Joe Locum, Community pharmacist

He's away to locum for 35 plus 2.....

Bharat Rajpra, Primary care pharmacist

LOOOOOL

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