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Lloyds appoints its first female superintendent pharmacist

Ms Steele will replace the outgoing superintendent pharmacist Steve Howard
Ms Steele will replace the outgoing superintendent pharmacist Steve Howard

Victoria Steele will take over as the new superintendent pharmacist for Lloydspharmacy, the first woman to hold the position in the multiple’s history, it announced yesterday.

Ms Steele, who has worked for Lloydspharmacy’s parent company McKesson UK since 2011, will take over from the company’s outgoing superintendent pharmacist, Steve Howard.

Mr Howard announced his retirement last month (August 21) after 35 years with the company and is set to depart on December 31.

Ms Steele is currently Lloydspharmacy’s deputy superintendent and is also the multiple’s head of clinical governance and professional standards.

McKesson UK chief executive Toby Anderson said he is “delighted to congratulate” Ms Steele on her new appointment, both for the “opportunity it presents for her as an individual, and as the first female superintendent pharmacist in Lloydspharmacy’s history”.

He praised Ms Steele for her “integral role in the business’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on getting medicines to patients safely and the health and welfare of [its] colleagues”.

“Her knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for the profession will be incredibly valuable in such a pivotal year for pharmacy,” Mr Anderson added.

Outside of McKesson UK, Ms Steele is also vice chair of the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group, and of the professional practice group for The Company Chemist’s Association.

What do you make of Ms Steele's appointment?

Caroline Jones, Locum pharmacist

This was a golden opportunity for Lloyds to get in new blood at the top in the hope of shaking up its standards and operating tactics. Sadly as Howard's deputy all we can hope for is more of the same old shambles and feckless obfuscation. My profound condolences to its beleaguered hard working staff.

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Whatever our individual opinion if Lloydspharmacy, being made Superintendent is something to be proud of and I wish her all the very best in what, I am sure, is a difficult (and largely thankless) task

CAPT FX, Locum pharmacist

I am actually surprised Lloydspharmacy has a Clinical Governance and Professional standards department. They have no Clinical Governance neither do they have Professional standards. It's one company that has driven the Pharmacy profession into the gutter. They have no respect for Pharmacists as THE professionals who drive this profession. Unless this person be it a man or woman come to terms with that the Pharmacy Superintendent seat in Lloydspharmacy will remain a poisoned chalice or rather the chalice oozing the poison destroying our good profession.

TC PA, Community pharmacist

Steve Howard was an excellent pharmacist and academic. It's a shame Lloyds pharmacies are somewhat of a shambles these days from what I have seen and heard from fellow pharmacists. I don't know how much of the blame can be laid at Steve. 

Hopefully Victoria can address some of the problems with working conditions at branch level. 

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

If any blame can be levelled at Steve Howard, it is only because he is a decent man and probably tried to keep everyone happy.  People in these top positions need a ruthless streak in them and I don't think he had that. I hope not, anyway.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Why is it such a big deal that it's a woman? If she was the best candidate, she was the best candidate.

Darren Powell, Community pharmacist

It's a big deal because despite being 50% of the population, women in key positions aren't in the same proportion. So in fact these individuals have had to go further, prove themselves more than their male counterparts to change the landscape.

It's a big deal because she can be a role model to the younger individuals in our profession.

It's a good news story.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Not saying it isn't a good thing, it's just that when something like this is trumpeted, it shows we haven't actually come that far. Equality will not be achieved until gender, colour, creed etc is not even worthy of comment. This still smacks of  'oh look, hasn't the little lady done well?' I don't give a monkeys that the new superintendent of Lloyds is a 'she', a 'he' or a horse. All I care about is how good a superintendent she will be.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I agree and feel the same with all aspects of discrimination. One could argue that positive discrimination is still discrimination. Achieving the peak of "meh" is something we will work towards, but we are not quite there yet!

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

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

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

Dear editor. What did I post that contravened your community principles?

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Just something that the editorial panel disagreed with. It's enough.

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

My post got 7 thumbs up before it was axed!

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