Independent UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board to strengthen collaboration

Through the Board’s work, closer collaboration between pharmacy professional leadership bodies and specialist professional groups, supported by Independent Expert Members, will enable and support pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Chaired by Sir Hugh Taylor, the Board includes 21 members bringing a wide range of expertise and experience. Over three years, the Board will lead the implementation of recommendations from the UK Commission on Pharmacy Professional Leadership’s report, published in February 2023.

Read a statement from the Board - May 2024

Read Board member biographies

Read the Board Terms of Reference

Read the Board Register of Interests

Blog by the Independent Chair - Pharmacy professional leadership: what does good look like?


Independent Chair of the UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board Sir Hugh Taylor:

Sir Hugh Taylor is currently Chair of the Health Foundation and a Trustee of Cicely Saunders International, and Chief Negotiations Adviser (Voluntary Pricing and Access Scheme for branded medicines), Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). He was previously Chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and National Skills Academy for Health, and a Trustee of Macmillan Cancer Support, the Nuffield Trust and the Royal College of Physicians.

Prior to these appointments he had a long and distinguished career in the Civil Service including senior roles in DHSC and the NHS Executive, the Cabinet Office and the Home Office.

Sir Hugh said: "I am delighted and honoured to be taking on this role as Independent Chair. Pharmacy is an integral and vital part of our health system. The aim of this Board is to lead and support collaboration across the professions in the UK, so that they can look to the future with ambition and confidence and realise their full potential. That is a hugely exciting mission - and one I very much look forward to supporting."


Through the Board’s work, closer collaboration between pharmacy professional leadership bodies and specialist professional groups, supported by Independent Expert Members, will enable and support pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Chaired by Sir Hugh Taylor, the Board includes 21 members bringing a wide range of expertise and experience. Over three years, the Board will lead the implementation of recommendations from the UK Commission on Pharmacy Professional Leadership’s report, published in February 2023.

Read a statement from the Board - May 2024

Read Board member biographies

Read the Board Terms of Reference

Read the Board Register of Interests

Blog by the Independent Chair - Pharmacy professional leadership: what does good look like?


Independent Chair of the UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board Sir Hugh Taylor:

Sir Hugh Taylor is currently Chair of the Health Foundation and a Trustee of Cicely Saunders International, and Chief Negotiations Adviser (Voluntary Pricing and Access Scheme for branded medicines), Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). He was previously Chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and National Skills Academy for Health, and a Trustee of Macmillan Cancer Support, the Nuffield Trust and the Royal College of Physicians.

Prior to these appointments he had a long and distinguished career in the Civil Service including senior roles in DHSC and the NHS Executive, the Cabinet Office and the Home Office.

Sir Hugh said: "I am delighted and honoured to be taking on this role as Independent Chair. Pharmacy is an integral and vital part of our health system. The aim of this Board is to lead and support collaboration across the professions in the UK, so that they can look to the future with ambition and confidence and realise their full potential. That is a hugely exciting mission - and one I very much look forward to supporting."


  • Pharmacy professional leadership: what does good look like?

    By Sir Hugh Taylor, Independent Chair of the UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board

    It was great to get started on our task at the first meeting of the UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board on 23 April. I’m relatively new to pharmacy and it’s fascinating to bring my experience of working with professional leadership bodies when Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Care and Chair of a London hospital trust to this new endeavour. I’m very pleased to have been asked to get involved – because it’s so important to the people of the UK.

    The Board includes people with a fantastic range of expertise and experience and our first meeting was an opportunity for them to share their insights and begin to shape the work programme we will lead. They are clearly enthusiastic about the task ahead and have a great deal of ambition for representing all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and making pharmacy professional leadership the most effective it can be.

    And that’s a critical point – they are not on the Board to represent a sector or specialism. The Ex-Officio and Independent Expert Members are on the Board to represent all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. We are all aware that we need to avoid narrow and divisive approaches when it comes to professional leadership. It doesn’t help pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working on the ground, because you work in teams, you collaborate and increasingly integrate across sectors as patients move through NHS pathways of care.

    In my experience, there is no perfect model out there of a professional leadership body in healthcare. However, what we have here is a great opportunity for pharmacy to shape a model of professional leadership that others can look to as an example of best practice.

    Although professional leaders will never be immune from criticism, they ultimately need credibility. Honesty, integrity and credibility really matter for leaders – whether they are engaging with their fellow professionals or other stakeholders such as the public, regulators or the Government. The importance of how professional leaders are viewed by the wider pharmacy professions was highlighted by an Ex-Officio Member of a professional leadership body – she said that leaders must be trusted by those they represent. There’s no doubt that the next three years hold a variety of opportunities and challenges for pharmacy. Professional leaders need to demonstrate an awareness and understanding of what these mean for pharmacy professionals in their day-to-day roles.

    Clarity of vision and purpose is crucial for pharmacy professional leadership. Whether it’s the ageing population, life expectancy beginning to decline, rising demand for NHS services, or exciting advances in medicines, genomics and technology, we need to be clear on how pharmacy will respond. And I strongly believe that pharmacy’s profile needs to be higher. It should be seen as a national asset. Are we talking about pharmacy enough to other healthcare professionals? Pride goes hand in hand with professionalism, and the role of professional leaders is to build pride. Leaders also need to show a commitment to embodying those values that focus on the needs of patients and the public, and the importance of clinical excellence. In the best places I have worked over the years, staff have been able to tell you what the organisation’s values are.

    Another vital aspect of good professional leadership is what I call ‘restlessness to keep improving’. This is about leaders championing leading edge clinical practice, along with the availability of education and training for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians throughout their careers. It is the role of professional leaders to set an example by pushing the boundaries. Related to this is a strong focus on research and innovation – leaders need to support people to keep pace with the major changes ahead in medicines and technology. In our rewarding discussions at the meeting, one Independent Expert Member emphasised the importance of staying curious as this leads to innovation and improvement. Another cited how we really need to be brave and do things differently.

    My final characteristic of good professional leadership is a visible and systematic commitment to collaboration and partnership. This is tricky to get right – ensuring that pharmacy excels in its role as a team and system player. This means more effective collaboration between the pharmacy professions, with other healthcare professionals, the wider healthcare system, and working in partnership with patients and the public. Here the Board’s Patient and Public Reference Group will play a pivotal role.

    Board members discussed how professional leaders should empower, inspire and engage effectively with pharmacists and pharmacy technicians – and that this applies to the whole, diverse pharmacy family, including its unregistered members. One Independent Expert Member said he hoped that this effective engagement would lead to a greater sense of belonging and inclusion amongst pharmacy professionals.

    Ultimately the aim of the Board’s work is to be more than the sum of our parts in moving forward at pace this exciting vision for pharmacy professional leadership over our three-year timeframe. While this will be hugely challenging for us all, and wider professional colleagues, I am confident that, with the reflections shared by our Board members at the meeting, and their commitment to making these aspirations a reality, pharmacy professional leadership has a positive and inspiring future.

  • Independent Expert Members Re-advertisement

    Independent Expert Members Re-advertisement

    The UK Chief Pharmaceutical Officers (CPhOs) are looking to appoint Independent Expert Members from diverse backgrounds to shape and support the collaborative UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board, which has been tasked with developing an inclusive federation of existing UK pharmacy professional leadership bodies and specialist professional groups to lead implementation of the UK Commission on Pharmacy Professional Leadership’s report recommendations.

    The CPhOs are looking for outstanding, motivated and experienced candidates to become Independent Expert Members who are:

    • Pharmacists working in Scotland.


    View the recruitment pack and role summary. Please note the closing date is: 23:59 on Wednesday 17 April 2024.

  • Independent Chair Sir Hugh Taylor reflects on progress as we mark the anniversary of publication of the UK Commission on Pharmacy Professional Leadership’s report

    Since my appointment as Independent Chair for the UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board in October 2023, I’ve had a warm welcome from the leaders of the pharmacy professional leadership bodies (PLBs) and specialist professional groups (SPGs) which are members of the Board.

    Setting up the Board is an important initiative that will further support, enable and empower the PLBs and SPGs to shape and lead the future for the pharmacy professions in these important times.

    To ensure it can carry out its remit effectively and guide future-focused leadership for the pharmacy professions, the Board has been established by the Department of Health and Social Care as an independent public body. Working within its remit, the Board will set its own agendas and provide advice to the PLBs and SPGs, which are its constituent Ex Officio members.

    I’ve had fruitful and positive initial discussions with my PLB and SPG colleagues, and Board development sessions, and currently we’re working productively towards our first Board meeting on 19 March 2024.

    Meanwhile I’m continuing to immerse myself in the pharmacy landscape, as well as taking forward the recruitment of our Independent Expert Members. Like me they need to go through a process of official HR onboarding, but I hope we’ll be in a position to share their names during February.

    Now that the Board has been established as an independent public body, the UK Chief Pharmaceutical Officers have stepped back into an advisory role and I’ve taken the lead responsibility.

    So, I’m keen to get going with the work of the Board. We’ll meet four times a year and one of the first things we’ll do collectively is set up a patient and public involvement group, as well as a stakeholder forum. These will feed advice and views into the Board meetings to ensure we’re in touch with the full range of pharmacy bodies, enabling us to involve even more colleagues in the work of the Board and ensure the greater transparency we’re keen to achieve.

    We’re also making great progress in identifying leaders to join the Board as Independent Expert Members: people of the highest calibre with an outstanding track record in, strong understanding of, or lived experience in, health and care in any country of the UK. This will ensure the Board is broad, balanced and inclusive of appropriate diversity.

    The interviews have yielded a great field of enthusiastic and independent-minded pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who I’m confident will be an enormous asset to the Board, shaping and supporting its work, as we seek to ensure greater collaboration across the UK PLBs and SPGs over a three-year period. I’m also delighted that the Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Dr Jeanette Dickson, has agreed to join the Board as an Ex-Officio member.

    All this makes for exciting times. Next month, the Board will begin its discussions about the delivery of the recommendations and ambitious vision set out by the UK Commission to:

    1. Support and enable collaborative working
    2. Develop credible and authoritative leadership that is effective and speaks with one voice to Government, regulators, patients, employers and others in the public interest
    3. Develop the future arrangements for UK pharmacy professional leadership, that will contribute to the ambition to realise the future potential of pharmacy professionals in the NHS and other settings.


    As the independent UK Commission report outlined, there is an urgent need for the pharmacy professions to work collaboratively to deliver on their potential and, together, address a wide range of professional issues.

    The creation of the Board will support and steer a process of evolution for pharmacy professional leadership in the UK, matching the speed of change in healthcare and pharmacy professional practice more widely. It is ultimately for members of the professions and the bodies that represent them to determine the form and structure in the longer term.

    All this will require engagement with pharmacy professionals across the UK – seeking your input to our ambitions as we enter this new and dynamic phase of collaboration.

    I hope pharmacists and pharmacy technicians across all four countries will join with us to create this positive future and I look forward to working with you all.


Page last updated: 18 Jun 2024, 11:59 AM