Visit of Ashok Soni OBE President Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain


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Ash Soni Photo

Ashok Soni OBE President Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

Posted on 05 June 2015
The President of the RPS commented that he was “delighted to see such energy and support for the profession from the Keele students and had thoroughly enjoyed an extremely valuable visit”.

The 73rd BPSA (British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association) Annual Conference was held this year in Liverpool between 29th March and 5th April. Student representatives from the Keele School of Pharmacy attended. During the conference the Keele Students met with the President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Ashok Soni and led by Eleanor Barrett and Kizzie Bridgman, they invited him to Keele to visit our facilities and to provide a lecture to all the students and staff at the school. This event took place on Friday 22nd May.

The Head of the School of Pharmacy Professor Nigel Ratcliffe asked the students if they had any objections to him hijacking Mr Soni prior to their meeting to have a quick discussion prior to his main presentation. Kindly the students agreed!

It is currently an extremely interesting time for the profession. Pharmacy students graduate with finely tuned clinical skills supported by an in-depth knowledge of clinical and pharmaceutical science. After the 4 year Masters course, graduates then undertake a years’ preregistration training of which six months must be clinical/patient facing within community or hospital practice. As the NHS faces enormous pressure, to meet demand for its services, there is a real need to effectively and efficiently place and fully utilise the pharmacists skills in both preventing illness and hospital admissions and to bringing patients back in to the community and their homes as quickly as possible. The huge contribution and leadership within health and social care made by the pharmacist is currently not as visible as it should be and the extended opportunities for pharmacists are not being achieved. One major issue is lack of public understanding as to the complex and highly developed skills that the pharmacist holds. These points were the substrate for an extremely fruitful set of meetings and discussions with Mr Soni.

Professor Ratcliffe said “Our students really took the initiative here and brought the RPS President to their School. Our students are extremely ambitious to apply the skills that they learn and to develop their profession, to respond to the changing landscape created by the development of new medicines and opportunity from the reconfiguration of global health care delivery. Professor Ratcliffe went on to say that “there is still huge unmet medical need in the world and the Pharmacist, as a clinical scientist, is well placed to contribute to solving these problems through research, supply chain involvement and leadership”.

The President of the RPS commented that he was “delighted to see such energy and support for the profession from the Keele students and had thoroughly enjoyed an extremely valuable visit”.


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