Welcome to Pharmacy Forum Election 2023 Candidate Prospectus

We are excited to announce that voting is now open for the Pharmacy Forum 2023 Election. This year, we have 7 high calibre candidates in the running for 4 Board places.

It is crucial that you vote for the candidate(s) you feel best represents your views, thereby providing a strong mandate to speak on behalf of the profession.




Click on the candidate names below to view their career profile and manifesto.

Career Profile

I started my career as a dispensary assistant working in Andersons Pharmacy Portadown facing the challenges of community pharmacy and guided by a fantastic pharmacy team. I completed my undergraduate MPharm at Queen’s University Belfast and undertook pre-registration training in Maghaberry Pharmacy under the guidance of Dr Kate McClelland. In 2013 I registered with the PSNI as a Pharmacist and worked with a truly remarkable Pharmacy team helping to support the local community of Maghaberry.

Returning to QUB I completed a PhD by research focusing on development of microneedle technologies with Prof Ryan Donnelly. I became a post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Randox-QUB Centre for Excellence in Engineering in 2016 working with companies such as Teva Pharmaceuticals (Israel) and Johnson & Johnson to develop new systems for drug delivery and diagnostics.

I became a Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy at Ulster University in January 2020, and I am currently undergraduate MPharm Course Director in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. My research focus is on antimicrobial stewardship and services development in clinical settings and bringing forward new device concepts for advanced epigenetic diagnostics.

In December 2022 I was made a Global Health Fellow by the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer (England) for my work with the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association developing antimicrobial stewardship partnerships internationally. Locally, I work to support the development of clinical pharmacy services in community and hospital settings and am an expert member for the Office of Research Ethics Committees in Northern Ireland helping to ensure safe and ethical research practice for patients.


Having worked as a community pharmacist I am mindful of the challenges of clinical practice within a commercial context, and having worked also with industrial partners on clinical services development I am also aware of the opportunities that can arise.

In all sectors challenges are apparent. However, my experience of the pharmacy profession in Northern Ireland tells me that quality provision of care for patients, enthusiastic development of services, and a desire to support patients are all common themes across the region.

Acting as a judge at the recent Pharmacy in Focus awards, I have been inspired by the efforts to which pharmacy teams have gone to ensure patients receive the care and support they require – all within challenging circumstances.

With the introduction of undergraduate education reforms and new Initial Education and Training standards I have been tasked with ensuring future graduates joining the profession are suitably skilled to manage a career in Pharmacy, ready for independent prescribing and enhanced clinical roles. The profession needs to be ready to offer these opportunities in order to maintain and grow our workforce.

My hope is to see the pharmacy profession move forward, building capacity, and establishing clear pathways of progression throughout each pharmacy sector and to integrate clinical, commercial and patient care to enhance services available to patients across Northern Ireland. Models of how this can be done do exist, and I will advocate for bold decision making to make this a reality.

Career Profile

I have been working as a community pharmacist since qualifying from John Moores, Liverpool in 1990. I then worked as a locum for a number of years in England and Northern Ireland, before joining the family pharmacy business in 1992, at O’Neills pharmacy in Coalisland, Co.Tyrone. As the contractor there for 20 years, I have seen and embraced lots of changes and developments within pharmacy practice, primary care outcomes and the role of the NHS. Between 1995-2005 I was a member of various steering groups, including the Pharmacy Locality Partnerships Committees, the Community Pharmacist representative for SHSSB /HSC multi-disciplinary forums and a member of the NUMARK advisory panel ( representing independent pharmacies N.I. ) In 2013, I enrolled and implemented the pharmacy and staff as a Health Plus Pharmacy, which would later become the basis of a Living Well Pharmacy. I have also implemented and engaged a number of community initiatives collaborating with BCPP, funded by CDHN which engaged with local groups addressing inequalities in my community. (working with Cancer Focus/ Lilac cancer charities, Carers Matters, Clanryre Social Prescribing Network and the local Men’s Shed group). As pharmacy is always evolving I am keen to keep up with new services, technology and developments. Embracing new challenges, such as Flu and Covid vaccination clinics I deliver additional NHS services treating UTI’s, via Independent Prescriber pharmacists. Private services available to patients include Food Intolerance Testing, Allergy Testing and more recently Ear Wax removal by Micro-suction. I am proud to have received awards for these new services at the Pharmacy in Focus awards in N.I.


I believe it is the small things and interactions that we do in community pharmacy every day that can make the biggest difference to our patients lives, and the health and well-being of the public. Understanding and engaging with our patients and local community groups will allow us to implement new messages and motivate changes in public behaviour, leading to better equality and healthcare outcomes. I believe community pharmacy can offer a unique forum for health development with our visibility, and accessibility to the public. We can engage with our patients, improving their knowledge and use of medicines, increase their uptake and access of services, and refer or signpost them to the most appropriate HCP’s. As all this needs investment and I will use my experience and voice to engage with policy makers and Government to fight for this funding, as I believe we are a very under-valued NHS resource. I am passionate about community pharmacy and will continue to be pro-active and motivated to promote our profession. I am willing to listen to and support my colleagues and welcome the challenge ahead. Thank you for your time, and if you share my passion for pharmacy, please cast your vote for me.

Career Profile

When I registered (back in the dark ages of 1993), I worked primarily as a community pharmacist for independents and then, as we were bought over, multiples. I first became a manager in 1996 working for Heron Chemists, and then became a District Manager for Lloyds Pharmacy after they bought us over. I moved on to work for McKay Pharmacy, then Dundee’s and then Medicare, again due to a series of buyouts. I was then forced to take a few years out of pharmacy due to illness (who knew a broken neck could turn your life upside down?) but was able to return to the Register in 2016 with a spell as a locum, before applying for a GP Pharmacist position in North Down, being fortunate to be assigned to Brook Street Surgery in Holywood. I became a Lead GP Pharmacist in 2019, and still consider myself very lucky to work with my team in North Down. I have also continued to do some locum work to support our local Community Pharmacy colleagues, and to maintain my perspective of pharmacy from both GP and Community. Several years ago I obtained my Diploma in Community Pharmacy through NICPLD, and, more recently, my IP. I count myself as fortunate to have had the opportunity to deliver a part of the GP Foundation Programme with NICPLD, focussing on prescribing (and deprescribing) for patients with frailty; and to be part of the portfolio assessment team. If you have worked with me, you’ll know I cannot help teaching! I am currently working on my MSc in Advanced Pharmacy Practice through Ulster University, and am proud to be one of the committee that organised the recent successful Primary Care Pharmacy Association conference. I would appreciate the opportunity to be part of the future of pharmacy as a member of the Pharmacy Forum.


I think that we are all aware that pharmacy in Northern Ireland is lagging behind in relation to our neighbours. Higher rates of pay for pharmacists are attracting many of our newly registered pharmacists to either Britain or to the South. We are all very conscious that our Health Service is in crisis, and that we in Northern Ireland are particularly hampered by the current lack of a functioning Assembly, with the associated absence of a Health Minister, and a clear budget. Pharmacist salaries here have not kept pace with our colleagues in the UK and Ireland. Agenda for Change has not been extended across all relevant areas, with the GP Federations’ unique structure also presenting unique challenges. The lack of a satisfying structure for professional progression in GP Pharmacy and Community Pharmacy is something that is now recognised and is being worked on – I feel this is essential, both for us to retain our current talented and experienced workforce and to encourage our new colleagues to stay here with us. The new intake of pharmacy students will be qualifying as “prescriber ready”, and this must mean changes for pharmacy as it stands. I know that NICPLD are busy redesigning the Foundation 1, 2 and IP training courses with a view to these changes, but thought must also be given to how these new prescribers can use their skills. At the moment, being an IP in Community Pharmacy seems to mean very little, so there is a huge amount of work to be done to prepare for this: and for the contractors and pharmacists who may feel at that stage that an IP is something that they will want or need. The demands on our profession continue to grow as our skills become more valued, however we only have so much capacity. The development of Pharmacy Technicians to step up in Community and GP Pharmacy as we move to expand our roles will require preparation of training and registration routes to match and surpass those already available in Britain (from which we can learn).

Career Profile

I have worked largely in community pharmacy after graduating from QUB in 1997 and completing my pre-registration training with Boots.

I have managed busy pharmacies, completed a diploma in community pharmacy and been involved in pre-registration and Accuracy Checking Technician training. I have completed a secondment with DoH working on the Shipman Programme, and I am currently employed as the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) Representation Manager locally. In this role I ensure that the views and needs of NPA members and their staff are heard and responded to. I work with stakeholders across pharmacy and the health service to raise the profile of community pharmacy and continue to practice in community pharmacy on a part time basis.

I have previously served the Pharmacy Forum Board, including a period as Chair and latterly as a member of the Policy and Practice Committee. I believe the skills, knowledge and experience gained, coupled with my personal qualities, will continue to be a valuable asset to the Pharmacy Forum Board.


I see first-hand the challenges pharmacists face from the fundamental changes of how healthcare is delivered to the impact of financial pressures where we are asked to deliver more for less. I am keen that, through the leadership of the Pharmacy Forum, pharmacists can build on their expertise, and with the emerging workforce, practice in an environment with appropriate resources, fair regulation and proportionate bureaucratic requirements.

My vision for the future is that pharmacy teams will build on the work of recent years to become a profession fully integrated into the patient journey. Pharmacists’ skills will help patients in supporting access to health care, providing screening and management of long-term conditions along with health promotion and prevention. I believe a representative and supportive Forum has a significant role to play to realise pharmacy’s potential to the benefit of the patient and the overall health economy.

I have the experience, passion and commitment necessary to represent the interests of fellow pharmacists on the Pharmacy Forum Board, and to ensure that the future of our profession is safe with our skills used and valued. If nominated to the Board again I would work to advance the Forum’s Corporate Plan to promote pharmacy practice in the interests of improved services and patient outcomes, and to provide Council with representative advice and guidance. In the ongoing discussion around how professional leadership may develop in the UK I will advocate for a pragmatic approach to tackle the challenges specific to Northern Ireland.

Career Profile

I graduated from Liverpool School of Pharmacy in 1990, completing my pre-registration year in Lurgan and I currently operate five community pharmacies in Lurgan, Portadown and Newry.

I began pharmacy representative life by joining the Ulster Chemists’ Association in 1997 and currently represent community pharmacy on the National Supervision Board and PGEU. I was elected to the position of Chair of the board of CPNI , I am a past Chair of the Southern Area Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee and was a member of the Central Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee to the DHSSPSNI. In 2007, I was appointed Chairman of the Southern Local Commissioning Group (LCG), a sub-committee of the Health and Social Care Board, a position I held until for two terms until March 2015. I have been a member of the Pharmacy Forum (NI) since April 2015 and I was Chair since April 2016 until 2021

I was awarded a fellowship of the Pharmaceutical Society Of Northern Ireland in 2021

I have a particular personal interest is in palliative care. I have also been involved in the Building the Community Pharmacy Partnership programme for over 10 years, both by delivering local projects and as a member of the regional steering group.

My work, representative and chairing experiences have given me a unique insight into how the commissioning and delivery of health and social care services in Northern Ireland impact on patients and populations and along with my experience of public and independent sector board processes, including governance, would I believe, be an asset to the Pharmacy Forum.

Outside of work, I’m a keen (but slow) marathon runner and cyclist, a member of the Board of Governors of a Primary School in Craigavon and. I am board member and current chair of Community Heath & Development Network (CDHN). I am a board member of the Jethro Centre in Lurgan. I’m married to Nuala, and we have four children.


Primary and Secondary care is facing a system wide, demand led crisis. This was felt acutely in our GP Out of Hours and Emergency Departments which daily have to meet the challenges of responding to older, sicker patients with increasingly complex needs, compounded by ever increasing public expectations of health care.

Pharmacy is uniquely placed to put the patient at the centre of health and social care. It has the ability to offer effective medicine optimisation programmes, comprehensive minor ailment schemes and evidence based pharmaceutical care bundles, all tailored to assist individuals, families and communities to live longer, better quality, more productive lives.

We must continue to develop and grow a professional working environment which identifies with and works to achieve better health outcomes for the communities we serve.

Pharmacists, in community, primary GP practice and secondary healthcare management, cannot and must not exist in isolation but rather must work in partnership with others, with both professionals and communities, to identify and solve health issues. The symbiotic impact of this co-operation will see an improvement in the health outcomes of local populations, an enhancement and respect for our professional roles.

I am very concerned about the health and wellbeing of my colleagues. We, as a professional cohort, have never been under so much pressure professionally and financially. The demands on our service are ever increasing and the expectations of our patients and other professions seem to be endless. As a Pharmacy Forum Board member I will promote the PASS benevolent charity & reach out to more people who need our help. I will continue to make the case for more support for our members at every opportunity.

I would be delighted if you would vote for me in the forthcoming election to the Pharmacy Forum Board.

Career Profile

I started my career in 1993 as a community pharmacist. I then moved into the area of GP practice pharmacy and have worked in this sector since 1996 initially as one of the first practice pharmacists in NI and then working within the NI Health and Social Care Board to provide prescribing support to both medical and non-medical prescribers in primary care. Currently, I am the Professional Head of Pharmacy for GP Federations in Northern Ireland and have been responsible for the implementation and ongoing delivery of the regional General Practice Pharmacist service since 2016. I bring all of this experience to the future development of the Pharmacist’s role, particularly in primary care. I am currently an elected Board member of Pharmacy Forum NI and a member of the Primary Care Pharmacists Association


I believe that there continues to be tremendous potential for Pharmacists to make a difference to patient care by using their unique skillset to optimise the use of medicines. Increasingly Pharmacists are taking their place within the multidisciplinary healthcare team and are demonstrating the benefits that their clinical and pharmaceutical knowledge can bring to patients and colleagues. Whilst there has been significant development in this regard recently in general practice, there is considerable scope to build upon the collaborative working that has already been established across each of the pharmacy sectors so that we can provide the necessary pharmaceutical expertise and support to patients as it is required.

My aim, through the work of the Pharmacy Forum Board, would be to increase awareness of the pharmacist’s role within the multidisciplinary team thereby providing pharmacists with the opportunity to use the full range of their skills to the greatest extent. In addition, I am committed to finding ways to encourage and support collaborative working within our own profession and with our healthcare colleagues.

Career Profile

I’m called Dr Nkonki Fonde Ghonjeh. I have been a pharmacist for 6 years now. After school I worked in Italy for a short while and hard to move back to my country to practice what I learned. Upon arrival I volunteered with a local NGO on their humanitarian works to reach out to the less privileged children.

I took up a community pharmacy job in which I served the community for 1 year.

I later on took up the role of a pharmaceutical sales representative with STREAM LOGISTICS (SL). SL represented Mylan Pharmaceutical products distribution in the Cameroon. I worked as a pharmacist to coordinate sales (2019-2020).

During the COVID-19 breakout, I volunteered to be trained by the World Health Organization to join the Rapid Intervention and Investigation Team for Public Health Emergency Operation Center in Cameroon. After which I was sent by the Ministry of Public Health for regional supervision to support and train other health personnel, investigation, intervention of COVID-19 and also handling the COVID-19 vaccine (Cold chain). I volunteered for 6months.

I moved ahead head to join BAPHARMA (A pharmaceutical distribution company) as their pharmacist.

March – October in 2021.

I went on with Atlantic Pharmacy Bonaberi as the General Manager and the pharmacist of a community pharmacy. I served as the pharmacist manager till I travelled to the UK to work with MediCare Pharmacy Group.

I am a licensed pharmacist in Italy, Cameroon and Northern Ireland. All my short working experience has made me gain skills in pharmacovigilance, drug analysis and dispensation, management of personnel, data and organization of the pharmacy.

I know that joining the Forum Board will entail tight deadlines. I developed this ability to do this in my previous jobs and I am comfortable working on several projects simultaneously while still meeting deadlines.

I know the Forum Board entails a lot team work. I love being part of a team and I think my communication skills add value, with my holistic experience working in different background and culture.


The healthcare service needs to revamp now and for the future, convey the health variations exposed by the pandemic, and the capacity and demand challenges that the NHS faces. I believe that pharmacy teams can increasingly play a key role.

Pharmacy teams are already more than ever integrated within multidisciplinary teams across all sectors. Now is the time to strengthen the pace and scale of this integration, to guarantee that all members of the pharmacy team are using their skills and knowledge to the maximum for the benefit of people across Northern Ireland.

As pharmacy professional practice makes progress, there are not only thrilling new roles for the pharmacists and pharmacy technicians of tomorrow, but opportunities to be embraced today. This vision incorporates the best interests of patients.

If elected, my vision for pharmacy professional practice will target both objectives and ways to help bring about the change/improvement that is required.

Pharmacy Forum Elections 2023

The election has now closed.