Welcome to the Pharmacy Forum Election 2017 Candidate Prospectus

We are excited to announce that voting is now open for the Pharmacy Forum 2017 Election. This year, we have 6 high calibre candidates in the running for five Board places.

It is crucial that you vote for the candidate 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.

Mr Raymond J Anderson BSC (Hons)

Career Profile

I graduated from QUB in 1979 and registered with the PSNI in 1980. I currently run two community pharmacies in Portadown. In 1997 I joined the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland; I was the Chair of Education from 1999 to 2001, I was elected Honorary Treasurer in 2001, Vice-President in 2005 and was elected President of the Society in October 2006. I stepped down from the position of President in November 2009 and remained on the Council until the separation of functions by the Council and the establishment of Pharmacy Forum. I was elected to the Pharmacy Forum Board in 2011.

I have been appointed to various committees including: the Central Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee, the Southern Area Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee and the Pharmacy Practice Committee in the old Southern. Board. I was also appointed to the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland’s Professional Development Committee 2011-2015.

In 2002-2006 I was the pharmacy representative on the C&B LHSCG. In 2012 I was appointed as clinical lead pharmacist for the C&B Primary Care Partnership and in 2013 clinical lead pharmacist for C&B Integrated Care partnership. I chaired the C&B ICP from June 2014-2016.

In 2006 I was elected as the NI representative of the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) and was elected as Vice- President August 2009. In 2011 I was elected president of the CPA and have had the privilege of representing NI pharmacy across the commonwealth for the past 6 years.

I was elected as the NI representative for the PGEU in March 2010 and in 2016 I was appointed by the European Commission to the EMA’s, Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee.

In 2007 I qualified as an independent prescriber and held a hypertension/hyperlipidemia clinic once a week in a GP surgery until 2017. I published a paper in 2015 on the role community pharmacists could have managing patients with long-term conditions in the community pharmacy setting.


I have over 35 years experience of working in Community Pharmacy and I feel I have an understanding of the issues facing pharmacy both locally and nationally at this time. Much of the work I am involved with outside of the Community Pharmacy setting is centred on the development of pharmacy as a profession. In the positions I have held I feel I have demonstrated the competencies required to represent pharmacy at all levels.

What we need now as a profession is to meet the opportunities and challenges we now face, building links with pharmacists across Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and the South of Ireland, while influencing all stakeholders, and presenting a unified case for the future of the profession.

Mr Philip Boyle MPSNI

Career Profile

  • Qualified from QUB 1995.
  • Community pharmacist approx 1 year employed by John Donaldson, Newry.
  • Community pharmacist approx 3 years employed by Paul Cooper, Belfast.
  • Community pharmacist/Manager to present @ Crossgar Pharmacy (approx 19 years)
  • Practice pharmacist @ Crossgar surgery 2011-2017
  • ICP pharmacy lead for Down 2013-present.
  • Participated in a number of BCPP level 1 & level 2 projects with local school children,local regional elderly groups and Mindwise (voluntary mental health services provider)
  • Twice winner of Pharmacy in Focus award for Commitment to Health and Social wellbeing.
  • Participant and speaker at CPNI Community Pharmacy Intervention Survey launch 2016.


Pharmacists are facing many issues presently in primary and secondary care environments.

Pharmacist support in relation to dispensing errors, and the personal safety of pharmacists and staff, have been the most significant issues, given recent incidents in community pharmacies.

Improved access to patient records and expansion of clinical roles are of relevance to community pharmacists, as well as integrated communication between primary and secondary care settings.

Provision of monitored dosage systems is the elephant in the room. The service has evolved exponentially at the request or demand of other health professionals, families and care workers. This is a non-commissioned service, however it can mean the difference between a person living independently or in care, or taking a monitored dose or overdosing with possible hospital admission.

I would promote a culture of safe and supported learning where pharmacists are confident and comfortable in reporting dispensing errors, and where legislation is rebalanced to address public safety and encourage the development of pharmacy practice.

I would campaign for support from the Dept. of Health and PSNI to ensure the safety of frontline pharmacy staff given the increasing number of violent attacks in community pharmacies.

Pharmacy IT systems are grossly isolated which affects full utilisation of pharmacist expertise. The profession must advocate for full IT integration for access to patient records and hospital discharge notes.

Pharmacists offer great value in healthcare. A fair and appropriate funding scheme to help pharmacists develop their integrated role in primary and secondary care would alleviate many issues faced by pharmacists on a daily basis.

In a fully integrated and appropriately commissioned service, we could embrace the clinical expertise, skills and accessibility of pharmacists to expand a patient-centred service to improve disease prevention and keep people well and living independently.

Ms Karen Briers BSc Honours

Career Profile

After completing my pre-registration year with Boots in Belfast I began my career working as a hospital pharmacist for two years. After moving back into community pharmacy I worked in various roles for the next twenty years. I started working as a practice pharmacist in North Belfast in 2007 and I still work in that same GP practice today. I have four years’ experience working for the Health and Social Care Board from 2012-2016. My job role at present is Lead Practice Based Pharmacist in North Belfast Federation of Family Practices.

From Jan 2011 –Dec 2012, I was the Pharmacist Clinical Lead in North Belfast Primary Care Partnership (PCP) and was the pharmacy representative for North Belfast PCP at the Belfast Local Commissioning Group (LCG) Drug and Therapeutics Committee. This role allowed me to develop my interpersonal skills, build relationships and promote the pharmacy profession.

Since January 2017 I have attended meetings of the Pharmacy Forum as an advisor to the Forum Board. I am one of the most experienced practice pharmacists in N Ireland, am involved in leading development of the role and my position on the Forum Board would ensure that this growing group of pharmacists would be represented. I have a good understanding of local and national policies and issues impacting on pharmaceutical care and medicines management services. I have found my time with the Forum Board very informative and would like to use my experience to contribute to the continuing development of the pharmacy profession.


This is an exciting, yet challenging time for the pharmacy profession as we continue to evolve to address the changing needs of our patients. The recruitment of pharmacists into GP practices is a great opportunity for the pharmacy profession to provide seamless pharmaceutical care at each stage of a patient’s journey through the NHS and I believe that the success of this is of interest to all our members.

The practice based pharmacist role is in its infancy and my vision is to embed patient centred best practice at the beginning of this process. The Medicines Optimisation Quality Framework provides a roadmap for improving how medicines are used across the HSC system. I am passionate about linking pharmaceutical care in the GP practice to build on existing quality pharmacy services to deliver improvements in care through evidence based service that lead to better health outcomes for patients.

If I get elected I will continue to work with stakeholders to provide support and training for pharmacists based in GP practice to enable them to continue to push boundaries whilst delivering a safe, quality pharmaceutical service to patients. I would like to ensure that general practice pharmacists will have a defined career pathway which is future proof and this will involve looking at workforce planning and revalidation.

Mr Harry Harron

Career Profile

I started my career as a pharmacist working in the community setting for Boots the Chemists in England and in Northern Ireland. I had a number of roles working as a pharmacist, head office role in Nottingham and also had a role as Senior Prison Pharmacist for N. Ireland working across the three prisons and several Boots pharmacies as well as the Department of Health and NI office. For the last 7 years I have been working for the Pharmacists’ Defence Association. I was the student liaison manager and delivered educational risk management sessions across most schools of Pharmacy in the UK. During that time and now I am the representative for the PDA in N. Ireland. In that role I have defended employee pharmacists interests who have needed support and the represented the wider interests of the employee pharmacist members . I have regular contact and am involved with the following groups and organisations within that role. Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, Pharmacy Forum, Medicines Optimisation policy steering group Northern Ireland, Pharmaceutical Services in the community – Project Board – Northern Ireland, Pharmacy Representative Bodies group.


My grandfather owned his own pharmacy, my father owned his own pharmacy for a while then was an employee and I have only ever been an employee pharmacist. More than 95% of pharmacists are employees and its imperative for me that the voice of the employee pharmacist is heard in all the right places. The interests of employers are already well represented and some organizations confuse the issue by implying they represent employee’s interests whilst they are employer funded and focused. I believe it’s important to make sure the Pharmacy Forum board has that unbiased employee focus only representation on it. There are lots of pivotal issues in pharmacy at the moment which have a direct impact on employee pharmacists such as the work of the rebalancing board; de-criminalisation of dispensing errors, superintendent / responsible pharmacist roles, standards affecting premises and individuals and I wish to be on the Pharmacy Forum board to do my best to ensure the role of the employee pharmacist is protected with no compromise. I am delighted at the new roles for pharmacists in GP practices and it is crucial that their careers can develop in a risk managed way. I will do all I can to support this increasingly important specialty in pharmacy and ensure the long term security and true value of those jobs to the hundreds of pharmacists who will benefit from them.

Dr Kate McClelland BSc Pharm, Phd, MPSNI

Career Profile

I registered in 1986. I trained pharmacy assistants, technicians, worked as a locum, trained pharmacists for NICPLD and am now a community pharmacy contractor. I was a practice pharmacist in 1996 for a GP practice in Belfast. I was appointed to the Lisburn Health and Social Care Group. I was elected onto the Pharmaceutical Society Council. I was President of the Society, I represented Northern Ireland on PGEU (Pharmaceutical Group of EU) and was Head of the UK delegation.


The next few years are critical as pharmacy moves to negotiate a new contract for community pharmacy and pharmacists start to practice to that new contract. The UK is an open economy and pharmacy ownership is not regulated, capital has flooded into the industry generating efficient supply for the public. The position of manager pharmacists in local and international chains must be strengthened. Managers in Community pharmacy are already one of the largest groups in the profession but one whose voice is seldom heard, I believe the Forum should be a focus for employee pharmacists. I firmly believe the profession should remain the most accessible healthcare profession for the public but we need to be more proactive in the message to Government of the service pharmacy currently provides and service developments are cost effective in the management of an aging population. Repeat dispensing, weekly dispensing are just 2 of the current services that help people to stay in their own communities where their care is more cost effective than if they were in care facilities. Pharmacy needs to engage with other front line service providers and lobby for what patients really need – self determination, home care and above all, respect. My vision for the Forum is one which is vocal for the profession, clearly identifying, promoting and sharing best practice, maintaining pharmacy as a medicines specialist, celebrating the different roles played by pharmacists in the range of career environments.

Mr Kevin O’Neill MPharm

Career Profile

Having graduated in 2015 with a 1st class honours degree from Ulster University, I successfully completed my pre-registration year with Gordons Chemist in Kilkeel.

I registered as a pharmacist in July 2016 and immediately identified the disconnect between pharmacist’s and their awareness of the locum vacancies actually available. I therefore set about developing a platform that would accommodate this need. I launched a platform connecting pharmacists with employers during my pre-registration year achieving market penetration in Northern Ireland within a matter of months.

In November 2016, I became a Partner and Managing Director at Clarity Locums; the largest pharmacy recruitment agency in Ireland. Since then, we have successfully opened our second office in Belfast, which facilitates locum and full-time vacancy recruitment for clients across all areas of the UK and Ireland.



I aim to combat the lacking voice of Northern Irish and UK pharmacists with specific interests in recruitment.

I would like to negotiate fairer rates for pharmacists in all locations as well as more adequate and sustainable working conditions. This could be achieved by ensuring necessary breaks and appropriate support staff are arranged to provide the safest working conditions, minimising dispensing errors and preventing patient harm.

Having a substantial network of pharmacy employers across all areas of the UK and Ireland, I want to bridge the gap between pharmacists upon registration and their successful vacancy placement.

Please note the following:

  • All pharmacists currently registered on 8th May 2017 with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland can vote online* – If you registered after this date please contact us to receive a postal vote.
  • Each pharmacist has up to five votes of equal weighting – so don’t forget to vote for five candidates!
  • All votes are anonymous and collated independently of the Pharmaceutical Society.
  • Voting closes 5pm 29th May 2017 and results will be announced soon after.
  • If you have any difficulty voting, or if you require a postal vote please let us know.
    Tel: (028)90326927 or Email: pharmacy.forum@psni.org.uk

* Anyone registered after this date please contact us to obtain a postal vote.

The election has now closed.