First message from new NPA Chair to members

27 Apr 2018


It is an honour to have been chosen to chair the National Pharmacy Association, following recent NPA board elections.

Our sector is full of compassionate and driven individuals, who do amazing work. The slogan for my own group of pharmacies is ‘Community Driven’ – and I believe that this is a reflection not only of my own values but also a characteristic of independent pharmacies across the land.  Community pharmacy has unique strengths and delivers immensely valuable benefits to patients, communities and the NHS.  The network of local pharmacies is, and must remain, the beating heart of pharmaceutical care in the community. I have all this in mind as I begin my term as Chair.

So after four years as Vice Chair, I Iook forward to continuing to work passionately, with my board colleagues and the NPA staff, in the service of independent pharmacies and their patients.

The NPA is an organisation that is central to the history, and the future, of independent community pharmacy.   I believe the NPA’s mission is to support our members at all times and for all time; in other words to equip the sector for the future, as well as the here-and-now.  I am conscious that long term trends in society and health, as well as developments in digital technology cannot be overlooked.  One of the NPA’s Core Beliefs is that pharmacies must be progressive and modern, while at the same time being true to the historic values of pharmacy as a personal, caring profession.

 It is good that we now have a mix of experience and fresh faces on the board, to be alongside me and the other officers – Michael Guerin and Andrew Lane – in the important period ahead.  Meanwhile, my sincere thanks go to the outgoing members of the NPA Board for their dedicated service over the past four years and more – Bharat Patel, Dilip Joshi, Gerald Alexander, James Wood, Mike Hewitson and Raj R Patel.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my predecessor as Chair, Ian Strachan.  I hope he will take it as a compliment if I describe him as fanatically determined to support independent community pharmacy.  I go about business in a quieter way, but I’m no less determined.  The NPA has no doubt whatsoever about its duty to serve with passion and authenticity – this is part of Ian’s legacy.  Our mission remains to help independents to prosper, professionally and commercially, for the ultimate benefit of the patients and communities you serve.  So, while the style of leadership may change, our focus most certainly will not.

I look forward to spending a lot of time with NPA members, so that I can be held accountable for what I do as Chair, and to ensure I keep in touch with your needs.  The NPA’s job is both to serve and to lead.  I see that as my own role too.

Nitin Sodha