The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer (CPhO) is the head of the pharmacist and pharmacy technician professions in England, a workforce of over 72,000 highly trained, registered professionals in hospitals, community healthcare, general practices and community pharmacies.
He is the principal advisor on pharmacy and medicines use in the NHS, which includes supporting the Department of Health and Social Care.
The CPhO and his team work collaboratively across the healthcare system and with national stakeholder organisations to influence, promote, and support the delivery of the highest possible standards of professional pharmacy practice to continue to drive up the quality of patient care.
The team provides professional and clinical leadership and advice on NHS policies and programmes across a wide range of areas involving medicines, pharmacy, education and professional practice. This includes professional advice on medicines and professional practice to colleagues in government and regulators.
- Establishing and supporting the UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board to lead sustained benefits for patients, the public and pharmacy professionals across the UK from future pharmacy professional practice.
- Leading and developing a professional network across the health system.
- Leading the work to secure better outcomes and value and reduce health inequalities resulting from the NHS’s £17.2bn annual spend on medicines for patients and the healthcare system.
- Improving medicines safety and sustainability, and addressing overprescribing and anti-microbial resistance, through policy developments and best practice initiatives.
- Supporting integrated care boards to shape medicines optimisation priorities based on the needs of their local populations.
- Leading the Infusions and Special Medicines Programme: moving high-volume, low risk aseptic medicines preparation into regional hubs to boost capacity and resilience enabling greater efficiency and better coordinated patient care.
- Clinical leadership for Digital Medicines: safer, more joined-up, more personalised care and better patient experience through the digital flow of patients’ medicines information across health and care settings.
Prevention of ill-health and addressing health inequalities
- Transforming the pharmacy team’s role to support the NHS Long Term Plan goals on prevention – including work on antimicrobial resistance, the governance of controlled drugs, and improved medicines use for children, people with mental health conditions and people with learning difficulties.
- Leading the Inclusive Pharmacy Practice partnership in collaboration with partner organisations. We aim to work collaboratively to develop and embed inclusive pharmacy professional practice into everyday care for patients and members of the public, to support the prevention of ill-health and address health inequalities within our diverse communities.
Workforce education, training and development
- Reforming the education and training of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, including preparing for every newly qualified pharmacist being an independent prescriber on registration from September 2026.
- Expanding the clinical role of pharmacy technicians and redesigning pharmacy practice to ensure their skills are integrated into multi-professional teamwork.
- Boosting the recruitment and retention of pharmacy professionals working collaboratively as part of integrated teams across the health system.
Primary care integration
- Leading development of the role of pharmacy professionals within primary care networks and community pharmacy through policy developments and best practice initiatives to better support people in their communities and at home.
- Developing and supporting the priorities of the Pharmacy Integration Programme, including development of new clinical services and training for community pharmacy.