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Boots Launches New Specialist Pharmacist Practitioner Role

04 February 2019
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Boots UK is introducing a new role to recognise pharmacists who combine the highest level of clinical competence with a drive to innovate at pharmacy level. The Specialist Practitioner is an aspirational role, recognising those pharmacists who are operating at the cutting edge of community pharmacy practice. This could be a range of activities from pioneering research to outstanding clinical impact in the local community.

Any pharmacist working for Boots can apply for the role, as long as they meet certain criteria, including being qualified for at least 18 months, preferably being an Independent Prescriber and having expertise in the workings of both internal and external pharmacy.

Candidates can apply at any time of the year and the applications are reviewed by a newly created Specialist Practitioner Review Panel. The successful candidates will be appointed to the role for a set period, which will be determined by the Panel in consultation with the candidate’s sponsor. The sponsor will work in an area of the business specific to the area of work that is relevant to the Specialist Practitioner. The role isn’t only recognition for work the Specialist Pharmacist Practitioners are already doing, but is designed to maximise their skill set and expertise for the future growth and success of the services they are working in.

Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist at Boots UK comments: “As the landscape of pharmacy changes, the role of the pharmacist is evolving to respond to the additional opportunities to further impact patients’ lives, and as an organisation, we want to ensure we attract and retain the very best pharmacist colleagues. As part of our overall career progression strategy, we want to ensure we have clear clinical career pathways and support available to all our pharmacists.

 “To achieve this we have launched a new role: Specialist Pharmacist Practitioner. This role recognises pharmacists who are delivering enhanced clinical care in their communities and offers a way for our experienced pharmacists to further their career at Boots.

 “Specialist Practitioners will lead by applying expert clinical and professional knowledge in the design and delivery of innovative services and care in pharmacy, to continuously improve the support we offer for the health and wellbeing needs of patients.”

The first round of candidates has already been selected:

  •          Jan Jones MFRPSII MRPharmS MFTM RCPS (Glasg), Registered Manager The Independent Medical Agency
  •          Chrishna Goyal, Pharmacist Independent Prescriber, Pharmacy store manager,  Boots Largs
  •          Leigh Riddell, Pharmacist Independent Prescriber and Pharmacist Manager, Boots Castle Douglas
  •          Valerie Sefton, Pharmacist Independent Prescriber and Clinical Lead Pharmacist in the Community Pharmacy Anti-Coagulation Management Service (CPAMS) in Brighton and Hove
  •          Patricia Armstrong FFRPS MRPharmS MFTM RCPS (Glasg), Pharmacist Independent Prescriber and Pharmacist Assistant Professional Services Manager, Chief Pharmacist’s Office
  •          Susan Wintle, Practice Plus Service Lead and Anti-Coagulation Service Manager in the Community Pharmacy Anti-Coagulation Management Service (CPAMS) in Brighton and Hove


Valerie Sefton, one of the new Specialist Practitioners, added: “I’m so excited about the new Specialist Practitioner role as I feel this recognises pharmacists like myself who have been working hard to develop successful services and stay at the forefront of pharmacy by delivering these successfully and most importantly, safely. 

“I’m also an independent prescriber which I believe is a growing pathway for pharmacists and this role would mean a new lease of life as the sky really is the limit for future development.”

Further detail:

Who is eligible to apply for the role?

Any pharmacist can apply for the SP role as long as they meet the criteria below:

  •        Pharmacist who has been qualified for 18+ months with expertise in the workings of pharmacy both internal and external
  •        Independent Prescriber (preferred) qualified with experience and evidence of active portfolio
  •        RPS Faculty member (desirable)
  •        Consistently demonstrates behaviours and a performance rating that is Performing or above in their current role
  •        Self-motivated individual who demonstrates creative and strategic thinking
  •        Developmental role for colleagues who want the opportunity to expand their clinical and professional expertise
  •        A good communicator with strong stakeholder (internal and external) management skills
  •        Ability to influence and coach


How do candidates apply?

Candidates can apply by completing the online application form on BootsLive. An additional guide has been written to support the application process.

Candidates can apply at any time throughout the year but they must first ensure they have identified a business sponsor. The application will need to be completed using the link provided.

The applications are reviewed bi-monthly by the Boots Specialist Practitioner Review Panel and a decision will be made and communicated within 6-8 weeks of the application.

The successful candidate will be appointed to the role for a set period the term of which will be determined by the panel in consultation with the candidate’s sponsor.  The new role will recognise the additional contribution with an enhanced salary scale.

Upon review, should they no longer be carrying out the role at a Specialist Practitioner level, they will revert to a standard Pharmacist role at market range or with the job title and grade of the role they were doing previously.



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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and around 1,900 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 31 May 2024