Appointment of Four Non-Executive Members to the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland

Date published: 06 August 2021

Health Minister Robin Swann, has announced the appointment of four Non-Executive Members to the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

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Scott Gill has been appointed as a Registrant Member and Gary McMurray, Brendan Garland and Philip Knox as Lay Members. All four appointments commenced on 1 August 2021 and will end on a date not later than 31 July 2025. 

Non-Executive Members of the Council are remunerated by an attendance fee. Attendance at meetings up to 4 hours duration attracts a fee of £118 and meetings over 4 hours £235. Training and induction days attract a fee of £118.

The Non-Executive Member role carries a time commitment of 6 Council meetings per year and, in addition to other meeting commitments, equates to approximately 6-8 working days per annum.     

The procedure for these appointments is not bound by the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland, however the appointment process was carried out in the ‘spirit of the Code’.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland was established by the Pharmacy and Poisons Act (Northern Ireland) 1925, and has been based at 73 University Street, Belfast since 1933. It is the regulatory and professional leadership body for pharmacists in Northern Ireland. Objectives of the Society include, amongst other matters, to advance chemistry and pharmacy and promote pharmaceutical education and the application of pharmaceutical knowledge, while safeguarding the interests of the members in the Society.

It maintains a register of over 2800 pharmacists, 140 pre-registration trainees and over 550 pharmacy premises across the country.

As the regulatory body it protects patient and public safety by:

  • setting and promoting standards for pharmacists' admission to the register and for remaining on the register;
  • maintaining a publicity accessible register of pharmacists, and pharmacy premises;
  • handling concerns about the Fitness to Practise of registrants, acting as a complaints portal and taking action to protect the public; and
  • ensuring high standards of education and training for pharmacists in Northern Ireland.

The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland comprises of 14 Non-Executive Members (7 registered persons and 7 lay members).

Notes to editors: 

  1. Mr. Scott Gill (MPharm MSc(ACPP) IP MPS(NI) MAPCPharm), graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2007 and registered as a Pharmacist in 2008 after completing his pre-registration training.  Mr Gill started his career in Community Pharmacy holding management positions in Scotland and throughout Northern Ireland.  In 2016 he completed a PGCert in Independent Prescribing and started treating patients in GP Practices.  He is currently the Lead Pharmacist in Ards Federation of GP Practices. Mr Gill focuses on treating patients with long term conditions, (asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental health) and in particular, those with multiple conditions.  His interest in this area led to a return to QUB to complete an MSc in Advanced Clinical Pharmacy Practice in 2019.  He has a special interest in persistent pain and is involved in multidisciplinary Pain Management Programmes to help patients better manage their condition. He is the Chair of SELCG (South Eastern Local Commissioning Group) Prescribing & Medicines Management Committee and a School Governor. 
  2. Mr Gary McMurray has worked for the AIB Bank for 35 years across a range of branch and departmental positions including as Regional Manager for the Bank’s branches in the Greater Belfast area. Most recently, he was Head of Governance and Assurance for the UK Operations and Business Governance Unit within the Bank which included responsibility for risk management; governance oversight of third party providers and Business Continuity Management including incident management. During 2020, he was closely involved in supporting the Bank’s preparations in response to the COVID pandemic including development of remote working arrangements. He holds a BA (Hons) in Business Studies and an MSc in Business Improvement both from the University of Ulster. He is also a member of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland and previously served as Chair of the Belfast Region.  He has also served on the boards of a number of local voluntary organisations.
  3. Mr Brendan Garland is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and of the University of Ulster Brendan has over 30 years’ experience in Senior Management and Chief Executive/Director Positions. He spent 10 years with Andersen Consulting/Accenture working as a Senior Manager in International IT and Management Consulting. For 20 years, he was CEO of the General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland, the regulatory and representative body for barristers in Northern Ireland. He has particular experience as a CEO/ MD and Responsible Person in the Health and Social Care Sector having worked as CEO for Extra Care for Elderly People Ltd and currently as Managing Director at Trackars Healthcare Ltd.
  4. Mr Philip Knox has 30 years senior leadership experience in policing working across a variety of operational and corporate roles.  Most recently he was the Head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Professional Standards and Counter Corruption where he led a review of the Code of Ethics and development of broader organisational leadership principles.  Philip also led the implementation of a culture review at the Police College and headed up the Police Learning and Development portfolio.  Within this role he designed and introduced a Police Officer Entry Graduate Development Programme with Ulster University and a new leadership development pathway for PSNI in partnership with both the College of Policing and Queens University Belfast (QUB).  Philip is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), has completed an Executive Leadership Programme at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University and has a BA in Leadership and Management from Dundee University.  He has an Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Development with CIPD and is currently completing an MSc in Leadership with QUB where he is a Research Affiliate with the Centre for Leadership, Ethics and Organisation.
  5. All appointments to the PSNI are made with the approval of the Health Minister.
  6. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. All four appointees have declared they have not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.
  7. All appointees have advised that they do not currently hold any other public appointments
  8. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email at
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  10. 10. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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