Appointment of President to the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland

Date published: 26 September 2022

Health Minister Robin Swann, has announced the appointment of a President to the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

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Dr Geraldine O’Hare will take up the position of President on 1 November 2022. Her term of appointment will end on a date not later than 31 October 2026.  

The President of the Council is remunerated by an attendance fee. Attendance at meetings up to 4 hours duration attracts a fee of £168 and meetings over 4 hours £335. Training and induction days attract a fee of £168.

The President role carries a time commitment equivalent to approximately 30 full 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. Dr Geraldine O’Hare is a Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist, Associate Fellow and a Chartered Scientist with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Geraldine is the Chief Assessor with the BPS and Chair Elect for the British Psychological Society Northern Ireland Branch (NIBPS), and recently received the BPS President's Award for Innovation in Practice for her work following a Churchill Fellowship, completed in the USA. Geraldine has worked with the Probation Board for Northern Ireland for over 25 years as Head of Psychological Services, and the Director of Rehabilitation. She has extensive experience working within the Health and Justice sector, leading on a wide range of innovative projects and strategies, and has also worked with a number of regulatory bodies and professional boards. Geraldine is an accomplished leader who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise from the public sector, academia, and from her involvement with various health care professional bodies and committees.
  1. All appointments to the PSNI are made with the approval of the Health Minister.
  1. 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. Dr O’Hare has declared she has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.
  1. Dr O’Hare has advised that she does not currently hold any other public appointments
  1. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email at
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  2. 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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