Reappointment of council members to the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland

Date published: 11 November 2020

Health Minister, Robin Swann has announced the reappointment of two serving Council members to the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

public appointments web2

The PSNI Council comprises of 14 Non-Executive Members (7 registered persons and 7 lay members). 

Professor Patrick Murphy, a Lay Member and Ms Colleen Duffy, a Registrant Member are reappointed from 1 October 2020 to a date not later than 30 September 2024.

Council members are remunerated by an attendance fee, summarised as follows:


Meetings up to 4 hours duration

Meetings over 4 hours duration

Training and induction days (any length)

Council Member





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 body for pharmacists in Northern Ireland.  It maintains a register of over 2300 pharmacists, 210 pre-registration trainees and over 500 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.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Professor Patrick Murphy - In a career spanning more than 40 years, Patrick Murphy has worked at every level of education from nursery to university, in teaching, management and governance.  A specialist in public sector decision-making and policy formulation, he was Director of Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education for seven years.   In recent times he has served on a number public bodies across a wide range of areas, including education, health, heritage, agri-food, science and local government.  His major contribution in these areas has been in strategic planning, corporate systems and structures, finance and audit.  He currently chairs the Northern Ireland Medical Research Ethics Committee (REC B). 
  2. Ms Colleen Duffy qualified as a pharmacist from Queen’s University of Belfast in 2005 and went straight into a community pharmacy manager role. She has been a Boots pharmacy store manager for the past 14 years. In 2011, she was a finalist for the Pharmacy in Focus ‘Young community pharmacist of the year.’ In 2014, she was awarded the NI Healthcare Award for ‘Managing substance misuse in the community’, owing to her work with a local addiction charity, Have Your Tomorrows (HURT) and addiction services. Since 2017, she also works part time as a GP practice pharmacist and qualified as an independent prescriber in 2020.
  3. All appointments to the PSNI are made with the approval of the Health Minister.
  4. 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. Both appointees have declared they have not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.
  5. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by email:
  6. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt.             
  7. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

Share this page

Back to top