Dr Richard West – DDA Chairman

Richard West has been a member of the DDA board since 2003 and was elected Chairman of the DDA in April 2006. His special interests include education and the regulations/ dispensing contract.

He has been a partner in a dispensing practice in Suffolk since 1998. He was involved in setting up a pharmacy at the practice in 2001 – at a time when no other dispensing practice had undertaken the same initiative. As well as providing him with the experience of running a dispensary, this has given Richard a unique insight into the advantages and disadvantages of both systems.

Richard brings with him a number of qualities that should stand him in good stead for being DDA chairman. His past political experience includes being chairman of the registrars committee of the GPC, a member of the GPC, chairman of Suffolk LMC and a PCG board member – this has provided him an insight into a wide variety of NHS bodies.

Since taking on the chairmanship Richard has seen the DDA achieve many remarkable things. This includes a very successful campaign to protect doctor dispensing following the 2008 pharmacy white paper. The DDA has been involved with negotiations to look at both reimbursement and remuneration as well as helped to craft the pharmaceutical regulations.

So what are Dr West’s visions for the future of the DDA? “Being an Association that represents dispensing doctors in all forums, with many active members contributing to its success, I would like to see all DDA Board members taking on areas of responsibility and representing the Association, thus helping dispensing doctors to make the best of the changes to the NHS for the good of their patients,” he says.

His plans for the future, through his work for the DDA, include ensuring that when you do the right thing for the patient the dispensing contract reflects this so that it is the right thing to do for the practice as well. He also hopes to help doctors prove that they provide a high quality service that uses NHS resources in a cost effective way. “Giving patients a good service is the best way to maintain a dispensing practice,” he says.