Voter turnout for this year’s English Pharmacy Board (EPB) elections was down on last year, data released by pharmacy’s professional leadership body has revealed.
This year’s national pharmacy board elections across England, Scotland and Wales saw a slight rise in the number of people voting, from 11.12% in 2018 to 11.47% this time round, with 2,882 members voting from 25,117 ballots issued in total.
However, turnout for the EPB fell from 10.3% last year to 9.9% this year, although 21,499 ballots were issued compared with 22,635 in 2018. Over 2,000 votes were cast online, with 117 votes submitted by post.
When asked why fewer people voted in the EPB elections this year and whether the low number of voters - 2,121 from 21,499 ballots - showed they ultimately do not care who sits on the Board, the RPS said it had "delivered a successful National Pharmacy Boards election process this year with overall turnout being slightly up on last year."
The RPS added: “This uplift, although slight, shows the continuing engagement of our members to elect local champions committed to our overall purpose of putting pharmacy at the forefront of healthcare.
“Engagement is critically important to us and will be a big focus for the RPS this year. We will continue to work hard to facilitate and promote an even greater turnout for next year’s elections as well as important engagement activity such as attendance at RPS events, visits to rpharms.com and use of our products and services by members.”
Nonetheless, the low number of voters is disappointing given RPS chief executive Paul Bennett’s suggestion during an interview in 2017 that the professional leadership body needed to engage better with its membership and do more to encourage voter engagement.
There was a 20.2% and 21.5% voter turnout in the Welsh and Scottish Pharmacy Board elections respectively.