PDA Union Scotland and Northern Ireland Regional Committee

Meet the PDA Union members who serve on the Scotland and Northern Ireland Regional Committee:


Gordon Finlayson (Community pharmacist, NE Scotland)

I have always worked in the community sector. I have worked in Scotland and England for various employers – Boots, Co-operative and Sainsburys as well as 18 months as a locum.

What made me get involved was seeing how the PDA Union has helped employee pharmacists when facing disciplinary issues at work. I feel that employee pharmacists have been ignored by the profession for too long and being part of an active PDA Union will help address this.



I have been a store manager with Boots for 12 years and have always been keen to support and help my colleagues in any way I can. As part of the PDA Union Boots Reps Network, I am the West Scotland Regional Representative and have the training and expert support to help me support pharmacist members more effectively within their new recognition agreement.


I initially joined the PDA when I first qualified as a pharmacist. I was impressed with the profile of activities to aid Pharmacists in all sectors of the profession. As the years went on and I attended more of their events, I saw first-hand what great work they do and wanted a chance to get involved in something that gives back to my profession.

I am very excited about this new role and strongly believe in being the change we want to see. I am hoping to be part of the changes afoot to aid my fellow pharmacists, to enable us to serve our patients to the best of our abilities.

IftiKar Shami (Hospital Pharmacist, Glasgow)

I have had over 10 years experience as a community pharmacist and over five years within hospital practice. I have a good understanding of employment practices through my own practice and consultancy work with employment law specialist. I am very approachable and understanding.


I have worked in a wide variety of pharmacy roles.  Following my pharmacy degree, I did a PhD in Biochemistry, and a postdoctorate including lecturing on the pharmacy degree course. I did PR and marketing for the pharmaceutical industry, I have been a community locum, and have been employed by both Boots and Lloyds.  I have also been a pharmacist at a mental health unit and worked in GP practice.  I am a Royal Pharmaceutical Society Faculty Stage 11 member and have been a marker and assessor for the Faculty.  I am now the PDA Union Regional Official for Scotland.

I have been a PDA member for many years, and I feel with the changing role of pharmacists that it is more important than ever for us to be recognised and respected as healthcare professionals. Together as members of the PDA and Union we can be a stronger voice.

Iain Speirits (Primary Care Pharmacist, Glasgow)

Since qualifying in 2002, I have spent the majority of my career in general practice as a prescribing support pharmacist. I have always retained a specialist interest in cardiology and now work 0.4 in post-MI and heart failure.

I am involved in PDA Union to help ensure that individual pharmacists’ voices are better heard and represented, so that we may further develop our profession in a clinical direction to provide best possible patient outcomes.


Northern ireland


I have been qualified as a pharmacist for 5 years, but have worked in Pharmacy for almost 9. Before transferring to the Hospital Pharmacy sector two years ago I managed a busy Community Pharmacy in the city centre and it was at that time that I joined the PDA Union. Having worked my way through the ranks from Voluntary Pharmacy Student to Shop Assistant to Pharmacy Assistant to Second Pharmacist and then to Pharmacy Manager, I appreciate and can recognise the often complex and difficult situations that our colleagues face day to day – hence my involvement in the PDA Union to help support and shape our ever-changing profession for the better. Currently I am focused on helping to improve the Hospital Pharmacy work environment.


Since qualification, I have nurtured an appreciation of all aspects of community pharmacy, and believe strongly in pharmacists as a unique untapped resource within the health service. The PDA has shown to be responsive and effective in representing both members’ interests and that of the profession holistically, and for this reason, I am delighted to be involved with the NI regional committee. I am the PDA Union Regional official for Northern Ireland.

Leon  O’Hagan (Community/Locum Pharmacist, Newry & Mourne Areas)

I have been a qualified pharmacist since 2003 and joined the PDA Union while I was working in England in 2009. Having seen first-hand the excellent work the PDA do for pharmacists, I felt compelled to assist in any way I could, and it was an easy decision for me to volunteer any free time for the PDA Union.

I believe a strong union empowers pharmacists to express their skills and professionalism to the benefit of their patients and I’m excited to be working with colleagues in Northern Ireland to represent and support pharmacists locally.


I’m Laura Kearney. I qualified in 2003 and have spent the majority of my time working as a Community Pharmacist. I made the leap to Practice-based pharmacy in 2017 and have been based in a GP surgery ever since, specialising in respiratory.

I really enjoy the challenges and learning opportunities of working in Primary Care and have found the PDA union a great source of guidance for this new and constantly evolving role.


After becoming registered in 2000 in England, my career path has covered much of north west England in pharmacist support and store manager roles. I was an LPC member in Liverpool and Trafford/Salford LPC as well as part of the community pharmacist steering group with the Salford Lung Study.

I’m a passionate community pharmacist who is keen to further the role of my fellow professionals in today’s modern healthcare environment as we deal with unprecedented change applying our skills and leadership as only pharmacists do.


Since qualifying as a pharmacist in 2013, I initially worked in hospital pharmacy for around 3 years before moving over to work in GP practices in January 2017. I have been a member of the PDA since graduating and have seen first-hand the excellent work the PDA has achieved in representing the viewpoints of pharmacists.

Given the increased number of pharmacists now working in GP practices, it places me in an ideal position to ensure my profession is well supported and represented.


get in touch

If you wish to contact any of the committee members, please email:



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