BERNADETTE Brown, 50, is a community pharmacist in Glenrothes and has been working in Cadham Pharmacy for 10 years. Bernadette has been shortlisted as a regional finalist for Scotland because of her dedicated service to her local community.
Using her independent prescribing skills she has effectively transformed her pharmacy and the services it offers, focussing on how best to support patients with their health and wellbeing needs.
This has been exemplified in being able to support people with asthma. For example, Bernadette worked closely with one of her patients who was often breathless due to their asthma. She offered a review and while checking their inhaler technique established that the patient was struggling with the inhaler and on occasion forgetting to take their night time dose.
Bernadette suggested a change to her prescriptions to make sure the symptoms were alleviated and to help the patient use the inhalers most effectively. Following agreement with the patient’s GP this was started. After two months the patient could walk five miles, after 8 months they could cycle 10 miles and the patient is now so well that they feel confident going abroad on holiday.
However, Bernadette didn’t stop there, she also supported the patient in managing pain by very carefully adjusting their pain medication due to its interaction with the patient’s high blood pressure. With the support and advice given and a written down action plan the patient’s medication is now being self-managed, depending on the level of pain.
Nurse April Donaldson, said: “Bernadette is one of those rare quality individuals that really stand out. I worked with her for over 6 years when she initially ran a blood pressure clinic at Leslie Medical Practice and I’ve always found her to be very supportive, friendly and a great asset to the team. She is always prepared to go that extra mile such as helping out with flu clinics and the occasional asthma clinic.
“Bernadette is a consummate professional who cares and is driven by the needs of her community. She has provided a multitude of quality services for the local population working closely with GP’s and other healthcare providers, advising on diabetes, asthma and minor ailments to name but a few. A very hard-working individual who is passionate about her role as an independent pharmacist. She is a pleasure to work with and an inspiration to those around her.”
Patient at the pharmacy, Fay Langley, said: “There is no way that this chemist can improve. I collapsed at the chemist and all the staff helped me. Bernadette made sure I was ok and got a member of staff to take me over to the doctor’s. I have nothing but great praise for Bernadette and all her staff.”
Bernadette said: “I am so thrilled to have been shortlisted for the I Love My Pharmacist Award as I really want to make a difference to my patients and my local community. I am really pleased that fellow health professionals want to work with me in my pharmacy as part of a shared care approach to health and wellbeing. We not only improve lives in physical terms but also in terms of people’s mental health through increased self-esteem and ‘getting their life back’.
“As an independent prescriber I can also write prescriptions, which has enabled us to free up enormous amounts of triage appointments at our GP practice through working hand in hand with the GP practice, starting to signpost consultations to us to triage first, thereby offering the public easy access to a healthcare professional consultation to treat, with referral given if needed.”
Bernadette is also proud to have helped raise money for local charities such as Kingdom Kids for deprived children in their community by offering healthy heart consultations free and the public donating a small fee to the charity. The pharmacy has helped to raise funds for local families in need at times of worry and financial strain and recently have secured an extra bench in memory of Logan Carrie and beautiful flowers at Cadham Centre for all of the units to give the public a centre to be proud of and to help them to feel good when visiting.
You can vote for Bernadette here.
You can see all the Scottish entrants here.