What roles have you undertaken as a pharmacist?
I have worked as a relief pharmacist, pharmacy manager and cluster lead manager for Lloydspharmacy. I worked as a locum in many of the pharmacy chains and independent pharmacist before taking up the role of a pharmacist in Murray’s healthcare. I was there for almost two years before moving to The Priory community pharmacy, initially as the pharmacy manager and now as the Superintendent pharmacist.
Which role did you find most challenging and why?
The roles I found most challenging are the ones where I couldn’t think outside the box myself, where I was told what to do all the time. I felt I was making my thinking faculties redundant. I like to be challenged beyond my limit. It doesn’t matter if I fail sometimes, there is no failure only feedback and if you reflect on the feedback you will probably make it next time or find one way you should not be doing things.
What was the toughest lesson you had to learn as a pharmacist?
The toughest lesson I learnt as a pharmacist is to document everything that happens in the pharmacy and to never assume that everyone is on the same page with me.
What does your current role involve?
My current role involves leading the team and managing the pharmacy ensuring efficient delivery of all the pharmacy operation. I write and update SOPS and ensure compliance with all relevant legislation. I also ensure ongoing training and development of the team.
You are an independent prescriber. How do you apply your qualification in the community pharmacy setting?
I am an independent prescriber with a passion for public health. I once ran an NHS funded alcohol reduction clinic from my community pharmacy. I have plans for private clinics in the future.
What was the transition to superintendent pharmacist like?
I think I have always prepared myself for leadership. I chose health leadership modules during my master’s in public health. I also did a continuous development course at Coventry University on Leadership and management. It was quite easy for me to transition from the manager to the superintendent as I was quite aware of the running of a pharmacy and the legal aspects.
What services do you provide from your community pharmacy?
We provide a wide range of services such as mental health services, addiction support, diabetes support, continence service, falls prevention clinic, lung age service, vascular age service, vaccinations, NHS Health check, Chlamydia testing and treatment, HIV testing, online doctor service to mention a few. Holistic care of the patient which include a councillor’s surgery every Friday where people can come in to see three of their ward councillors who have all been past Mayors of Dudley.
Are most of your services NHS funded or do you deliver private services too?
Most of the services are NHS funded but we do have private services too such as the Medicspot online GP service which is a face to face consultation with the GP and the Lipotrim weight management clinic.
What is the vision of your community pharmacy and what makes you different?
Our vision is to be a pharmacy in the community and not just a community pharmacy. We want to be a community hub where people come in for various reasons, from coming in to talk to someone with a listening ear to joining a support group where people can make friends and improve their quality of life. We want to be more than a dispensing pharmacy but a local pharmacy championing public health and reducing health inequality. We are passionate about making healthcare available for everyone.
My team and I are really passionate about our community, and we are seen as a community asset. We are a not for profit pharmacy but we operate like any other pharmacy. However, every profit made is ploughed back into patient care. We keep developing services to support the patients and our community in general. We have a stakeholder’s group which includes our patients who help to shape the services provided in the pharmacy and we have a great relationship with members of the community.