Which role did you find most challenging and why?
Most challenging was a long time ago working in an affluent retired area of Glasgow. The internet was beginning to become mainstream by this point and I knew many patients asking about anything would have internet searched before coming in, and had the time and the communication skills to challenge any information I provided. I soon realised how too much information or the wrong info can be very misleading.
What does your current role involve?
My current role involves supporting NPA members and their teams in whatever practice or business area they require. The NPA is a trade body that supports community pharmacy owners and everyone that works in their pharmacies. I make sure the NPA Board and Heads of Departments are well informed of Scottish member needs, communicate to members directly and help develop resources. I meet with Scottish pharmacy stakeholders, NPA members and facilitate regular events for Scottish members.
Could you share who the key mentors have been in your career?
Key mentors in my early career were my pre-reg tutor in Boots Byres Road but also the supervisor in that branch. A marvellous lady that taught me the value in taking the time to listen to patients. Another great non-pharmacist staff member many years ago in Parkhead, Glasgow also taught me some excellent communication skills, and to understand the value to patient care you can add as a pharmacist. I am lucky to work closely within a small team of NPA Country managers who mentor each other wherever possible. We also have close relationships with departments across the NPA organisation which have some amazing individuals in them.
The NPA has done some great work around preventing dispensing errors. Could you tell us a little bit about that?
The NPA has a helpline manned by pharmacists able to answer any member queries and an expert legal team who support members when a patient claims an error has been made. These two sources identify risks and concerns in pharmacy practice. The NPA identifies best practice to minimise risk of incidents and develops resources and communications for all members. In recent years we also have provided a confidential error reporting system for members and non-members which facilitates sharing of best practice to reduce error risk.
Can you tell us about other interesting work that the NPA is doing specifically in Scotland?
The NPA has a new resource pack coming out for Scottish members. The Supporting Excellence pack will be available free to members in hard copy and USB in February this year. The pack in four sections, supports pharmacies in quality improvement, working efficiently, growing the business and team development.