Although I carried out medicines use reviews and met with patients daily, I felt limited in how much of a difference I could make. I was eager to spend more time interacting with patients and less time at the dispensary bench.
Interface was recommended to me by a former colleague who was working in a nearby practice and popped by to say hello. He told me about the role and suggested I s apply, which I did. I was excited by the prospect of a role which involved interacting with patients in a clinic setting, with the ability to make a real difference by making interventions based on current best practice guidelines. I went for an interview and was offered a job as a clinical pharmacist in the North West region.
I particularly liked the educational aspect of the role. With the right training I was able to upskill myself clinically, working with GPs and multi-disciplinary teams to talk about new treatments and guidelines. Clinicians in primary care are under increasing amounts of pressure and so it is often difficult to keep up to date with latest guidelines, evidence and new therapies. The educational insight pharmacists can provide can truly revolutionise the way in which a practice manages it’s cohort of patients via the most up-to-date evidence based medicine.
Having worked at Interface as a Clinical Pharmacist for over two years I successfully interviewed for the role of Regional Lead Pharmacist. It felt like a natural progression for me. As a Clinical Pharmacist, I was adequately trained and felt confident in the reviews I was delivering. By this stage I had already been involved in training new pharmacists and was in a position to offer mentorship and support.
The Regional Lead Pharmacist role provides a good balance of training and delivery of clinical reviews. I was able to perform my own reviews whilst also having time to train and interact with the pharmacist team. With support from the other Regional Lead Pharmacist in my team, Sadiq, I quickly became established in the role.
18 months later a role for National Lead Pharmacist became available in the South East of England. The company had decided that every region should have a National Lead Pharmacist to support the regional team. Personally, the timing and opportunity was great as successfully landing this post enabled me to relocate to London.
Being a National Lead Pharmacist is a demanding and varied role, but it also provides time to reflect on and improve services and put subsequent processes in place. I work closely with the Service Design team, helping to design and shape new services as well as improve on existing services.
It is an exciting time for type 2 diabetes. It has proven to have ever evolving treatment options and its management continues to develop as more evidence emerges. It’s great to be at the forefront of new therapies and guidelines and to be able to share my armamentarium with colleagues and practices. I have been able to apply this to existing services and the design of new ones to align the management of type 2 diabetics with the latest evidence-based guidelines.
I’ve attended various training courses to ensure I am at the cutting edge of diabetes this includes a thorough understanding of new therapies, their licensing and changes to guidelines. This means I am fully equipped to train both our internal pharmacists and practice teams. I have also organised and led internal training days for Interface pharmacists to support the delivery of their diabetes reviews.
As a National Lead Pharmacist, it gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction knowing that through the training I provide I am helping both patients and practices alike and am making a real difference across the country.
I have now started to deliver diabetes consulting days where we work directly with GPs and multi-disciplinary teams to discuss and work through their specific needs. This includes; effectively managing their patients with diabetes via a tailored approach, working towards latest guidelines, and implementing quality improvement cycles.
I feel like I have a big impact as a National Lead Pharmacist and it’s great to be a part of such a supportive team. I constantly network with the other National Lead Pharmacists who are based across the UK and each specialise in a different therapy area, including heart failure, atrial fibrillation, asthma and COPD. I probably speak to the other National Lead Pharmacists every other day and together we ensure that our whole clinical team are current with the latest clinical developments and guidelines.