Early Careers Pharmacist Advisory Group

Experts in Early Careers Pharmacy

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Providing strong representation to early career pharmacists, our Early Careers Pharmacist Advisory Group (ECPAG) ensures pharmacists at the beginning of their careers are recognised in the pharmacy sector across England, Scotland and Wales.

An empowered and representative network of experts across all relevant backgrounds, the group identifies the needs of early career pharmacists in relation to:

  • Professional development
  • Practice support
  • Advocacy.

To find out more contact [email protected]

Are you an Early Careers Pharmacist? Visit our Pharmacists page and discover how RPS can help you.

ECPAG Meetings

2022

29 March 2022 - Agenda and outcomes

Video messages from ECPAG

Meet the Advisory Group Members

Atif Saddiq (Chair)

Atif Saddiq

Hello, my name is Atif and I am a portfolio pharmacist in General Practice and Academia, and currently work as a Lecturer in Primary Care Pharmacy Practice at The University of Bradford; an Advanced Clinical Practitioner in General Practice; Training Programme Director for Pre-Registration Pharmacists with Health Education England; and a Pre-Registration Coordinator with Medicare Chemists. 

I am also one of the co-founders of the independent training company Primary Healthcare Development.

I qualified as a pharmacist in 2014 from The University of Bradford. My passion to help pharmacists new to the profession has been the golden thread running through my career thus far. 

By exploring key areas of focus through this Advisory Group, I hope to remove obstacles faced by Early Career Pharmacists and would like to support their development, to allow them to fully utilise the breadth of their core skills and champion the profession locally, nationally and internationally.

Ismael Ali

Ismael Ali

Hello! My name is Ismael, I am a rotational pharmacist at the Royal Free Hospital, London.

I graduated from the University of East Anglia and completed my Pre-Registration training in community pharmacy in Northamptonshire. Being part of this Advisory Group makes me feel that my input and opinions about the future of my profession are being actively engaged with and championed.

I have general interests in Renal and Cardiovascular Pharmacy and I’m hoping to specialise in one of these areas as an Independent Pharmacist Prescriber in the future.

Kweku Bimpong

Kweku BimpongHi, I’m Kweku and I graduated from Durham University in 2019 and subsequently completed a split Pre-Registration programme at Guys & St Thomas' Hospital and South East London Clinical Commissioning Group. I am currently a Policy Advisory working for the Department of Health Social Care.

I was formerly the Publications Officer of the British Pharmaceutical Students' Association and was awarded the David Kearney award for most outstanding contribution to the pharmacy profession during my tenure. 

I also have a keen interest in research and my recent findings concerning the relationship between satisfaction, retention and wages in the NHS labour force were published in the BMJ Open, my other research interests concern health inequalities.

Robert Fitzgerald

Robert Fitzgerald

Hello! I’m Robert Fitzgerald, and I’m currently a rotational foundation pharmacist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Although originally from Torquay in the South West, I moved to Cardiff to undertake my MPharm degree at Cardiff University, which I graduated from in 2020. I then moved further up north to do my pre-registration year at Leeds and decided to stay.

I’m currently in the middle of my post graduate diploma in pharmacy practice with the University of Leeds. I have a keen interest in education and training, so I’m very much looking forward to being part of the early careers pharmacist advisory group.

I also have a clinical interest in infectious diseases and presented my pre-reg audit on urinary tract infections at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress in London last year. I’m passionate about LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace and take pride in being part of core group in staff network at Leeds.

Erin Gilmour

Erin Gilmour

Hello, my name is Erin and I am a rotational clinical pharmacist in NHS Lanarkshire. I graduated from Robert Gordon University and then undertook my pre-registration year in hospital and qualified in 2021.

Whilst at university I had a keen interest in interprofessional education (IPE) and was the president of the Aberdeen IPE society. I am interested in how the profession continues to develop so that pharmacists’ roles within the multidisciplinary team is maximised to provide the best patient care.

I am currently undertaking the new RPS post registration foundation training programme. I am passionate about pharmacy and its progression, and I believe that with current developments in the profession it is important that the views of early career pharmacists are well represented. I am excited to be a member of this Advisory Group as it provides the opportunity for early career pharmacists to influence decisions and make an effective contribution particularly in areas of change including education and training.

Lydia Hodgins

Lydia Hodgins

Hello, I am Lydia. Following my graduation in 2017 I completed my Pre-Registration training at Royal Derby Hospital. After qualifying, I accepted my first job there as a shift-working pharmacist. The role was diverse and innovative, whereby I gained the unique experience of providing an out of hours service to an acute trust, ANTT preparation of urgent IV’s and being part of the crash team, in addition to normal ward cover.

The programme prepared me well to take on my next role at University Hospitals Leicester as an Infectious Diseases’ Pharmacist. I have insight into different roles within the hospital sector including both the positives and the challenges this brings. Through this, I am interested in making changes to drive the profession forward both clinically and to help with integration into the wider multi-disciplinary team.

Katie Housley

Hello I'm Katie. I completed my MPharm degree in 2018 and after finishing my pre-registration year at Sunderland Royal I qualified as a pharmacist in 2019. I then moved back to the North West (where I'm from) and have worked as a rotational clinical pharmacist at both Manchester Royal Infirmary and St Helens and Knowsley teaching hospitals. Being a rotational pharmacist has allowed me to experience various specialities including renal, paediatrics, respiratory and endocrine.

 

I was also one of the first pharmacists to work on a Covid ward at my trust and helped carry out drug interaction checks for the Recovery trial. I have just completed my pgDip with LJMU where I lead education sessions and carried out quality improvement projects. 

Ora Ibanibo

Ora Ibanibo

Hello, my name is Ora. I studied Pharmacy at the University of Portsmouth and graduated in 2017, before qualifying as a pharmacist in 2018. I then worked for the NHS as a Clinical Pharmacist for two years, before moving to the pharmaceutical industry.

Currently, I am employed in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) and Market Access, where I use my knowledge and skills as a pharmacist to ensure that innovative medicines are reimbursed and made available to patients who need them. 

I am also completing my Masters degree in Health Economics part-time.

Shanza Khan

Shanza Khan

Hi, I’m Shanza, I’m a GP practice pharmacist based in Hampshire.

I graduated with a Master's in Pharmacy from King’s College London in 2020 and then went on to do my pre-registration training with a joint general practice-community pharmacy programme based in West London.

I am currently enrolled on the CPPE Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway.

I have a keen interest in career progression, training and development for newly qualified pharmacists.

Fiona Smith

Fiona Smith

Hi, I’m Fiona and I graduated from my MPharm at Cardiff University in 2017 and then went on to complete my pre-registration year in Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley. After qualifying, I spent a year at The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals as a rotational pharmacist.

I have always been interested in the research side of pharmacy and so in 2019 I took the opportunity to start studying a full-time PhD at The University of Nottingham, within the CDT for Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies. Since then, I have completed two training projects and started my PhD project, which is titled ‘transdermal insulin on demand’ and focusses on the formulation and delivery of insulin.

Outside of work, I enjoy travelling to new places, eating good food, reading and going to the theatre.

Joseph Thomson (Vice Chair)

Joseph Thomson

Hello. My name is Joseph Thomson, and I am currently a Rotational Clinical Pharmacist at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. I studied pharmacy at Cardiff University and graduated in 2021.

I have been working in hospital pharmacy on and off for a few years now, as I had a job as a pharmacy assistant in my local hospital at home. My current role is working various shifts to ensure that all the wards in the hospital are covered appropriately, effectively being a bit of a jack-of-all-trades.

I am so excited to be joining this group, and to help guide it towards discussions that would help young, early career pharmacists like me, understand what options they have available to them, and ensuring when they move between professional posts that they know what support is there to help.

A message from Atif Saddiq, ECPAG Chair

Atif Saddiq is a portfolio pharmacist in General Practice and Academia currently working as a lecturer at the University of Bradford.

Atif said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Chair. We will work to help provide direction for our peers to allow them to achieve their ambitions. We often hear that pharmacists feel frustrated, not always being able to use the breadth of their core skills and knowledge. This group will create new opportunities for younger pharmacists and provide guidance to inspire, inform and involve them in creating a professionally rewarding future."