Why did you become a pharmacist?
I also wanted a job that I deemed to be of “value”. It had to be more than just earning a living. It had to contribute more to the wider society and thereby give me both motivation and very importantly satisfaction. By improving the health and wellbeing of patients it also offered me the notion of a role that had true value.
What is your proudest pharmacy moment?
My proudest pharmacy moments are not specific instances in place or time. They are the outcome of actions, often over a long period, that produced benefits to patients, the service and the profession.
One example would be the automation of dispensing in hospital pharmacy. A small group of chief pharmacists, including myself, lobbied Welsh Government with an outcome that resulted in every hospital pharmacy in Wales being funded for this development. The real success however was that automation freed pharmacist time for more clinical activities and contributed to the development of technician roles.
On a personal level, becoming a Fellow of the RPS Faculty gave me a deep sense of satisfaction. My practice had been assessed by peers in a well-governed system where there are no vested interests or relationships to cloud or contaminate the outcome.
What has been the biggest challenge in your pharmacy career?
The biggest challenge was having a defined career pathway to follow. What did I need to do? How did I need to develop to be a really good senior pharmacist?
This is where the Faculty becomes hugely important.
The Faculty now assesses the advanced pharmacy practice framework. It recognises advanced practice, it identifies what is needed to develop it further, it identifies competencies which need development in order to have a width of advanced practice.
Why RPS membership is important to you?
Since the separation of the professional regulator role was taken from the RPS, with the creation of the GPhC, the RPS has stepped up to the plate as a professional leadership body.
Especially in Wales, it also does a lot of work in the background with Welsh Government and other influential organisations. The development of innovations such as pharmacists in GP surgeries does not happen by chance.
The jewel in the crown of the RPS must be the development of the Faculty. This gives pharmacists, irrespective of the setting of their practice, a framework for professional development. It also gives recognition for the level of their practice. For patients, employers and the wider public it also provides and assurance that pharmacy is responding to an ever changing environment. As a patient and member of the public, pharmacists who are Faculty members give me the assurance I demand about the care I want, need and expect.