16th July 2018
My background has been in community pharmacy where I have worked in different settings (multiples/independents) over the past 25 plus years.
Before joining the GP practice as a GPPTP pharmacist, I worked in an independent pharmacy close to the GP practice for about 13 years. As a senior member of the community pharmacy team, I was constantly looking for new ways of working to improve our systems to provide better patient care and improving and enhancing collaborative working with other multi-disciplinary teams in our local GP practices. I had already developed good relations with the GP practice during this time, and I had completed my IP in COPD with this surgery. After completing my IP, I then continued to work 1 session per week in the surgery conducting respiratory clinics to help meet the respiratory and COPD QOF targets, for 5 years prior to joining the GPPTP pilot scheme.
I have been with Barnet Community Education Provider Network (CEPN) since October 2014 as pharmacy lead. Part of my role is to engage with Barnet pharmacists regarding multidisciplinary education and training, by motivating them to attend meetings and workshops run by the CEPN. In this regard I am involved in planning the topics for these meetings and act as a facilitator for regular multi-professional collaborative lunchtime meetings (MCLG’s) held locally.
I have also organised a series of evening meetings based on clinical topics which have been attended by local healthcare professionals (GP, Nurses, community pharmacist and practice-based pharmacist)
The role within the CEPN has enabled me to develop working relationships with health, social and community care professionals in Barnet. This role has enabled me to understand the challenges faced by these individuals and their respective organisations and to recognise the barriers to collaborative working. My role involves working with the CEPN and CCG to address some of these challenges and barriers where possible.
Becoming a GP practice pharmacist was a natural progression as explained in the previous section, and in particular I wanted to be able to use my qualification as an independent prescriber in asthma and COPD to be able to run patient facing respiratory clinics.
Minor illness clinics – inappropriate patients being booked in to the minor illness clinic (MIC) by the triage doctors which were beyond my scope of competency.
Discussions with nurse practitioner (also doing MIC) and a GP about illnesses not suitable for the minor illness clinic being run by the pharmacist and nurse practitioner. This involved looking through some examples of inappropriate bookings and creating a list of conditions to include and those not to include. This was then used to educate Drs to triage appropriately and asking all appropriate questions before booking. It is an ongoing process to refine this.
Getting a lot of inappropriate tasks which was very time consuming e.g. GPs off-loading work inappropriately leading to a great number of med review tasks sent by a GP which should/could have been done by GP’s e.g. updating med review dates post a med rev done by GP.
Discussed with lead GP and in meetings so that all are aware of limitations – communicate workload to all staff so they are aware of what is involved in the work flow of your day to avoid being overloaded with work.
My working week is a 4-day week working full days on a Tuesday and a Friday and half a day on a Wednesday and Thursday. In these hours I contribute the following to the practice:
In addition to my respiratory skills, I am currently sourcing a formal accredited spirometry course via the CCG to enable me to interpret spirometry within my practice.
I am also looking at setting up family planning & women’s health clinics in my practice as it has been identified that this is an area of need. I have been on a couple of courses and done CPPE training, with a view to develop this service in my practice and upskill myself by attending an accredited course.
I have attended the frailty workshop so far, and eager to attend the workshops in all therapy areas. I have found that the i2i training is better than most other training currently available to practice pharmacists. It is relevant, practical and gives tools and resources to enable to implement in practice. i2i does what it says on the tin – it gives you insight to implementation and it is very well executed.
That you can’t run before you walk, it takes time to establish into your role, it’s a process and you will only continue to improve. Setting high standards is great but you can’t do everything immediately and you must allow yourself time to grow and evolve in the role and you will achieve great things.
Lastly, coming from a community pharmacy background, I found that my patient facing skills and people skills were invaluable for this role. Do not underestimate those skills. It is a challenging environment but we as pharmacists have a lot of skills to offer.
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