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How I support pharmacists and community pharmacy teams in my role as regional development manager

Collaborative working and sharing best practice ideas with other healthcare professionals are vital to achieving excellence in customer care, says Adedayo Titiloye.

Adedayo Titiloye, regional development manager in Manchester for Well

Source: Courtesy of Adedayo Titiloye

Adedayo Titiloye is regional development manager in Manchester for Well, the largest independent pharmacy business in the UK.

Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?

My first contact with pharmacy as a profession was at a school careers event. I knew I wanted to work within healthcare but was unsure of what I wanted to do. I kept my options open and studied biology, chemistry and business studies at A-level, achieving three A grades. I took a year out in 2004 and worked for a small independent pharmacy chain and a specials company in the Midlands. During this time, I worked as a dispensing assistant in a community pharmacy, as well as a production specialist at the specials factory. It was during a visit to the University of Manchester in 2004 that I decided pharmacy was for me given the number of potential career paths — hospital, community, industry or pharmacy ownership.

What elements of your pre-registration training did you find most valuable? 

I completed my pre-registration training with Well Pharmacy in 2010 (previously Co-operative Pharmacy) in a community pharmacy on the outskirts of Manchester. The pre-registration year opened my eyes to the reality of being a community pharmacist, and I was able to apply the theory from the previous four-years of study into practice. I worked alongside a very experienced pharmacist who put the patient first with every decision he made. I realised that a pharmacist, especially in a small neighbourhood, plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of the community. The support I received during my training programme from my pre-registration tutor and also from other trainees (many of whom I still maintain contact with), was extremely valuable. I also found the training away days we held helped to cement the knowledge acquired on a daily basis.

What is your current role and how did you get there?

I am now a regional development manager for Well in Manchester, where I manage 22 community pharmacies. My role involves supporting pharmacy teams to deliver services to patients and customers. A typical day involves visiting three pharmacies within my area to ensure the pharmacist and pharmacy teams have all the tools they need to support their local communities. This will involve conversations around the professional aspects of pharmacy, such as adhering to General Pharmaceutical Council standards, the clinical aspects, such as delivering on advanced and enhanced services, and commercial and business aspects.

I began my career working for an independent pharmacy and specials company in the Midlands. I then became a relief manager in 2010 supporting several pharmacies across the business when the regular pharmacy manager was away. I quickly transitioned into branch management and in the same year, I was given my own health centre pharmacy in Cheshire to manage. This is where I started to develop and build my leadership skills, as well as learn how to deliver all the business objectives of a modern-day community pharmacy, such as managing the profit and loss account of the pharmacy. While in this management role, I supported the regional development manager in achieving business targets by tendering for new care home business and controlling stock levels across the region. This is when I realised that I wanted to step up and support the business on a larger scale.

What is the most challenging and also the most rewarding part of your current role?

The most challenging part of the role is wanting to be present in every pharmacy, every day. I have a great team that works with me, and I enjoy coaching pharmacists to offer a great service, but I cannot physically be in every location at once. Therefore, I have to prioritise pharmacy visits based on an individual assessment of who has the greatest need each day.

The most rewarding part of the job is facilitating the development of both the pharmacists and pharmacy teams. It is most rewarding when you receive a customer compliment that highlights how fantastic the service has been in a pharmacy, which feels amazing. I also love interacting with customers directly, receiving feedback and responding to it. This allows my pharmacies to deliver the services needed to make a difference in terms of patient outcomes.

If you could make one change to make your role easier, what would it be? 

It would be having the ability to spend more time with other healthcare professionals, building strong relationships and a seamless end-to-end health service. Community pharmacy is just one cog of a larger wheel that helps maintain the health and wellbeing of a community. It would be ideal if healthcare professionals could work collaboratively and share best practice ideas to achieve excellence in customer care — the ultimate goal of all individuals working within the healthcare system.

What is your ultimate career goal? 

My ultimate career goal is to be able to influence community pharmacy on a larger scale. Pharmacy is a fantastic profession, but there are several challenges that lie ahead. The funding cuts are putting pressure on some contractors, but it can also be seen as an opportunity to drive efficiency in the community pharmacy model, which can lead to better service for patients. I believe efficiencies could be gained by challenging the traditional ways we currently manage and run our dispensaries, which in turn could free up time for my teams to spend more quality time with patients and customers. An example could be moving some of the dispensing process to a central hub. I would like to be able to support and influence the future direction of the profession to maintain and drive the fantastic work that is done all over the country. I see this happening alongside my current role by getting more involved with the professional leadership body in some capacity that will add value to the profession.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203214

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