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Getting to know the chief pharmaceutical officer's clinical fellows — Graeme, Cherise and Danielle

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Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Fellow Scheme. From left, Graeme Hood, Cherise Gyimah and Danielle Stacey

Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Fellow Scheme. From left, Graeme Hood, Cherise Gyimah and Danielle Stacey

This week Graeme, Cherise and Danielle open the door to their fellowships at Public Health England (PHE), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and NHS England, and encourage anyone interested in the fellowship scheme to apply. 

Graeme Hood — PHE

I am currently based at PHE, which is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care. The organisation exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities.

Previously I have worked as a resident pharmacist at a large teaching hospital in London before specialising in cancer services. As a senior pharmacist in cancer services I led on a number of projects to improve patient safety and care, including implementing an electronic prescribing system and a home chemotherapy administration service. I was also involved in managing cancer services within pharmacy and have experience in aseptic unit production.

As part of my fellowship I am based within the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) programme team which is part of the Health Protection and Medical directorate. PHE is a hugely diverse organisation working on projects in a variety of different areas and health professions which means the scope of what I work on is hugely varied and interesting. I am currently leading a national project exploring the appropriateness of antimicrobial prescribing within secondary care. This work supports the Government’s ambition to reduce inappropriate prescribing by 50% by 2020-2021.

Like Danielle and Cherise, I heard about the scheme from a previous fellow. It was great to hear first-hand the experience and benefits the fellowship has given to their clinical practice and I’ll definitely pass this on to other colleagues!

I have been involved in implementing national policy at a local level but I wanted to gain a better understanding of how policies are created at a national level and explore how working relationships between different organisations contribute to this. I have always had an interest in public health and the significant impact it can have on health economies, so thought it would be great to explore this further through the fellowship scheme. I enjoy challenging myself and working with different stakeholders and this fellowship is the perfect opportunity to combine these two aspects.

The great part about the fellowship is you get to work with the other fellows on collaborative projects across a variety of healthcare organisations.

My advice to pharmacists interested in the scheme is ‘Go for it!’ The knowledge and skill set you develop over the year will be invaluable for future roles within healthcare. If you’re interested in applying have a chat with your current line manager to explore the benefits for you and your organisation.

Cherise Gyimah — CQC

I am seconded to the CQC as part of the Medicines Optimisation Team in the Primary Medical Services (PMS) and Integrated Care Directorate.

My previous roles have been in the community and primary care settings. More recently I worked as a care homes pharmacist supporting a small group of integrated care pharmacists caring for frail, older people living in care homes. I also led on medicines management and clinical governance issues relating to care homes and worked with colleagues to improve medicines adherence among high risk patients referred at discharge.

The Medicines Optimisation team provide support across all the inspection directorates, making a positive contribution to work around integrated care. I’m involved in several work streams which include medicines safety and new technologies as well as supporting the production of thematic reviews.

I originally heard about the fellowship when I attended a NICE Associate meeting, where some of the 2016-2017 fellows delivered a presentation about the scheme. I decided to apply as the fellowship provided the unique opportunity to explore career opportunities beyond my clinical practice role, and to develop networks and relationships for the future.

The fellowship scheme enables pharmacists to gain valuable experience in a wide range of organisations and develop leadership skills. My advice would be to keep an open mind and explore as many opportunities as possible. So far the most exciting experiences have been the exposure to leading thinkers and practitioners who I would not have encountered in my day-to-day role.

Danielle Stacey — NHS England

My fellowship year is at NHS England working with the chief pharmaceutical officer, Keith Ridge.  At NHS England, there are also a number of medical and dental fellows which creates a great peer support network. 

Prior to the scheme I worked in hospital pharmacy, most recently as a specialist antimicrobial pharmacist.  This role sparked my interest for developing my leadership skills and the desire to contribute to national priorities.  I’m also passionate about education and developing the next generation of the profession.  I hold a tutor role at the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education and have enjoyed roles as a clinical diploma co-ordinator and pre-registration tutor.

No two days are the same in my role.  I have the opportunity to shadow and work closely with a number of senior leaders in the NHS in order to observe the skills of those individuals and develop my own leadership style.  I am involved in some of the NHS England work streams, including the Medicines Value Programme and Pharmacy Integration Fund.

I have followed the scheme since its inception and had chatted with some of the previous fellows.  I was inspired by their positive experiences during their fellowships. 

Similar to Graeme, over recent years, I had been working on developing and implementing policy at local level and I recognised the fellowship as an opportunity to understand how policy is created at national level and be able to contribute to this.

I am fascinated by the different work streams which I wouldn’t have been aware of previously.  I am really enjoying exploring the intricacies of pharmacy and the wider NHS.

It would be good to think about what you want to achieve by undertaking a fellowship.  Take a look at the FMLM website which gives more information about the scheme as well as current and previous fellows.

More information

Applications for the 2018-2019 intake of the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Clinical Fellow Scheme open on the 6th of March 2018.

More information about the scheme can be found here.

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