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Meet the regional finalists of I Love My Pharmacist: Midlands and East

The public has until 21 July 2016 to vote for their favourite regional finalist of the 2016 I Love My Pharmacist Award. The pharmacist with the highest number of votes in each region will then meet with the judging panel who will decide the 2016 champion.

Midlands and East regional finalists of the

Midlands and East regional finalists of the I Love My Pharmacist Award. From top left, going clockwise: Olutayo Arikawe, Dave de Monteverde-Robb, Janine Barnes and Mala Khiroya

Olutayo Arikawe, Dudley: pharmacist manager at The Priory Community Pharmacy

The Priory Community Pharmacy opened in 2008 in one of the most deprived areas of Dudley, where the community had very little access to healthcare services. After Olutayo Arikawe joined in 2012 she organised training for her team to enable them to run health promotion sessions in and outside the pharmacy.

It gives me enormous pleasure to help people make positive lifestyle changes

Arikawe is involved in a number of interventions to help patients improve their health, from organising annual health funfairs for the community to supporting alcohol dependent patients. Arikawe’s team support patients who struggle to keep their drinking within recommended levels by using alcohol diaries and booklets and by referring alcohol-dependent patients to specialists. Over a period of 13 months they reached 1,414 people resulting in 477 interventions.

Arikawe is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton, giving career advice and offering work placements to their students.

“I am passionate about improving the health of patients in the community - my team and I always put the patient first, no matter what their situation is. It gives me enormous pleasure to help people make positive lifestyle changes; this is fundamentally why I get involved in so many different interventions,” Arikawe says.

David de Monteverde-Robb, Cambridge: lead pharmacist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital

David de Monteverde-Robb is a specialist in intensive care medicine, pain management and neurology. He provides care for critically ill patients with head injuries and major trauma as well as those with neurological diseases.

I derive great personal satisfaction from creating systems that mean nursing, medical and other pharmacy staff automatically choose the safest way of providing care

As an independent prescriber, Monteverde-Robb provides expert pharmaceutical care for patients with life-threatening infections, immune disorders and other critical illnesses. Monteverde-Robb is also responsible for redesigning care pathways in the hospital to ensure safe, economic and effective use of medicines across the organisation.

Monteverde-Robb was the first pharmacist in the UK to qualify with the National Institute for Health Research master’s degree in clinical research and now leads his own research programme, finding answers to practical problems affecting the use of medicines in his specialist areas.

“My greatest passion is seeing my critical care patients respond to changes I have made to their care. But I also derive great personal satisfaction from creating systems that mean nursing, medical and other pharmacy staff automatically choose the safest way of providing care. Our research programme has already established a scientific basis to customary practices that means practitioners have better evidence to support their treatment plans,” he explains.

Janine Barnes, Stourbridge: neurology specialist pharmacist at Stourbridge Health and Social Care Centre

Through her work, Janine Barnes educates clinicians, patients and carers on Parkinson’s disease. As a member of the community neurology team within Dudley Rehabilitation Service, she runs Parkinson’s disease clinics in the community and hospital. She carries out medication reviews and prescribes for a number of complex neurological conditions. Barnes also monitors patient medication prescribed for co-morbidities, checking for potential interactions.

There is so much about Parkinson’s disease that people are unaware of, so educating them is vital

Barnes often speaks to patients out of hours to answer questions and offers evening presentations to healthcare professionals and patients to aid understanding of Parkinson’s disease and available medications.

Barnes works closely with the charity Parkinson’s UK, reviewing their information booklets, participating in blogs and presenting to patients and healthcare professionals about the management of Parkinson’s disease. She sits on two committees for the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network, which brings together health and social care professionals to transform care for people affected by Parkinson’s, and attends information mornings for patients and carers where she offers medication reviews to ensure patients understand their treatment. She is also working with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on the new Parkinson’s disease guidelines due to be published in 2017.

“I am determined to continue raising awareness and knowledge of Parkinson’s,” Barnes says. “There is so much about this disease that people are unaware of, so educating them is vital. My input has been instrumental in keeping many struggling patients out of hospital.”

Mala Khiroya, Leicester: pharmacist and pharmacy manager at Merridale Pharmacy

Mala Khiroya has been shortlisted for her work with asthma patients. After carrying out research, Khiroya discovered that asthma patients required support to make sure they got the best results from their inhalers. In her pharmacy she counsels asthma patients, checks and rectifies their inhaler technique and agrees on regular use of steroids where needed, liaising with GPs and asthma nurses.

I see a lot of patients with asthma, but also help other patients with other conditions to ensure they understand their condition

In addition to the work Khiroya does for asthma patients, she has also worked with the Fire and Ambulance services to reduce 999 calls by organising a health event where individuals were offered full health checks and given lifestyle and minor ailments advice. As a result of this event, Khiroya met the local ‘Get Healthy’ team and works with them by referring cardiovascular patients for support with healthy living.

“I try to give as much time as I can to every patient. I see a lot of patients with asthma, but also help other patients with other conditions to ensure they understand their condition and medicines. I also call these patients to ensure they are getting on well with their medicines and provide any further assistance,” she says.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201285

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  • Midlands and East regional finalists of the I Love My Pharmacist Award. Clockwise: Olutayo Arikawe, David de Monteverde-Robb, Janine Barnes and Mala Khiroya

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