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Your RPS

Meet the regional finalists of I Love My Pharmacist: Scotland

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.

Scotland 'I love my pharmacist' regional finalists: From left, Naseem Sadiq, Bernadette Brown, Sally Arnison and Heather Donaldson

Scotland regional finalists of the I Love My Pharmacist Award 2016: From left, Naseem Sadiq, Bernadette Brown, Sally Arnison and Heather Donaldson

Naseem Sadiq, Glenrothes: community pharmacist at Dears Pharmacy

Naseem Sadiq was picked because of his commitment to developing services that benefit his community. Sadiq worked with his local GP practice to develop a referral form, which enhanced communication between pharmacists and GPs. This proved successful and now includes a section for the GP to add replies. The referral form has proven helpful in delivering the NHS minor ailment service, with many of his patients now using this service - freeing up emergency and routine appointments with GPs and nurses.

I firmly believe that as a healthcare professional I need to understand the person as well as their illness

Sadiq routinely goes the extra mile. Once, he visited a patient with dementia on a Saturday morning who was in pain and complaining of a spot on the chest. Upon examination Sadiq discovered a large abscess that required urgent medical attention. Using NHS 24 he arranged for an appointment for the patient. Sadiq then drove the patient to A&E and ensured that the patient had assistance to get back home safely.

“I really enjoy being part of the community here in Glenrothes and want to do my best every day to make a difference to people’s health. I firmly believe that as a healthcare professional I need to understand the person as well as their illness,” says Sadiq. 

Bernadette Brown, Glenrothes: community pharmacist at Cadham Pharmacy

Bernadette Brown has been selected because of her service to the local community. Using her independent prescribing skills she has transformed her pharmacy and the services it offers focusing on how best to support patients with their health and wellbeing needs.

As an independent prescriber I can write prescriptions, which has enabled us to free up enormous amounts of triage appointments at our GP practice

Brown works closely with her patients. She dedicated a lot of time to a patient who was often breathless due to asthma, offering them a medication review, checking their inhaler technique and consequently suggesting a change to their prescription. After two months on the reviewed treatment the patient’s condition improved dramatically and they are now able to manage their own medication.

Brown also helps raise money for local charities, such as Kingdom Kids for deprived children, by offering healthy heart consultations in return for a small donation to the charity.

“I really want to make a difference to my patients and my local community. As an independent prescriber I can write prescriptions, which has enabled us to free up enormous amounts of triage appointments at our GP practice,” she says. “We not only improve lives in physical terms but also in terms of people’s mental health through increased self-esteem and ‘getting their life back’.”

Sally Arnison, Edinburgh: pharmacist at Barnton Pharmacy & Travel Clinic

Sally Arnison has been selected because of her work to make her pharmacy ‘dementia friendly’. To do this Arnison approached Alzheimer Scotland and arranged for the charity to train all of her staff to become Dementia Friends; she encouraged local shops to do the same. Arnison also invited Alzheimer Scotland to use the pharmacy consultation room to speak with people worried about their memory or who had just been diagnosed with dementia. This has now grown into a dementia ‘café’ in the local church.

Our work has made such a difference in our local community

An example of Arnison’s impact includes a patient’s daughter coming in to the pharmacy on a Saturday morning advising that her parent, who has dementia, was very confused. Arnison’s clinical knowledge of dementia meant she was able to diagnose a simple urine infection as the cause of this confusion, provide advice and arrange with the out-of-hours GP a prescription for an antibiotic to help the patient.

“Our work has made such a difference in our local community and working closely with fellow health colleagues also means I can help patients in their local community and support their continued independence rather than risk them having to be hospitalised,” says Arnison. 

Heather Donaldson, Glasgow: community pharmacist at Boots UK in Uddingston

Heather Donaldson has been shortlisted because of her commitment to person-centred care, exemplified by her swift action to help a patient who had broken their insulin delivery pen. Using the pharmacy’s medication record Donaldson was able to write a community pharmacy urgent supply prescription for the insulin pen.

I am so pleased that I was able to make such a difference as that is why I wanted to be a pharmacist in the first place

However, Donaldson noticed that the patient seemed a bit confused and was slurring their words. On checking how long the patient had been without insulin it transpired it had been three days. Concerned for the patient’s health, Donaldson set up an appointment with the out-of-hours clinic within the hour and organised a family member to transport the patient. Later that week, the family member told Donaldson that the patient had been admitted to hospital for three days and was very grateful to Donaldson ‘for saving their life’.

“My mum has diabetes and all I could think was that I really hoped that if my mum ever ended up in a similar situation that another pharmacist would have done the same for her,” says Donaldson. “I am so pleased that I was able to make such a difference as that is why I wanted to be a pharmacist in the first place.”

 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201288

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  • Scotland 'I love my pharmacist' regional finalists: From left, Naseem Sadiq, Bernadette Brown, Sally Arnison and Heather Donaldson

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