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Meet the regional finalists of I Love My Pharmacist: Wales

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.

Wales 'I love my pharmacist' regional finalists: From left, Kevin Jones, Jonathan Smith and Kate Thomas

Wales regional finalists for the I Love My Pharmacist Award 2016: From left, Kevin Jones, Jonathan Smith and Kate Thomas 

Kevin Jones, Blaenau Ffestiniog: community pharmacist at Moelwyn Pharmacy Ltd.

Kevin Jones has been recognised for going the extra mile for his patients over the past 27 years.

When the medicines use review service was introduced in 2007, Jones developed a health information form to use during the review to capture information on blood pressure, smoking status, alcohol intake, diet and exercise to help identify where patients may need additional support. Jones has found that since introducing this service patients are more likely to ask for advice.

During my professional career I have always strived to ensure that we as a pharmacy team provide the local population access to a professional and user friendly pharmaceutical service

With one patient, Jones used the health information form to identify a number of issues including raised blood pressure. Appropriate steps were then taken to control their blood pressure and review it regularly to ensure it remained under control.

“During my professional career I have always strived to ensure that we as a pharmacy team provide the local population access to a professional and user friendly pharmaceutical service. Through the advent of the current pharmacy contract and subsequent introduction and development of advanced and enhanced pharmacy services, we have made every effort to make these services available to the general population,” says Jones. 

Jonathan Smith, Newport: community pharmacist at Mayberry Pharmacy

Jonathan Smith has been shortlisted for his pioneering work with local care homes.

Smith recognised that the current system, where a pharmacist visits a care home periodically to review residents’ medication charts, was becoming unsustainable, so he looked for alternative ways of working. In association with Beacon Digital Health, Smith worked with a number of care homes to introduce an innovative technology that enables him to identify medication issues as they arise.

It is a privilege to be able to use my skills as a pharmacist to work with care home residents and staff to support them to ensure their prescribed medicines are safe and effective

Smith can monitor the use of high-risk drugs to ensure that they are being used appropriately. This includes making sure that courses of antibiotics are being completed, reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance.

An evaluation by Cardiff University School of Pharmacy demonstrated significant improvements in patient care, medicines management and medicines waste reduction in the three care homes Smith engaged with.

“Care home residents represent one of the most vulnerable patient groups in the health system. Many residents suffer from a variety of debilitating conditions and take upwards of nine medications at any one time. It is a privilege to be able to use my skills as a pharmacist to work with care home residents and staff to support them to ensure their prescribed medicines are safe and effective,” says Smith. 

Kate Thomas, Cowbridge: community pharmacist at Sylvia Williams Chemist

As a community pharmacist, Kate Thomas is often called upon to support patients with more than just their medication. A particularly happy customer managed to turn his life around thanks to the advice and encouragement he received from Thomas and her team. Thanks to Thomas’s support he has managed to come off his diabetic medication completely after losing 50% of his body weight in two years.

With the NHS under intense pressure I really hope pharmacy will be allowed to take an even more active role in helping to ease the workload on GPs

Thomas also writes a health column for the local newspaper providing advice to the community and identifying the services and support that she delivers in her pharmacy.

“Good service and a friendly face is the absolute priority in our pharmacy. The staff all have a really positive ethos and work together as a team with the goal of making our customers’ lives as easy as possible. With the NHS under intense pressure I really hope pharmacy will be allowed to take an even more active role in helping to ease the workload on GPs and freeing them to spend more valuable time with their patients,” she says.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201287

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  • Wales 'I love my pharmacist' regional finalists: From left, Kevin Jones, Jonathan Smith and Kate Thomas

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