Make A Difference. Be The Difference.

Be A Voter – VOTE NOW!

This year the Pharmacy Forum Board NI Election is more competitive than ever. We have 12 excellent candidates, competing for four available places on the Board. All of them have their own vision and aspirations for the profession. You can find out more about them, read their manifestos and decide who best represents your views, by reading about them below.

Candidates

Career Profile

Registering in 2013, I began my career as a relief pharmacist for Boots and shortly stepped into a management role. As a community pharmacist, my focus was on delivering the best care for my patients. I was involved in a Building the Community Pharmacy Partnership (BCPP) programme, getting out into the community and understanding their local needs.

I then began an operational role providing central support for all Boots UK pharmacies. This was a diverse role allowing me to recognise the current climate of pharmacy outside of NI and how the profession can further develop to support their patients. A significant change in the profession outside of NI is the implementation of ‘Quality Payment Schemes’, which differ by country and are specially designed to change the way pharmacists support their patients. Having lead the operational delivery in England, Wales, Scotland & briefly NI, I understand the challenges and benefits this imposes on pharmacy practice.

I am currently working as a Clinical Pharmacist, supporting GPs and industry in improving care and outcomes for patients.

Having, on occasion, represented Boots in England on the Community Pharmacy IT Group (CPITG), there is a definite shift towards developing IT to support integration and interoperability between healthcare settings. I believe this is the future and NI is stepping in the right direction with the development of the IT portal. I believe the experience I bring can help further progress IT integration within community pharmacy and further drive the expertise we can provide within healthcare.

Manifesto

Our patients expect more of us and we as a profession need to adapt to meet that expectation. I believe pharmacists are capable of much more than the supply of medication and we need the tools to deliver that.

If successful, my vision is:

– Support the development of IT & interoperability
– Share experience of implementing electronic items processes, such as the Electronic Prescription Services (EPS) in England

When I mention IT & interoperability, it is about the seamless integration of our pharmacy systems with a patient’s main clinical record, allowing pharmacists to electronically record the provision of services. The system would allow all MURs and other services to be stored digitally, and the appropriate information to be shared with GPs, notifying them when a service is completed. This allows all healthcare professionals to have access to a true clinical record representing all of the patient’s care from different healthcare providers.

If implemented correctly, the electronic transfer of prescriptions significantly improves convenience for GPs and patients. Having had experience leading EPS in England (supporting the delivery of EPS Phase 4, Controlled Drugs via EPS & providing operational guidance for stores), I have first-hand experience of the pitfalls and what we could do to deliver a truly great service for all involved.

The expectation our patients have on us is changing, and therefore we must change to support them the best way we can and I would be grateful for the opportunity to drive the future of the pharmacy profession.

Career Profile

I graduated from Queens University Belfast in 2011 and registered as a pharmacist with the PSNI in 2012. My experience covers many areas, including technology, but I have always been predominantly based in community pharmacy, completing a PGcert in community pharmacy in 2015. Recently I graduated in MSc Health Promotion and Public Health. This is an area that I am passionate about. Through my role as Health Plus Pharmacy Facilitator for HSCB, I know that Pharmacy can play a big role in raising awareness in public health and can help support communities to address their health needs. Within this role, I work with multiple community and voluntary organisations as well as other healthcare professionals and pharmacy representative bodies. Through my networks and skills in these areas, pharmacy could have a bigger voice and we can ensure patients are well supported in understanding their health and what pharmacy can offer.

Manifesto

There have been many changes and challenges for Pharmacy over recent times. I believe one of the main challenges to overcome is ensuring we have a strong workforce in place to support patient health and ensure patient safety. With the development of our professional role, it is important to ensure there is support available for those newly qualified. Through the forum, I believe the newly qualified pharmacist group will provide a platform for support and a voice for the future of pharmacy.

One of my passions and core beliefs is the role pharmacy has to play in public health. The impact pharmacy can have within their communities is largely untapped. We as a profession can provide support on various levels and have much potential to improve the health of the public through multiple channels. I believe Pharmacists are key to strong communities and can be one of the biggest assets a community can have. Community pharmacists are one of the most accessible health care professionals to the public, providing the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of public health campaigns. Through my experience in this field of work and the multiple organisations I am in contact with within the community and voluntary sector, I can be an advocate for the forum and the pharmacy profession. This is important in ensuring pharmacists are recognised for their work and also recognised as a trusted source of information in supporting patient selfcare.

Career Profile

I graduated from Manchester University in 1998 and completed my pre-registration year at the Royal Bolton Hospital.
Between 1999 and 2006 I held a number of hospital pharmacy posts in Leeds and Manchester and I was chair of the North
West of England’s Antibiotic Pharmacist Group (2004-2006). In 2005-6, I undertook the National Development Scheme for
Senior Pharmacists, accredited by UK Clinical Pharmacy Practice and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

In 2006 I returned to Northern Ireland as the regional Medicines Governance Team Leader. The team consists of five
pharmacists in the secondary care sector who through multidisciplinary working, proactively identify and minimize medication
risks. Between 2006 and 2008, I led a successful pilot of the extension of the Medicines Governance team to primary care
which won an Institute of Healthcare Management Award.

In 2014 I completed a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Ulster and my dissertation examined the
relationship between electronic prescribing and medicines safety culture.

Since last year I am working at the DOH as the Medication Safety Lead to support their response to the WHO Global
Challenge, ‘Medication Without Harm’.

I am currently undertaking the Scottish Improvement Leader Programme and my improvement project involves supporting a
community pharmacy to report and learn from medication incidents.

I am a Northern Ireland representative on NHS Improvement’s National Patient Safety Review Panel, a member of the;
National Medication Safety Network, QCommunity, Northern Ireland Simulation and Human Factors Network and have links
with England’s Community Pharmacy Safety Group.

Manifesto

WHO’s 3rd Global Patient Challenge ‘Medication Without Harm’ aims to reduce the level of severe avoidable harm from medicines by 50% by 2023. Pharmacists are the experts in medicines and we have an opportunity to embrace this challenge and make sustainable, lasting changes to the safe management of medicines within Northern Ireland. This is an exciting time as medication safety is a common goal that unites all healthcare professionals providing quality healthcare and pharmacy is central to this.
The advancement in health technology also has a significant impact on patient safety but it will also change the way we work and how we interact with other professionals and our patients. We need to plan for how this impacts on the role of the pharmacist in every care setting.

Reporting and learning from error as well as learning from ‘good catches’ is an essential component of patient safety and we need to improve how we share and learn from each other so that we are better informed and equipped to manage risk. Quality improvement science is a key area that other professions are embracing and we need to also be adequately trained in this approach if we are to make our services safer and more effective.
If I were to be elected I would aim that we focus our efforts to ensure that medication safety is the cornerstone of our profession and that we work towards ensuring that all the necessary buildings blocks are in place to enable this to happen.

Career Profile

Following pre-registration I began working as a pharmacist within the community sector. Since qualifying I have developed and enhanced my career through completion of the pilot NICPLD Foundation Programme for Community Pharmacists. This programme has enabled me to develop and enhance various skills and competencies, and I am glad to see that it is continuing to be offered to newly qualified community pharmacists. Additionally, I have undertaken training to enable me to provide my patients with additional services within the community setting; this includes travel/flu/HPV/pneumonia/men B/chickenpox vaccinations, as well as hair retention/erectile dysfunction programmes. I have also had substantial experience around working with care homes and supply of their medicines. During my pre-registration training I had various opportunities to work with the local community including working with the public health agency in Belfast around needle/drug use, and hosting a well being event with Mindwise promoting mens health. I have a passion for the development of community pharmacy and to enhance the role community pharmacists can play in helping both our patients as well as the health service. I feel that in addition to my experiences to date, my passion and drive to enhance the role of community pharmacists within the community would be of value to the Forum Board.

Manifesto

If elected, my aim would be to enhance the role of community pharmacists working within the community setting, with the intention of lessening the pressure of both primary and secondary care. Community pharmacists are in a fantastic position to offer care and advise to patients both through their knowledge and their accessibility. My vision for the future of community pharmacy is to see more services being offered by community pharmacists; including NHS flu vaccination, additional medicine use reviews, clinics for patients with chronic conditions, more independent prescribers, treatment of minor ailments, etc. I also feel as community pharmacists we need to be able to access ECR to assist with our clinic checks, medisure and care home patients, as well as emergency supplies. I would also envisage a more robust system for how we process emergency supplies within the community setting, as well as further enhancement of the treatment of minor ailments. I feel passionately that the role of pharmacists is changing and as a profession we should be spending more time out advising and counselling our patients, rather than simply checking prescriptions. Additionally, I feel pharmacists should be trained to provide more information and guidance for our patients around maintaining a health lifestyle including diet, exercise, stress management, etc in order to reduce the risk of medical conditions associated with these factors. I feel my involvement within the Forum Board would allow me the opportunity to raise these issues as well as my use my passion and enthusiasm for community pharmacy, to have an impact on the future of community pharmacy.

Career Profile

I have worked within the community pharmacy setting for the last 10 years in Dunmore Pharmacy Belfast. In that time I have been involved in most services and pilots that have been rolled out, especially in last few years when Dunmore Pharmacy became the first pharmacy in Belfast to be accredited with Pharmacy Health Plus.

Manifesto

I want to be the voice for the forgotten people currently in community pharmacy, the non-contractor pharmacist and the pharmacy staff. As I have stated I have been involved in community pharmacy for last 10 years and have witnessed the huge difference we can make on people’s lives with each new service that is rolled out. I am concerned that as the contract negotiations continue, staff are working at what is now becoming unacceptable levels. Many pharmacists will relate to this and even forego their lunch to provide these services to the general public. The fact a pharmacist can’t shut off from the pressure of pharmacy for 30 minutes during a day is both dangerous to patient safety and secondly to the pharmacists’ own health, as well as being a legal employment right. I propose an agreement is made across the board to close pharmacies at lunch time for 30 minutes. I am also concerned about the future of the profession and that pharmacists in Northern Ireland are being turned away from the struggles of community pharmacy to take up places in hospitals, GP surgeries and vacancies in the south of Ireland. This migration of pharmacists away from community pharmacy will turn this current crisis into a catastrophe. I believe our voices can help turn this around and break the current deadlock.

Career Profile

I am a semi-retired Registered Pharmacist with vast experience of the Pharmacy Profession in Northern Ireland. I have been a Community Pharmacist for most of my career, also a contractor, Drug Rep, Hospital and Community Locum and Vice Chair of Sangers.

I have been a Council member & President of the UCA, Council member & Treasurer of PSNI, and a Member of the Belfast Chamber of Trade.

At present I work as a Part Time Locum Pharmacist and I am acutely aware of the difficulties facing employee Pharmacists and Contractors.

Manifesto

I keep my knowledge of the profession up to date and I am very interested in new developments in healthcare.

I believe that employee pharmacists are a vast underutilized & unrecognized resource that has been neglected for the past 10 years compared with other professionals.
Contractors have major difficulties too, they operate very efficient businesses with many free services, yet unfortunately their remuneration is limited by the top down negotiation process of BOS.

As a Pharmacy Forum Board Member I would aim to promote employee Pharmacists and Pharmacy in general, to achieve more recognition and reward for their valuable underpaid contribution to society.

Career Profile

I am a full time practicing community pharmacist in Northern Ireland. After graduating from University of Bath in 2015, I subsequently completed my pre registration year with a community pharmacy in Northern Ireland. Once I joined the register in July 2016 I took up a permanent role in a local independent community pharmacy, where I have been based full time since. Whilst at University of Bath I was a nominated committee member of Student Staff Liaison committee for two years and Chair of the committee for my final two years. In addition I chaired the Pharmacy Student Association at University of Bath and was awarded undergraduate student representative of the year award. I worked closely with all staff and students in the pharmacy department and worked with GPHC university reaccreditation team during 2014/2015. Whilst at university I was the first representative from the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology to be awarded the Bath Award for services to the University of Bath.

I believe that having a few years experience in community pharmacy has offered me a reflective and fair insight into the running of the profession in Northern Ireland.

I am now keen to further pursue my passion and dedication to pharmacy in a representative role. I am articulate, determined and committed to contributing to helping pharmacy in NI be the best it can; in an ever changing climate.

Manifesto

Community Pharmacy in Northern Ireland is constantly evolving. It is imperative that we have representative voices to evolve alongside. I am enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of community pharmacy and want to share the journey with those of similar minds. I firmly believe that we can further build on providing a united voice as we are faced with pressures in an ever increasing diversified patient population.

My vision for community pharmacy is clear – we must continue to learn , to seek opportunities and to expand our services, as and how feasibility allows.

I want to work towards further improving the primary-secondary care interface whereby we unite with allied healthcare professionals to provide a supra- optimal level of care to our patients. If elected, I hope to offer the Pharmacy Forum a youthful, active and representative voice for patients and colleagues.

Career Profile

I graduated from QUB in 1997 and qualified as a Pharmacist in 1998. I gained experience in a variety of community settings and I am currently employed as the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) Representation Manager for Northern Ireland. In this role I ensure that the views and needs of NPA members and their staff are heard and responded to, and I work with stakeholders across pharmacy and the health service to raise the profile of community pharmacy. I also practice as a community pharmacist and have been involved in pre-registration and Accuracy Checking Technician training, continuing professional development (CPD) assessments and development of the Health+Pharmacy initiative.

I have had the pleasure of working with the Pharmacy Forum since its inception in 2010, and have served as the Chair to the Forum Board as well as a member of the Policy and Practice and PASS committees.

Manifesto

I know that all pharmacists face challenges driven by fundamental changes to how health care is delivered, and we are increasingly being asked to deliver more for less. I am keen that, through the work of the Pharmacy Forum, pharmacists can build on their expertise, and with the emerging workforce, demonstrate their value in improving healthcare provision through collaborative working .

In the future I would like pharmacy to be fully integrated into the patient journey, allowing us to be involved in the prevention and management of long-term conditions, with appropriate access to prevention services, screening, testing and the ability to accept or make patient referrals with other healthcare colleagues as needed in all areas of practice. If this could be achieved within a supportive and realistic funding model it would be the catalyst to realise pharmacy’s potential to the benefit of the patient and the overall health economy. I am proud of the achievements of the Pharmacy Forum to date and believe that a robust, representative and supportive leadership body has a significant role to play in achieving these ambitions.

I am passionate about pharmacy in Northern Ireland and if nominated I would continue to work for a Pharmacy Forum that has an outward reaching role to develop our professional standing and an internal role to provide leadership and fight for all sectors of the profession collectively. In a challenging healthcare environment and changing regulatory landscape I would ensure that our leadership body is an active advocate for all pharmacists and pushes the boundaries of best practice in our profession.

Career Profile

Having graduated with a Masters degree (1st Class) in Pharmacy from Queen’s University Belfast in 2014, the following year, I completed Pre-Registration training spent within a community pharmacy environment. After this, I returned to the School of Pharmacy to undertake a PhD in Drug Delivery. In January 2019, I completed the PhD and intend to graduate in July 2019. My PhD focused on the delivery of amoxicillin using amoxicillin-containing microneedle patches for the potential treatment of neonatal sepsis in low resource settings. Currently, I am a Research Fellow in the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s University Belfast. My work is currently funded by a Pharmaceutical company. As a result, I participate in regular progress reports that are disseminated to the external funding body and actively participate in the teleconferences that include all external collaborators and sponsors. Throughout my research, I have presented my work in a clear, concise and confident manner through both oral and poster presentations at national and international conferences in London, Malawi, Boston, Vancouver and Washington D.C.
I am also a locum community pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. I enjoy working within the community, interacting with customers and patients, while actively promoting ‘Pharmacy First’ on the high street. To maintain community pharmacy competencies, I regularly attend the NICPLD training courses in Portadown. As an undergraduate, I completed placements in hospital pharmacy.

Manifesto

To date, I have gained experience within the community, hospital, research and academia- based environments. This has provided me with a diverse and wide ranging skills and knowledge base within the Pharmaceutical Industry. Pharmacy needs a united voice and I believe, especially with the considerable pressure within our health-care system today that I can, with my diverse background, help towards promoting a patient centred care based approach to health care. As a pharmacist, we have a legally binding duty-of-care to ensure that patients are our main priority in the delivery of safe and effective medicines from the research and development stages, right through to the administration of medicines to the patient. If I were to be elected, it would give me a great opportunity to feed into the forum from a research and academia background, with a hope that this will help in the future to provide an effective, patient driven health care system in Northern Ireland, facing the considerable demands and challenging times that lie ahead.

Career Profile

I graduated from Liverpool School of Pharmacy in 1990, completing my pre-registration year in Lurgan and I currently operate five community pharmacies in Lurgan, Portadown and Newry.
I began pharmacy representative life by joining the Ulster Chemists’ Association in 1997 and currently represent community pharmacy on the national Rebalancing Board. I was elected to the position of Chair of the board of CPNI , I am a past Chair of the Southern Area Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee and was a member of the Central Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee to the DHSSPSNI. In 2007, I was appointed Chairman of the Southern Local Commissioning Group (LCG), a sub-committee of the Health and Social Care Board, a position I held for two terms until March 2015. I have been a member of the Pharmacy Forum (NI) since April 2015 and I have been Chair since April 2016

I have a particular personal interest in palliative care. I have also been involved in the Building the Community Pharmacy Partnership programme for over 10 years, both by delivering local projects and as a member of the regional steering group.

My work, representative and chairing experiences have given me a unique insight into how the commissioning and delivery of health and social care services in Northern Ireland impact on patients and populations and along with my experience of public and independent sector board processes, including governance, would I believe, be an asset to the Pharmacy Forum.

Outside of work, I’m a keen (but slow) marathon runner and cyclist, a member of the Board of Governors of a Primary School in Craigavon and represent local businesses on the Craigavon Heart town steering group. I am board member of CDHN & the Jethro Center in Lurgan. I’m married to Nuala, and we have four children.

Manifesto

Primary and Secondary care is facing a system wide demand led crisis. Nowhere is this felt more acutely than in our GP Out of Hours and Emergency Departments which daily have to meet the challenges of responding to older, sicker patients with increasingly complex needs, compounded by ever increasing public expectations of health care.

Pharmacy is uniquely placed to put the patient at the centre of health and social care. It has the ability to offer effective medicine optimisation programmes, comprehensive minor ailment schemes and evidence based pharmaceutical care bundles, all tailored to assist individuals, families and communities to live longer, better quality, more productive lives.
Integrated pharmaceutical services, especially because of their local community based presence, have been both a leader and keen supporter in developing innovative community led health initiatives. By developing stronger links with our local populations, we can and must build trust, credibility and take every opportunity to facilitate, enable and support population wide improvements in health outcomes. We must continue to develop and grow a professional working environment which identifies with and works to achieve better health outcomes for the communities we serve.

Pharmacists, in secondary, primary GP practice and healthcare management, cannot and must not exist in isolation but rather must work in partnership with others, with both professionals and communities, to identify and solve health issues. The symbiotic impact of this co-operation will see an improvement in the health outcomes of local populations, an enhancement and respect for our professional roles.

If re-elected I will promote the PASS benevolent charity & to reach out to more people who need our help. I would be delighted if you would vote for me in the forthcoming elections to the Pharmacy Forum Board.

Career Profile

I started my career in 1993 as a community pharmacist. I then moved into the area of GP practice pharmacy and have worked in this sector since 1996 initially as one of the first practice pharmacists in NI and then working within the NI Health and Social Care Board to provide prescribing support to both medical and non medical prescribers in primary care. Currently, I am the Professional Head of Pharmacy for GP Federations in Northern Ireland and have been responsible for the implementation of the regional Practice Based Pharmacist Project since 2016. I bring all of this experience to the future development of the Pharmacist’s role, particularly in primary care.

Manifesto

I believe that there continues to be tremendous potential for Pharmacists to make a difference to patient care by using their unique skillset to optimise the use of medicines. Increasingly Pharmacists are taking their place within the multidisciplinary healthcare team and are demonstrating the benefits that their clinical and pharmaceutical knowledge can bring to patients and colleagues. Whilst there has been significant development in this regard recently in general practice, there is considerable scope to build upon the collaborative working that has already been established across each of the pharmacy sectors so that we can provide the necessary pharmaceutical expertise and support to patients as it is required.
My aim, through the work of the Pharmacy Forum Board, would be to increase awareness of the pharmacist’s role within the multidisciplinary team thereby providing pharmacists with the opportunity to use the full range of their skills to the greatest extent. In addition, I am committed to finding ways to encourage and support collaborative working within our own profession and with our healthcare colleagues.

Career Profile

Since my registration with the PSNI in 2013, I have worked as a community pharmacist, operating as a Pharmacist Store manager in various locations across NI. Starting with a small pharmacy in Lisburn, I have managed pharmacies in Dungannon, Cookstown and Banbridge as well. In my 6 years post qualification I have been exposed to most of the challenges and opportunities we face as community pharmacists today. I have been involved in two separate BCPP projects. I have been trained in and led flu vaccination and travel health services. I have provided substitution treatment services for opioid users. I have tutored pre registration pharmacists, trainee pharmacy technicians, Accuracy checking technicians and pharmacy advisors. I’ve also worked extensively in pharmacies which provide medication to care homes. I have worked in both large volume health centre pharmacies and also in small, high street pharmacies – I’ve gained a wide perspective of the profession within Northern Ireland. I know how life changing the work we carry out can be, and I understand first hand the frustrations we carry as a profession. I have been lucky enough to manage some great healthcare teams along the way and have been involved with terrific voluntary sector community organisations and local council groups all seeking to improve healthcare outcome for a diversifying and aging population.

Manifesto

As a profession we want to see people live longer, happier, healthier lives. As pharmacists, we want to apply the skills we’ve developed in a way that makes the most impact on our patients. We want to be at the heart of care for our patients; delivering new and pioneering services; transforming our operating platforms and making the patient the centre of everything we do. The forum has a strategy that has correctly identified many of the issues that currently limit/inhibit our ability to maximise the care we can provide. For me, a lot of it can boil down to efficiency, collaboration and communication. We are seeing huge technological advances within our sector and right now it feels like the rate of change over the next few years is going to be truly transformative for the profession – we need to utilize this to simplify our operating models and create more time to spend with patients.

The role profile of a pharmacist has greatly diversified over the last three years; it is now commonplace to have a pharmacist working within a Doctor’s surgery – great to see! It is critical that we properly shape how our multi disciplinary teams collaborate, utilize pharmacists in the best way, streamline care provision in the community and transfer care between secondary and primary care settings. As a profession we occupy a unique space – we are in the best position to improve patient outcomes for those chronically ill; we need to be at the forefront of chronic illness care within primary care multi disciplinary teams.

As a pharmacist, I always want improved communication; whether that be how we communicate to each other, how we plan and manage change within the profession and inform our members or even how we engage with the public!

I would utilize a position as an elected member to expedite change, help pharmacists communicate better with each other as well as other health care professionals and cement a more meaningful position within primary and secondary care MDTs!

VOTE NOW

Voting is now open and will close on Friday 26th April 2019 at 5pm.  You have four votes.

Don’t miss this opportunity to drive positive change and ensure that your leadership body is both representative and responsive.

This is your profession, your leadership body and your decision.

It’s time to make your choice.

VOTE NOW