I’ve wanted to be a pharmacist ever since I was 10 years old, when a photograph of me was taken in a Willesden Green pharmacy. My careers advisor tried to dissuade me from studying pharmacy, but I graduated with a degree in pharmacy in 1980. In 1985 I acquired a pharmacy in west London and in 2010 I moved to pastures new and acquired a pharmacy in Ham in the borough of Richmond upon Thames. I have held several roles supporting Ealing Primary Care Trust, have been a member of Richmond CCG’s Medicines Optimisation Group and am an active member of the Kingston and Richmond Local Pharmaceutical Committee.
Working as a pharmacist when I first started was a wholly different experience to today. Back then, I was often compounding creams, lotions and mixtures in the dispensary, where a patient might see the pharmacist if they were lucky. Today, pharmacy is more patient-centred and a lot more is on offer to support patients. What I do now was unthinkable back then. Today, I feel myself as a fully integrated member of a wider team to bring the best possible outcomes for patients.
What I most enjoy is that working closely with GPs, we strive to reduce the health inequalities that exist in our locality. As a pharmacy, we provide a wide-range of healthcare services, including: seasonal vaccinations, NHS Health Checks, chlamydia screening and treatment, and smoking cessation.
As I look into the future, I feel the NHS has continually widened my horizon to fulfil all of my potential.
One of my proudest moments is when I attained an MSc in Community Pharmacy at Kings College, London in 1996. I was one of the first batch of eight pharmacists to be awarded this degree.