I have been working in the NHS since 1979 when I qualified as a pharmacist in Cardiff. My earliest memory of being a pharmacist was accompanying medical teams looking after chronically sick ex-coal miners in the Welsh valleys. This was an important influence on my passion to provide healthcare in the heart of the community.
I have worked in various community pharmacies small and large. I have also worked in the Royal Eye Unit at Kingston Hospital and the specialist mental health Long Grove Hospital in Epsom. My wife and I took over C Goode Pharmacy in 1989 and this year we shall be celebrating our thirtieth year. It also coincides with the pharmacy being in the heart of Twickenham for 250 years.
We have developed a lot of public health services, such as smoking cessation, alcohol screening, substance misuse services, emergency contraception and sexual health screening services for young people, and cardiovascular health checks. We also provide flu vaccinations and supply community equipment in conjunction with the local borough.
I am most proud of the culture of service I have created in my pharmacy. My biggest satisfaction has been developing our friendly, compassionate and caring pharmacy in the heart of Twickenham. The gratitude and appreciation from people who use the pharmacy is priceless. I would recommend this career to anyone, it is the most satisfying of feelings that you have helped someone.
It is always satisfying to visit vulnerable or housebound patients in their own homes, to ensure that all their pharmacy needs are met and that their social environment is adequate to reduce hospital attendances and doctors’ visits.
I believe this could also help the growing problem of loneliness in the elderly and vulnerable patients.
Here’s to another 250 years!