MPSNI BSc Pharm DipClin Comm Pharmacy, MSc Interprofessional Health and Social Care

Catherine Devlin

Lead Pharmacist Homecare Medicines, Belfast HSCT

Homecare medicines is a specialist pharmacy service, where regular supplies of hospital prescribed medicines are delivered to patients at home. These services, which may include providing nurse training for patients at home, are provided by external providers. A large part of my role is managing the contracts and service level agreements with the homecare providers.

I always enjoyed sciences at school and my year head suggested I consider pharmacy. Our local pharmacist gave me a part-time job after school and he was probably my inspiration. Customers always wanted his advice (and to have a chat!) and he always seemed to do what he could to meet their needs. I have been in pharmacy for 22 years - 5 in community and 17 in hospital

I think a degree in pharmacy is an excellent platform to launch a range of careers. With a degree in pharmacy under your belt, you can choose to take your career in a variety of directions, whether that is at the coalface in primary care, or behind the scenes, for example, in procurement of medicines for a Trust. Being a pharmacist teaches you about taking a balanced approach; you have to weigh up the pros and cons, and the possible consequences when deciding what to do next. 

Finally, I think we need to look at how we recruit pharmacy technicians. Not many A-level students realise that they can achieve a graduate level salary by qualifying as a pharmacy technician, without the costs of attending university.