I have been a qualified pharmacist for 32 years. I studied at Queen’s University Belfast and completed my pre-registration year in Boots, Coleraine. I continued into management with the company and moved to England and Scotland for six years. For family reasons, my wife and I returned to Northern Ireland and after two years working for independent pharmacies, we opened up community pharmacies in the North Antrim villages of Rasharkin and Dunloy.
Both our pharmacies are now an integral part of their local communities and as well as providing obvious healthcare benefits, we employ 29 people including five pharmacy undergraduates. Our pharmacists get the opportunity to promote and develop new services as they are introduced. We have close links with Ulster University and Queen’s University pharmacy departments. As a result of our endeavours, our pharmacies and pharmacists have been recognised in the NI Pharmacy Awards.
I love community pharmacy especially in the rural setting in which I live. I like the fact that I know 95% of the patients or customers who visit my pharmacy and the knowledge I have built up with them over the years helps me tailor the advice I give them. Our patients value that. In recent times, more services have been developed to deliver via community pharmacy. We always do our best to support and promote these to benefit our local community.