Since 2008, I have had the privilege of leading the Teacher Practitioner Pharmacist Team, who are based across the NI hospital Trusts and both Schools of Pharmacy (UU and QUB). In this role, I have focussed on developing the clinical pharmacy workforce for all settings by teaching undergraduate pharmacy students and pre-registration pharmacists, mentoring foundation trainee pharmacists as well as advanced practice
candidates, and beyond in order to build the workforce we need to improve patient-centred care here in Northern Ireland. As the experts in medicines, pharmacists have so much to offer and I wanted to be part of helping to shape the vital and rather unique role of the pharmacist in the healthcare team - whether we work in community, hospital or GP practice – we are the patient’s advocate with regard to safe medication use and this is a great responsibility.
I am proud to both be a pharmacist and to be working in healthcare in Northern Ireland. My family are from NI and I come from a short line of pharmacists - my late, great father, and now me. I worked in his pharmacy since I was a little girl and I developed a passion both for medicines but also for helping others. And even though I trained in Scotland and England, I wanted to come home and work back in my home country, close to friends and family.
In Northern Ireland, we are a small profession and this is one of our key strengths – we all know each other. This is enormously helpful as we can be nimble and react to health challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic with great agility, and be inclusive of the whole profession.