This week clinical fellows Justin, Tahmina and Khola open the door to their fellowships at Bupa, NHS Digital and NHS Improvement, and encourage anyone interested in the fellowship scheme to apply.
Justin Hayde-West — Bupa
I am currently based at Bupa and work alongside two fellows from the National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow Scheme. Prior to the scheme I gained experience in various pharmacy specialities within secondary care. I am primarily a surgical specialist pharmacist although I have undertaken roles in clinical governance, critical care and most recently as an independent prescriber in pain. I also have a keen interest in education and currently also work for Robert Gordon University as part of their pharmacy postgraduate courses.
My days are focused on one of several agreed work streams including clinical governance, the EU Falsified Medicines Directive and digital health applications. Within these work streams my level of responsibility varies from providing support as a technical expert to both leading and managing the project. There are also many opportunities which have arisen to undertake specialist training such as strategy or project management.
The opportunity to work for a national organisation attracted us to the scheme. We are all hoping to gain an appreciation of the wider healthcare landscape, understand how to drive change and how to meet the challenges in the NHS, working directly with senior leaders.
Tahmina Rokib — NHS Digital
As part of the fellowship scheme I have joined the Digital Medicines team at NHS Digital, providing senior clinical support to a number of programmes of work. Like Justin, I also began my career in secondary care, although my specialist interest was in ortho-geriatrics. More recently I combined my desire to teach and expand my research portfolio as a senior lecturer at Sunderland School of Pharmacy and maintaining clinical practice in primary care.
The two main programmes of work that I am involved with includes digitisation of prescribing and dispensing in primary care and enabling integration of pharmacy services across all care settings. I am also the clinical liaison for the Data Service Platform programme which aims to develop a single, secure platform for data entry and access to and from NHS Digital.
I came across the scheme opportunistically through Twitter, whilst Justin and Khola learnt of the scheme through their chief pharmacists. As we read more it became clear that this was an amazing opportunity with the potential to learn many new skills, meet some incredible role models and improve our understanding of how national health initiatives and policies are created. Despite being in its infancy, the scheme and the fellowship roles are fast receiving recognition from leaders in healthcare with the number of places and host organisations increasing year on year.
We have found that each of the nine host organisations is more complex than they appear from the outside. We are still encountering new teams and new faces despite being several months in! During this short space of time we have had the opportunity to meet an array of influential and inspirational individuals and have been involved in a range of exciting initiatives. For example, at NHS Digital I have been directly involved in the pilot phase of the Electronic Prescription Service in Integrated Urgent Care.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect and I feel I have only scratched the surface in terms of what this year has to offer — I think you need to be open minded and just run with it!
Khola Khan — NHS Improvement
I have extensive background and knowledge of working in secondary care with experience in areas of medication safety and governance, technical services and paediatric medicine. Similar to my peers, I have a keen interest in developing future pharmacists and pharmaceutical processes and have taken opportunities to work with undergraduate and pre-registration pharmacists. I joined NHS Improvement this year as their first clinical pharmacy fellow working primarily on the implementation of the Carter Review.
My role this year is to aid the team at NHS Improvement to further progress the improving value agenda. My primary focus will be the delivery of a national pharmacy aseptic services review, that will help to build an evidence base to support aseptic units develop sustainable, resilient and future-ready operating models, and working on the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme.
It’s an excellent opportunity to work on projects across organisational boundaries that have impact on a national scale and work with current and future leaders in the profession.
Applications for the 2018-2019 intake of the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme close on 9 April 2018.
More information about the scheme can be found here.