Getting through the tough times
In the latest in a series of articles showcasing young talent in community pharmacy, Adil Majeed says everything they buy at Trident Pharmacy in Wimbledon has increased in price by 25 per cent and something needs to change…
Where did you go to university and what year did you qualify as a pharmacist?
I studied at UCL School of Pharmacy and qualified in 2018.
What makes the pharmacy you work in so special to the local community?
Our pharmacy is a family business. Before myself, it was my mother and grandfather who supported the local community as pharmacists. We have well established relationships with our customers. They know us well.
We go out of our way to help our community – all of us at Trident Pharmacy; those who work in the pharmacy and our drivers – it’s a great team.
We know and look out for one another. The importance of the support we provide to the community was blatantly obvious during the height of the pandemic, when footfall increased by 300 per cent and our patients were extremely grateful that our doors remained open throughout.
We embrace any new service schemes which are being piloted to increase what we can offer our customers and to help alleviate pressure on local surgeries and hospitals.
We pride ourselves on working within an environment where both care and trust are key values for us, along with our commitment to be flexible and provide reassurance to those who are reliant on us.
Tell us a little about the area where you are based and the types of patients who come to you.
We support a wonderful community of mainly elderly patients, many who have lived in the area for over 30 years. It’s an affluent area, without many younger residents moving in.
We support the needs of an ageing customer base therefore our commitment to patient care for vulnerable customers is critical.
Give an example of how you and your pharmacy have gone the extra mile in the name of patient care.
As with most of us dedicated to community pharmacy, it’s difficult to think of one specific example. Our team within the pharmacy will always try to accommodate late and urgent requests.
Our drivers have great, supportive relationships with those they make deliveries to. Our reputation depends on the standard of service we provide and as we move to an increasingly digital world, our five-star reviews and high mystery shopper scores are something we are proud to have achieved and maintain.
What are your hopes for the future of your profession?
Firstly, that we continue to become more involved with offering clinical services. Smoking cessation and ear wax removal service being two recent examples that Trident have been involved with.
Historically, pharmacy has been a place where people simply obtained their medication. There is a definite need for us to become more involved in prescribing and medical consultancy as pressure on GPs and hospitals continues to rise.
Secondly that we continue to educate and upskill our teams. If I hadn’t become a pharmacist, I would be a teacher. I’m passionate about education, hence my involvement in developing the online support Pre Reg Master, a tool to support pharmacy students with their exam preparation.
I have found my interest in business management essential in my role and would recommend it as an essential skill to others.
What concerns do you have for the future of community pharmacy?
Rising costs are my greatest concern. Everything we buy has increased in price by approximately 25 per cent and we simply cannot pass this cost on to our customers. I can see community pharmacy businesses struggling financially unless there is recognition that there needs to be a change to funding.
Rates for locums are high, salary demands from staff are high and we are busier than ever, yet we are not receiving any more money to compensate.
The job we all do is tough, both mentally and physically. Our communities recognise our value, however this isn’t mirrored in government funding. Something needs to change.
Adil Majeed is an Alphega Pharmacy member.