Shivangee Maurya’s interview published in Clinical Pharmacy Congress Newsletter

1.                Can you give us a brief overview of your experience as a pharmacist? 

I qualified in 2016 so have been a pharmacist for 5 years and had quite a varied and exciting career so far. In July 2021, I took on the role of Clinical Services Pharmacist with Soar Beyond to further hone and refine my skills as well as really help other pharmacists to accelerate their careers in primary care. I wish I had known about Soar Beyond’s i2i Network and its suite of e-learning and implementation resources when starting out in general practice myself.

2.                When you started out in general practice, what were your main challenges?

I found there was often a lack of understanding about the roles of practice pharmacists and PCN pharmacists; what we could do competently and what we needed to be supported to grow and develop. In some cases, pharmacists were being underutilised for their expertise and, in other situations, they were asked to complete tasks outside their competence. Until I joined Soar Beyond, I had not realised that there was such a thing as the SMART platform to help PCNs and federations to mobilise their pharmacy workforce through competency mapping, KPI setting and so much more! Helping new pharmacists and practices set expectations and development plans at the outset is a real game-changer.

3.                How would the i2i Network have helped you as a PCN clinical pharmacist?

Honestly, I feel that accessing the FREE i2i Network should be an essential addition to any clinical pharmacist’s toolkit. It provides the pharmacist with insight into a therapy area bespoke for their role; this is nice and concise without overloading them with too much information, which is often the case with e-learning, where some of the information may not be relevant to the role. The Applied Learning webinars and on-demand content consolidate the e-learning and help bring the theory to life. The key element which differentiates the i2i programmes is the implementation resources. As GP pharmacists, it can often be difficult to get a project off the ground due to a lack of implementation resources. However, with the i2i programmes, you are provided with plenty of resources. For example, searches to help identify patients relevant to a therapy area, or consultation templates to help record information which can be coded into the clinical system. Whilst I was in practice, identifying the correct cohort of patients through building a search was very difficult and could take a lot of time. However, if all the resources are available at the click of a finger, it would be much easier to implement projects. Such resources are available through the i2i Network.

4.                What were the biggest challenges in your journey as a Senior/Lead PCN Pharmacist?

I was fortunate enough to be offered the position of being the lead pharmacist for our PCN after only a year or so, having covered 9 practices. Taking a leap into line management, leadership and service change is a big one for most pharmacists and one that we are not really supported with. I soon realised there were not really any resources, training programmes or tools out there to help support in leading a team to drive better patient outcomes. I genuinely feel proud that I am now shaping and helping to develop programmes like the i2i LEAD programme designed for people exactly like myself – practical and implementation-focussed.


5.                Now you know about Soar Beyond’s LEAD programme, how do you think this would have benefited you as a Senior/Lead PCN Pharmacist?


Often in practice you can have a great idea for a project. However, you are unsure where to start, what resources you need, how you would implement the project, how to convince others that it would be a great project, and so many other questions. The LEAD programme empowers the pharmacist to help diagnose a quality improvement (QI) problem, design a solution, deliver the project, and demonstrate the benefits that the project has led to. I think the practical resources and project focus make this programme unique in helping senior/lead PCN pharmacists plan QI or service change projects and go on to implement them.


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