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C+D Award winner to C+D Award judge: What I’m looking for in this year’s entries

Pharmacists, pre-regs and pharmacy staff, particularly those who were especially compassionate in the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, who would otherwise have been overlooked will be at the top of my list, says C+D Awards 2021 judge Yasmine Haq.

Winning a C+D award was never a goal for me. Everything that I did to be nominated for the award I did solely because of my character. Conducting daily tasks, interacting with colleagues and patients were all second nature to me. That is what makes the award much more fitting – even if I do say so myself.

As pharmacists, we have been blessed with the opportunity to build relationships with patients on a more relatable, understanding level. We can listen to their concerns, as well as their successes, without the time constraints seen in other healthcare settings.

This allows us to provide personalised care, which I did throughout my time as a pre- and provisionally registered pharmacist and eagerly continue to do. For instance, throughout my pre-reg year, I helped a patient lose weight and reduce their medication regimen sequentially and assisted my fellow counter assistant in becoming more mobile. I did this by undertaking simple physiotherapy exercises with her daily. We did the movements together, giving us a well-needed giggle after a long, usually testing, day in our small seaside community store.

This successfully allowed the team, and most importantly the assistant, to tackle the ever-straining pandemic year with more vitality. I am proud to say there were many other success stories from my patient encounters throughout 2020 – all ultimately utilising the knowledge I had learned over the years in and outside of the classroom.

This is what I will be personally looking for as a judge this year. I want to be reminded of the humanity surrounding our roles. I would like to see genuine efforts to provide care and compassion to aid those around us while building solid relations with colleagues and a love for the community.

Anyone can do the other tasks that led to me winning the award, such as achieving extra qualifications in injection site training, phlebotomy and ear care. Along with the more monotonous tasks such as hitting new medicines service targets, creating new systems in the store to overcome issues and to utilise the ever-growing technology community pharmacy is adopting. Don’t get me wrong, these are very much important, but achievable by all pre-regs out there.

Instead, I would like to see the heart-warming, feel-good, on-the-spot achievements that are sometimes overlooked because they are deemed ‘just part of our job’. It doesn’t have to be all about the business success and figures – I am not here for that. We need some goodness out of the last year and I know so many deserving pharmacists, pre-regs and pharmacy staff that have showed this.

Let’s hear the positive aspects about the past year in community, and not the misfortunes that seem to prevail in the headlines.

Listen to Ms Haq's unconventional route into pharmacy in the below 'A coffee with...' podcast.


Yasmine Haq is a community pharmacist at Knights Pharmacy. She won Pre-registration Graduate of the Year at the C+D Awards 2020 and will be part of the panel of judges for this year’s awards


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