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Part two: My journey from community pharmacy to the director of medicines in a PCN

In his second instalment of a series with C+D, award-winning pharmacist Mohammad M Rahman talks about his pharmacy career journey

My journey into leadership


I soon established myself as one of the key healthcare professionals in the GP and primary care network (PCN) footprint and became a senior healthcare professional in a leadership role. My leadership role involved transforming digital patient care and empowering patients through improved patient access. I also became the project lead of several innovative projects in our PCN and local integrated care boards (ICB) and the successful implementation of these projects ensured improved patient outcomes in the local areas. 


Read more: Part one: My journey from community pharmacist to the director of medicines in a PCN


As the project lead, I introduced the ‘Florence digital platform’ in the Sussex integrated care system (ICS) to help patients monitor blood pressure and medication usage remotely. Patient data is now supplied to clinicians through the platform to prioritise clinical cases, resulting in reduced patient waiting times requiring a review by a clinician.


And as the antibiotic stewardship lead, I linked the GP system to what was then called, Public Health England’s, guidelines to formulate guideline-dependent antibiotic prescribing. During prescribing, a system-generated alert flags up the PHE guidelines to assist clinicians in safely and appropriately prescribing antibiotics.


I also devised an integrated working model between community pharmacies and GP practices within a PCN. I developed a single point of contact for community pharmacies that is directly linked to the clinical pharmacy team and a prescriber in-house in GP surgeries to address the prescription query, clinical intervention, or short supply generated at community pharmacies. This reduced waiting times for prescription queries or clinical interventions from pharmacies to GP surgeries, and eventually helped improved patient care at the community pharmacy's forefront - reducing the telephone burden at GP receptions. This was particularly highlighted when I won the Pharmacist of the Year award 2023 at C+D and during my nomination for the General Practice Awards in 2023.



Becoming the director of medicines and chief pharmacist at a PCN


Today, I am the director of medicines and chief pharmacist in a PCN and I am committed to the transformation of the pharmacy workforce in PCNs and GPs. I am welcoming university students in my network to have a rotation to capture learning about GP practice’s pharmacy workforce and promoting the designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) agenda to collaborate with GP practices. Improved access, specialist healthcare services, digital transformation and empowerment and attainment of patient-centred care are some of the key patient outcomes that I achieved in my role at a PCN.


Read more: Artificial Intelligence, community pharmacy, parrots and perfume


I always believed that pharmacists and the pharmacy workforce, with appropriate training and development, can offer a degree of resolution to the workforce crisis in NHS primary care, and should always be considered pivotal in transforming patient outcomes.


My journey from community pharmacy to director of PCN is a tale of the cumulative outcome of a supportive work environment at community pharmacies and the mentorship and welcoming approach of GPs and the PCNs that I have worked for. It is not only the narrative of a dedicated academically and clinically-focused pharmacist, but it is also an example of the collaborative actions of assuring work ethos and mentorship of community pharmacy and general practice in primary care altogether.


Mohammad M Rahman is the director of medicines and chief pharmacist at Ashford Medical Partnership

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