This year, the Midcounties Co-operative Pharmacy was named in the Sunday Times top employers' list and filled managerial posts across all of its 49 pharmacies. So what is it really like to work for the network? C+D speaks to Jenny Gnosill (pictured), pharmacy manager at the Pelsall Village branch, near Walsall, to find out.
Usually my alarm goes off at 7am in the morning, and then I need to have my first cup of tea. I'm lucky that I only live 10 minutes' walk away from the pharmacy where I work, so usually I have a leisurely routine and arrive at work by 8.15am.
When I arrive, I sign in as responsible pharmacist and see if any emails have come in overnight. Soon afterwards, the team starts to arrive and we have a chat and a cup of tea together before we open up at 9am.
Often there's already a queue of people outside clutching prescriptions at that time because we're in a health centre, so the doctors start seeing people at 8.30am. I spend the morning dispensing and usually will get a couple of calls from people with queries about their medicines.
At about 2pm, I take a short lunch break – I usually get around 20 minutes. By that time, we've normally received a batch of prescriptions from the surgery and the staff have to get them made up ready for collection. We also have the MDS trays to do, so I look at those, and conduct MURs with patients. It takes me about an hour to catch up with any outstanding paperwork and, during the afternoon, I try to catch up with my emails again to see if anything has come through from head office or if there have been any drug recalls.
We finish at 6.30pm, so it can be quite a long day but some days go very quickly. If it's a nice evening, I'll walk back home as it gives me time to wind down."
Best thing about my job
"I've worked here for about 20 years so I've seen a lot of my customers coming in who you can remember as children and it's a very community feel. I enjoy being at the heart of that community."
Worst thing about my job
"Probably the long hours. I start before 9am and leave at 6.30pm so it's quite a long day, but they can go very quickly."