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How a letter to GPs led to an award-winning collaboration

"There were lots of stumbling blocks, but we very much focused on the goal."
"There were lots of stumbling blocks, but we very much focused on the goal."

A letter to a local GP practice led Sudhir Sehrawat on a path to C+D's 'Best of the Best' shortlist

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the C+D Awards, we have created a special category for 2017 – and are giving you the chance to pick the winner. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be looking back at each of the past recipients of the coveted Community Pharmacist of the Year trophy. Readers will then be given the chance to vote for their favourite entry, with the winner announced at the C+D Awards ceremony at Celtic Manor in Wales on July 12.

This week it's the turn of Sudhir Sehrawat, who scooped the award in 2011.

What made him a winner?

As community pharmacist at Insync Healthcare Pharmacy in Cardiff, Mr Sehrawat worked in close partnership with his local GP surgery to provide a wide range of innovative medicines management services in his community. His focus was particularly on medicines reconciliation for patients newly discharged from secondary care, with GPs commissioning services directly from the pharmacy.

The partnership began when Mr Sehrawat wrote a letter to the practice about a patient’s medications. That initial contact led to Mr Sehrawat developing prescribing policies with the practice, and updating patients' medication following discharge from hospital.

The C+D Award win followed a period of expansion for the pharmacy business, with an increase in staff accompanied by prescription figures rocketing 200% between 2008 and the end of 2010.

In the words of the C+D Awards judges: "At a time when relationship-building is crucial within the NHS, Sudhir has done an amazing job to integrate primary and secondary care by developing policies and medicines management services for the benefit of GPs, patients and pharmacy."

Mr Sehrawat's top tip:

"There were lots of stumbling blocks and lots of challenges, but we very much focused on the goal,” he said a year after his C+D Award win. “A lot of it was around understanding: communicating effectively to other organisations about what we were trying to do and integrating the services with the medical centre."

What’s he up to now?

Mr Sehrawat left Insync in 2015 and bought two pharmacies of his own, operating under the Clifton Pharmacy name. The branches are in very different locations – one is a high street store in central Cardiff and the other is located within the local hospital.

He’s just completed an “amazing refit” of the city centre store, and has begun to work closely with Cardiff University to provide work placements for second and third year pharmacy students. These students have been doing supervised patient health clinics, where they record blood pressure and BMI, as well as provide healthcare advice.

The hospital pharmacy is also lined up for a refit, as soon as the team is able to relocate to bigger premises within the site. “We hope to do more work with the university there,” says Mr Sehrawat. “We’ll be working with district nurses, a GP practice and a sexual health clinic.”

He’s happy to have “two completely different models of business – one very much on the high street, the other on a very clinical side”.

In addition to the new pharmacies, Mr Sehrawat was elected onto the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Welsh pharmacy board last year. “I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself involved with,” he admits. “But it’s been a good insight into how the profession as a whole can work together.”

He’s even appeared on BBC One’s Wales Today programme “for about 15 seconds, much to the delight of my children”, to talk about how pharmacists can help the NHS with winter pressures.

Read our profile of C+D's Best of the Best 2013 C+D Award-winner Laura Rowley here 

Did you enter the C+D Awards this year?
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