Success of pharmacist as partner

Offering a pharmacist a partnership has paid off for a community surgery in rural North Devon.

Delegates at the Dispensing Doctors’ Association conference in Bristol this month heard how four years ago Wallingbrook Health Centre offered a partnership position to a pharmacist.

Dr Diana Wielink, one of five GP partners at the practice, said it initially had problems recruiting a pharmacist.

The practice sounded out Karen Acott, who was working at North Devon PCT as an adviser.

Giving away a share in the business was a risk, but both agree that as a partner Ms Acott is more motivated than a salaried employee might be, and sufficiently empowered to drive change too.

Her work in chronic pain management, and also her expertise in epilepsy and schizophrenia, has been much appreciated, and not just in Devon either.

In October she was named pharmacy professional of the year at the PHARMAs for Pharmacy 2007 Awards for ‘her work in the daily operation of a primary care team and ensuring patients are better educated and more compliant about their medicines’.

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