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Kirandeep Bahra

Pharmacy MPharm, PG Diploma in Secondary Care

  • Locality Lead Pharmacist at Leeds GP Confederation
  • Main role is to support eight GP practices in demonstrating improvements in patient care
  • Chose to study at the University of Bradford due to the integrated pre-registration placements which complemented academic learning
Kirandeep Bahra, MPharm Pharmacy and PG Diploma in Secondary Care graduate

Choosing my sector

"I currently work as a Locality Lead Pharmacist for the Leeds GP Confederation and have been in my current role for the last two years. My first three years post qualification, were spent in hospital pharmacy where I gained valuable experience as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Care.

"Following this, I knew that Primary Care Pharmacy, which includes working in GP practices, was an area of pharmacy that was of interest to me. With this being a fairly new ‘non-traditional’ sector of pharmacy, I decided that I wanted to broaden my experience and took on this role so that I could really help demonstrate the value of pharmacists in primary care. At the time I applied for this role, I really felt that primary care was a growing sector which was rewarding and ensured that I could make a direct difference to patients’ lives."

Current role

"Within my role, I support a primary care network which comprises of eight GP practices. My main role is to support these practices in demonstrating improvements in patient care which can be done in various ways. I carry out face-to-face and telephone medication review clinics to help support cost-effective prescribing. I am also a non-medical prescriber.

"Due to COVID-19, face-to-face reviews have currently been stopped, however this pandemic has given me an opportunity to learn new skills, such as how to conduct video consultations with patients. As well as this, I also carry out project work which is tailored to the needs of the local population. For example, anticoagulating patients who have Atrial Fibrillation.

"I also deal with day-to-day queries from practices and I'm taking on a new role as a pre-registration tutor this year. A big part of my role is supporting Primary Care Networks. I have helped to develop work streams for newly recruited PCN pharmacists and also support with their training and development once they are in role.

"To help support me in my current role, I am studying the CPPE Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway."

What really attracted me to the University of Bradford was the integrated pre-registration placements. I feel these complemented the academic learning and really prepared me for becoming a pharmacist.

Experience at Bradford

"I studied MPharm Pharmacy (5 year sandwich course) at the University of Bradford. I decided to study here as Bradford was the only university offering the sandwich course and therefore was unique compared to other universities across the country.

"Having completed a successful undergraduate degree, I decided to also study a Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Care (part-time) whilst I was working as a Clinical Pharmacist for an NHS Trust. Being a newly qualified pharmacist, I wanted to further supplement my clinical knowledge by undertaking further studies which would in turn, support me in my role as a hospital pharmacist at the time.

"I was always interested in postgraduate study and felt that having this extra education would help me to achieve my career aspirations. For me, clinical progression and professional development is important, and I feel that this has helped me get to where I am today.

"I would recommend that current students aim high and consider studying a postgraduate qualification. Having a postgraduate qualification has really helped equip me with the knowledge and clinical skills to make a difference in the real world."

One piece of advice that I would give to pharmacy students looking for jobs after qualification is to make sure that they thoroughly research the company, organisation or NHS trust that they are looking to work for.

Finding work

"Prior to qualifying, I had quite a lot of experience in community pharmacy, having worked in one whilst studying for my undergraduate degree. During the last six months of my pre-registration year I worked in hospital pharmacy, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Those six months showed me that I wanted to work in this sector of pharmacy to enable me to develop upon my clinical skills and knowledge.

"Once I had qualified, I was successful in obtaining a role as a Clinical Pharmacist at a local hospital where I worked for three years. I was quite lucky that this was the first job I had applied for and I was successful; therefore I didn’t have any difficulty in finding work once I had graduated and qualified.

"The NHS is constantly changing and so it is important to be aware of how this may affect pharmacy and pharmacy roles in the future, such as the creation of primary care networks. There is a lot more cross sector and matrix working in pharmacy now."