Dipak Nandha, Community Pharmacist, Richmond
“I’ve wanted to be a pharmacist ever since I was 10 years old, when a photograph of me was taken in a Willesden Green pharmacy. My career’s advisor tried to dissuade me but I graduated with a degree in pharmacy in 1980. In 1985, I acquired a pharmacy in west London, and in 2010, I moved to pastures new and acquired a pharmacy in Ham in Richmond upon Thames.
“As well being a Community Pharmacist, I have held several roles supporting Ealing Primary Care Trust, have been a member of Richmond CCG’s Medicines Optimisation Group and am an active member of the Kingston and Richmond Local Pharmaceutical Committee.
“Working as a pharmacist then was a wholly different experience to today. Back then, I was often compounding creams, lotions and mixtures in the dispensary, where a patient might see the pharmacist if they were lucky. Today, pharmacy is more patient-centred and more is on offer to support patients. What I do now was unthinkable back then. Today, I feel part of a fully integrated team who work together to create the best possible outcomes for patients.
“What I most enjoy from working closely with GPs, is striving to reduce health inequalities that exist in our locality. As a pharmacy, we provide a wide-range of healthcare services, including seasonal vaccinations, NHS Health Checks, chlamydia screening and treatments, and smoking cessation services.
“I recognise the NHS has continually widened my horizons and helped me fulfil my potential.
“One of my proudest moments was attaining an MSc in Community Pharmacy at Kings College, London in 1996. I was one of the first batch of eight pharmacists to be awarded this degree.”