Darshan Negandhi is the lead clinical pharmacist at Central Medical Centre. Darshan is dedicated to empowering everyone to manage their conditions and lead healthier, happier lives.
What does a Primary Care Network pharmacist do?
As a pharmacist working in a GP Practice, we are ensuring patients are getting the right medication by the right route. We advise people on how to best manage their conditions and about any possible side effects of their medication. The three Es are important – Education, Empowerment and Engagement. It is through these that we can make the biggest impact to our communities on keeping them well at home.
What difference have you made to the lives of Morden residents?
I care for someone who is housebound coping with severe arthritis and failing eyesight. She lives alone after her husband passed away and she was feeling isolated as she has no family nearby. I met her as she was getting breathless, and her arms and legs were hurting, and she was having difficulty reading the small print on medication. We drew up a plan on improving her confidence to get out and active and start gardening which she enjoyed. We arranged for a larger font size on the medication labels so she could take her medication in the best way for her treatment. We spoke to our social prescriber and living well coordinator who got in touch with community organisations so she could meet likeminded friends. I was proud to be part of improving her life seeing her gain confidence and reducing her isolation.
I’ve also recently support someone with diabetes that could be better controlled and who was most concerned about their eyesight because they wanted to see and play with their grandchildren. It was a revelation to them to discover that controlling diabetes could improve their eyesight. They reduced their risk of worsening eyesight by watching their blood sugar and taking exercise and now can play with their grandchildren happily.
A resident with asthma had been admitted to hospital a number of times in the year and we met and found their inhaler technique could be improved. As a result, they returned to normal activities like walking the dog easily without getting breathless which made a massive impact on their quality of life and could do the things that they want to do without their lungs holding them back.
What are you doing to help people through the winter?
One of the things we are looking at is to offer everyone at the GP practice who is eligible their COVID-19 and flu jabs and offer it there and then if possible. We are also using the opportunity to speak to people about keeping warm and well this winter especially those who are frail elderly or vulnerable who may be facing challenges with the cost of living. We then put them in touch with our social prescriber or Merton Age UK Living Well co-ordinator who can help guide them to the support they need in the area.
What do you most love about your job?
I love seeing the impact I can have on the people I care for – after listening and addressing their concerns and then seeing how they get confidence in themselves. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with people, so they know more about their treatments and medication and manage their conditions well. It can mean they don’t need to travel to hospital for appointments with easier care in the community. It is a Morden practice team effort, and we all work together with other pharmacists, paramedics and physician associates. You name it we have such an array of diverse expertise here!
How did you become a pharmacist?
My career spans over 18 years. I started off at St George’s where I did my pre-registration training year. After that I moved to the Royal Marsden Hospital as a head and neck oncology pharmacist and as a palliative care pharmacist. I then became a community pharmacist for 12 years in South East London. I felt the desire to do more for my community and wanted to work in a GP Practice so joined the team in Morden.