Qualifying as a pharmacist twenty years ago, I would never have thought that I could be in such a privileged role helping people affected by cancer."
I do feel honoured that I can play a small part in somebody’s cancer journey and be able to provide information and support people affected by it.
After losing my Dad to lung cancer in March 2012 and then seeing the Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist role launch that summer, well I didn’t need to think twice about enrolling on the e-learning programme. I felt that if I could share any of my experiences, signpost other people to the support I had received, I could be another professional helping to make sure no one faces cancer alone. After completing bespoke training from Boots UK I am now a Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacist and an active member of the local Macmillan team in Warwickshire.
The BMIP role has opened up various opportunities to our customers. As no appointment is required, the BMIP is easily reached in store and available to offer help and refer to local Macmillan services. I also work closely with our in store Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisor (BMBA) and we frequently refer customers to each other to ensure the best possible support is offered to them.
In 2013, local Macmillan Professionals got together and went on to form Macmillan Voice for Warwickshire. The aim was to learn about each others’ roles and set up signposting/ referral pathways and opportunities to work closer as a team. Through these meetings I have acquired contacts within both the Macmillan Mobile Information and Support Service and frequently volunteer on their bus when in Warwickshire.
I have also influenced the Mobile Service to set up outside my store at the Maybird Centre, Stratford upon Avon – not just once but twice! Also through the Macmillan Voice group I have made contact with our local hospice, attending drop-in sessions for patients and our BMBA spreading some No7 sparkle at Carers Day.
The BMIP role is varied, can lead to different, exciting opportunities and to me is very, very rewarding. My BMIP role reinforces why I became a Pharmacist.
My quote from the current Partnership leaflet-
“I am committed to making a difference for people affected by cancer in my local community. I am now part of a team that is able to signpost patients, friends, families and carers to the right people to get the right support for their needs. Having those conversations and letting people know about the best services and professionals who are there to help them can make a real difference.