Western Cape Pharmacist Gets Top Award
Pharmacists play a major role in ensuring that patients receive the correct medication prescribed by a doctor for their health and wellbeing. They must use their extensive knowledge of drug dosage, regulation, allergens and chemical reactions for every individual prescription.
Caroline (Carrie) de Beer scooped a Public Institutional Pharmacist of the Year Award at the 2016 South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) National Pioneer Pharmacy Awards event, which was held at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) on Saturday 22 October 2016. This was the second national awards conference by the Pharmacy Council of South Africa.
The SAPC National Pioneer Pharmacy Awards event celebrates and recognises pharmacy professionals and facilities from the community, public/private institutional industry, academic and other sectors who are leading the way in the provision of quality pharmaceutical services.
Carrie started working as a Pharmacist Supervisor at Kleinvlei Community Day Centre (CDC) in 2012 when their pharmacy was just a tiny little storeroom. She says it was very different back then.
The pharmacy has since been renovated and is now easily accessible to patients. It has had a positive impact on staff and has greatly boosted their morale. They are more organised and work more efficiently. Patient flow has grown and the waiting times have been reduced greatly with good workflow in the pharmacy. Carrie says they are part of the multi-disciplinary team, which includes nurses, doctors, prescribers and the HOD. “Team work is very important to me,” she says.
She started a Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee (TPC), which meets regularly to discuss the latest developments and reporting, etc. Part of the service is improving access to medication for patients. The pharmacy integrated with the rest of the units within the facility. There used to be a lot of congestion in the pharmacy. “We changed the system for the collection of folders and we are always willing to change and try new systems.”
Carrie attributes all the success to Johan van Niekerk, Pharmaceutical Services Manager for Khayelitsha and Eastern Substructure. “We have a very good up line,” she says. Van Niekerk is a very strong leader. He provides great support to facilities, she adds.
Kleinvlei Community Day Centre (CDC) has over 7 000 patients that are chronic stable patients with chronic diseases of lifestyle. Chronic Dispensing Unit (CDU) packs to offsites closer to patients’ homes within the community.
The pharmacy profession is committed to high standards of competence, professionalism and co-operation with other healthcare personnel in order to serve the interests of the patient and the community.
Western Cape Government Health and University of the Western Cape (UWC) have a service level agreement where the university students go into facilities a few times a year and spend a week to do a Service Learning in Pharmacy (SLiP). “We train students in the pharmacy, but I started taking them to other areas within the facility, such as the clubroom, etc. They could then job shadow a Clinical Nursing Practitioner (CNP). They gained clinical experience, which had a very positive impact.”
The SLiP was then expanded to include the rest of the areas like TB, Antenatal, etc. The students then took the feedback to the university about this good working programme, which was very structured and intensive. This helped them gain first-hand working experience. UWC then invited Carrie to share with them about the success of the programme. This is when she formed good relations with the lecturers and Professors at UWC for positive interaction.
Professor Angeni Bheekie, Pharmacology at UWC, nominated her for the award.
“It is very humbling,” she says. “I come to work and do my job to the best of my ability. The thought of someone electing me is inspiring. This has been possible not only due to the support of the pharmacy staff but also the other facility staff members and Sister Jonkers, the Facility Manager. Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team has enabled me to achieve this.”
Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, Western Cape Minister of Health, had this to say about the award, “I am exceptionally proud of Ms de Beer’s achievement. Our hardworking staff are what makes the health system tick. Without them we cannot provide the services we do to the people of the Western Cape. It is the exceptional work of staff like Caroline that allows to continuously improve the experience of patients at our facilities.’
Principal Communications Officer: District Health Services & Programmes Western Cape Government: Health
Tel: 021 360 4702