These commentaries by John Macgill represent his opinions only and not those of any Ettrickburn client.

Pharmacy technicians may become prescribers

Profile: Dr Norman Lannigan OBE

Profile: Jonathan Burton MBE

Profile: Clare Morrison MBE

Deep Dive Pharmacy

Mind the Gap - Diagnostic Skills for Pharamacists

Supporting Excellence - Alison Strath Interview

2018 Pharmacy Forum Agenda Launched

Which Referendum to Choose

Three Perspectives on Pharmacy and Mental Health

Pharmacy and the New GP Contract

Bordering on Problematic

Recognised by the Queen and her community

VACANCY Reporter/Researcher: Health and Care Policy in Scotland

Prescribing in Mental Illness – A Practice Pharmacist’s Perspective

What Matters to You? Communication in Pharmacy

Prescribing in Mental Illness – A Patient’s Perspective

Focusing the Vision: Dr Rose Marie Parr on the new strategy for Scottish pharmacy

All the things that could go wrong - looking ahead to the SNP conference

Ask Once, Get Help Fast? Pharmacy and Mental Health

Automation and Delegation in Pharmacy: Understanding the Moving Parts

Pharmacy First in Forth Valley One Year On

Initiatives Highlight Potential of Community Pharmacy

Trying to concentrate on the day job

Health and the Local Elections – a strange silence

The Pharmacist Will See You Now – The Growth of GP Pharmacy

Montgomery’s Review – Dr Brian Montgomery answers questions on access to new medicines in Scotland

An afternoon with SMC

Pharmacists at SMC

SMC – are drug firms voting with their feet?

Radical Surgery on the Horizon for Scotland’s NHS

The Future’s Bright – in General Practice

Community Pharmacy in a Changing Environment

Disclosing payments to doctors – has Sir Malcolm done the pharma industry a favour?

Health and Care in the First Minister’s Programme for Government

CMO: Scotland’s pharmacists “absolutely ideally placed” to practice Realistic Medicine

Profile: Maree Todd – MSP and Pharmacist

Scottish Parliament Health Committee Work Programme

Scotland’s new NHS – a Summer of Speculation

Scotland’s New Health Committee

Two million voices in Scotland – is integration the big opportunity to listen?

Medicines – levelling the playing field

Key appointment raises the bar for health & social care partnerships

What did our new MSPs do before?

SMC says no then NICE says yes – three times

SNP promises single formulary and a review of Scotland’s NHS

More Generous than the CDF – but less transparent

Comparison of Funds: New Medicines v Cancer Drugs

Bonfire of the Boards? SNP signals NHS Review

A tribute to five retiring MSPs

New Medicines Review - Health Committee sends findings to Government

Medicines New & Old in the Scottish Cancer Strategy

Great Ambitions, Slow Progress – New Models of Care in Scotland

Scottish Minsters Demand Up-Front Medicine Price Negotiation

Opportunity and Disappointment: MSPs Investigate New Medicines Access

Scottish NHS Strategy calls for 'Realistic Medicine'

The Scottish Model of Value for Medicines: Taking Everything into Consideration

When SMC Says No: An Access to Medicines Lottery

Reviewing the Review: Access to New Medicines in Scotland

A day of psephology and kidology

Insulting the Lifesavers

Worthy of Mention – Health and Science in the Honours List

News Silence from North of the Border

A Christmas PPRS Present from Pharma

Thursday, August 09, 2018: Profile: Dr Norman Lannigan OBE

Dr Norman Lannigan; Lately Head, Pharmacy and Prescribing Support Unit, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is awarded an OBE for services to Pharmaceutical Care and Medicines Management.
 
This article appears in the current issue of Scottish Pharmacist
 
"My wife gave me the letter which I assumed was from the taxman. When I read it I was completely and utterly gobsmacked. Then, I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody for several weeks under pain of death, which was quite difficult!
 
After graduating from Strathclyde, I spent my pre-registration year in the south of Glasgow before being tempted back to do a PhD in pharmaceutical analytical chemistry. But my pre-reg year had already convinced me that my future was in practice rather than research. Initially I went into hospital using my analytical skills in quality assurance, which included quality control of products that were being made in pharmacy. I was appointed Quality Assurance pharmacist for the then Argyll and Clyde health board based in Inverclyde Royal Hospital before moving back to Glasgow to the Southern General Hospital.
 
One of the big changes in my life was to then move to Tayside to work for Bill Scott who was about to move on from being Chief Administrative Pharmaceutical Officer – the Capo. He gave me my first management job as Chief Pharmacist for Perth and Kinross, which I combined with being a clinical pharmacist. It was here, amongst a small team of great people, that I learnt what clinical pharmacy could really do, how clinical pharmacy works within a multidisciplinary team to deliver for patients and, importantly, how pharmacy technicians can take on much more responsibility and, at the same time, free up pharmacists to do more clinical roles.
 
From Perth I went to the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh where, thanks to various reorganisations, I ended up being responsible for pharmacy across the Acute Division in Lothian, with the job of uniting pharmacy across Edinburgh Royal infirmary, the Western General and the Sick Children's Hospital.
 
I am quite proud that, along the way, a couple of initiatives I helped set up are still going strong. While I was still in Tayside in 1990, I was given the national responsibility for leading a group which developed the National Hospital Pharmacy Vocational Training Scheme, which now underpins Scotland’s ambitions of both a foundation period of practice leading to accreditation and training for advanced practice. I still remember the day immediately after I was registered, working as a community pharmacist and being left in sole charge. I thought then, and do to this day, that that wasn't right and there needs to be much more supportive and staged development of practitioners. That’s even more important now with the extend roles of community pharmacy. Another initiative that is still going strong is the Centre for Adverse Reactions to Drugs, where I successfully made the business case for government to fund it what is effectively the Yellow Card centre for Scotland.
 
Looking back, there have been perhaps three themes to my working life, which continue now in semi-retirement with my involvement in projects for National Services Scotland and Strathclyde University.
 
One is about getting the best from pharmacy technicians. A second is about training and equipping pharmacists and technicians with the right skills throughout their careers. And a third is automation.
 
After 14 years in Edinburgh I was tempted to come back to Glasgow in 2007 to become the head of the Acute Division, joining, and eventually leading, a team driving ambitious plans to redesign pharmacy services. One of those ambitions was to bring in automation to allow pharmacy technicians to maximise their skills in medicines management, so pharmacists can focus on their clinical roles. We ended up establishing the world's largest robotic pharmacy service in Glasgow. That triggered a wider interest in robotics and I continue to be involved with the Strathclyde University team evaluating the community pharmacy automation pilot sites, asking how automation affects the workload and working lives of pharmacy teams.
 
From my first day in Tayside to the day last year when I retired from the Director role in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, I have worked with some very capable people and it has been a pleasure to help them get the chance, and where necessary the money, to create the conditions in which talented people can blossom and flourish. I would hope that the OBE is seen as a recognition of all those talented people."