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

Wednesday, August 08, 2018: Profile: Jonathan Burton MBE

Jonathan Burton a community pharmacist running the Right Medicine Pharmacy at the University of Stirling is awarded an MBE for services to Healthcare.
 
This article appears in the current issue of Scottish Pharmacist
 
“I am obviously delighted. You feel proud more than anything else but, as a health professional, you do also feel a little bit of guilt and embarrassment because you know there are so many others who also work really hard for their patients and work hard for each other. So, you very much want to enjoy the moment, but you know you are accepting it on behalf of your colleagues as well. It is fantastic to be recognised for the work I am fortunate to love doing.
 
Becoming a pharmacist was reasonably straightforward from me. I liked science at school and was generally interested in health but didn't have any particular desire to be a doctor. My dad was a plumber and he did a lot of work for pharmacist clients and I managed to get a bit of work experience with them and it really just went from there.
 
I met Noel Wicks through the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA). We work closely together. I was president for a couple of years while Noel did the public relations. He later went on to president. We were told that a small pharmacy in Scotland run by a brother and sister pharmacist was going to go on the market. We joked about it but knew it was far too early in our careers. But, because we were young and foolish and didn't really have any hang-ups about this sort of thing, we decided to drive up to Scotland and just pretend that we were going to buy a business. It would be good fun to go through the motions. Then it became a little more real than that. We managed to convince a bank to give us a bit of money – looking back they must have been absolutely mad – and, to cut a long story short, we ended up upping sticks and moving to Scotland and buying a small pharmacy serving Stirling University, and we just grew the business from there. That was the year 2000 when we bought it. We’d had no links whatsoever with Scotland until then. Now it is very much our home.
 
In our university community we see all types of patients from new-borns to the elderly, but we do see a different mix to your average pharmacy. Obviously, while we support the whole breadth of the staff, the fact that we have a large undergraduate and postgraduate population on campus for the majority of the year means that our population is skewed towards 17 to 25-year-old young adults.
 
On the surface you would think that this population would generally be healthy and while they generally are, there is still a lot of chronic illness, infections, dermatology issues and mental ill-health. A lot of people are away from home for the first time and it’s the first opportunity they've had to manage their own health and how they access healthcare services, so it is an excellent opportunity to teach people how to use the health service and community pharmacy properly. It is easy to assume that because they are well educated and their well-read that they can find their way through those things and that's not entirely the case because they do need help through a bit of a guide and the need advice they need somebody to bounce people off just like any other patient. They are a fantastic patient population to work.
 
Having been Vice Chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board, then stepped off and then back on again, I have to say it is the things away from the committee table that I enjoy the most. We have an active RPS Local programme with local meetings at health board level around clinical matters, professional development and, of course, revalidation. It's important to support the great team we have in Scotland and the work everyone does talking to MSPs, ministers and fellow health people about pharmacist capabilities and making sure that were not forgotten about, that the awareness is raised about the hard work that we do across all sectors where we work.
 
By the time people read this it will be back to business as usual. I guess this kind of recognition means you get a little burst of publicity and it raises awareness. I am very fortunate to be involved in the RPS and Community Pharmacy Scotland. I already feel that I already have a voice so I don't particularly crave any more of that, but if this means that I get listened to a little more, I’ll take advantage of that.
 
What the MBE has done is that it has given me a chance to say quite a few thank yous to people who have helped me along the way, and to highlight the people around me who have made it possible for me to just get on with my career and develop my clinical practice.”