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  • Honest Opinions

    I'd appreciate any input from those who are registered. I have been commenting here for approx 1 month and reading to gauge current discussions/activities in the UK. My wife and I are considering relocating there. She is an EU national and living/working there will not be a problem for me. Other than a brief stent she did as an exchange student in Brighton, we are pretty much unfamiliar with England. We are considering this to be in close proximity to Spain where she is from (as there are no jobs there). We are both pharmacists in the US in different capacities and have different questions we would like answers to, to help guide our decision:

    Me: I have primarily a clinical background in Primary Care with a PharmD, post-doc residency and board certification. I do prescribe, order/interpret labs/take students and residents/disease state management/oversee drug utilization and prescribing variability based on our formulary.

    Questions:
    -I would like to continue in the clinical realm of pharmacy perhaps in this capacity or clinical program development. Any suggestions as to the best career path?
    -I probably will have to undergo the overseas assesement program, pre-reg training and test. I understand the process, although am not happy with it. But I'll take one for the team. Once I've completed this mess, can I rely on my strong clinical background for a position or will they simply look at "post UK registration experience"?
    -there are only 4 overseas assessment programs (all expensive). Any preference to the one in Brighton, Aberdeen, Sunderland (I can't remember where the other was...)?

    My wife:
    Pharmacy degree in Spain. Masters degree in pharmacology in US and has worked in US as both pharmacist and in research. Can get licensed there pretty easily. Unsure which direction she will go. Works in a similar capacity now as a locum for a large multi-site company.

    Simple questions about community pharmacy practice for her:
    -If you recieve vacation there, can you actually take it all at once or could you say use it to take long weekends throughout the year?
    -Does the system there (as it does in the US) require you to count out quantities when dispensing, place in a bottle, and place a label on each prescription? Or is a "package" dispensed (as it is in Spain)?
    -Can physicians phone-in prescriptions there?
    -Is the public generally respectfull or disrespectfull of your position?
    -Do you have to deal with billing issues or insurance issues?

    That's it for now, sorry for the long post. We're really just trying to sort things out now, so that we come to the best decision in terms of career, place, etc.

  • #2
    Re: Honest Opinions

    Originally posted by pharout View Post
    Simple questions about community pharmacy practice for her:
    -If you recieve vacation there, can you actually take it all at once or could you say use it to take long weekends throughout the year?.
    You can take it any way you want; as a full-time employee you are entitled to a minimum of 4 weeks' paid leave, plus statutory holidays (Good Friday, Xmas Day, etc...); you choose how you want to take the time off: lots of single "days off", or 2 x 2 weeks, or the whole lot in one go.
    Originally posted by pharout View Post
    -Does the system there (as it does in the US) require you to count out quantities when dispensing, place in a bottle, and place a label on each prescription? Or is a "package" dispensed (as it is in Spain)?
    Sorry, the British System requires you to count out qties into a bottle, or to cut foil strips and re-package them to supply the exact qty of tablets prescribed (there are exceptions, for calendar packs for instance, or where the stability of the medicine would be compromised by repackaging). But most pharmacies tend to have non-pharmacist staff to do the "counting out" and assembling of prescriptions, the pharmacist then conducts a final check before sealing a patient's meds into a bag.
    Originally posted by pharout View Post
    -Can physicians phone-in prescriptions there?
    In theory, they shouldn't, but... they sometimes try to. faxing ahead of scripts is more widespread. On the whole, this doesn't often lead to problems: most pharmacies develop good working relationships with GP surgeries and collaborate quite well.
    Originally posted by pharout View Post
    -Is the public generally respectfull or disrespectfull of your position?
    if you are good at your job and you gain their trust, then you can be very well respected...
    Originally posted by pharout View Post
    -Do you have to deal with billing issues or insurance issues?
    No, not to the extent of the US or even other EU countries like Belgium. 99,99% of all scripts I deal with are NHS ones, so they are all reimbursed according to the same rules, at prices published in the monthly "Drug Tariff"; there are some odditiies, and not every single drug/appliance is allowed to be prescribed under the NHS scheme, but that's another story. The UK system is cerainly less fastidious than other systems...

    I can't tell you much about hospital & industrial Phcy work as I don't have any experience in those areas, but I'm sure other members on this forum can fill you in!
    Good luck1
    Ze genuine Article, present & perfect!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Honest Opinions

      Originally posted by pharout View Post
      Me: I have primarily a clinical background in Primary Care with a PharmD, post-doc residency and board certification. I do prescribe, order/interpret labs/take students and residents/disease state management/oversee drug utilization and prescribing variability based on our formulary.

      Questions:
      -I would like to continue in the clinical realm of pharmacy perhaps in this capacity or clinical program development. Any suggestions as to the best career path?
      If you wish to continue with direct patient involvement no-idea - but I'll ask around - however as you will have gathered from this forum UK pharmacy is in a state of flux - there should be opportunities for example in setting up disease management systems for pharmacy. Not even sure if you'd need to register to go down the academic route. e.g.Community Pharmacy Medicines Management

      I probably will have to undergo the overseas assesement program, pre-reg training and test. I understand the process, although am not happy with it. But I'll take one for the team. Once I've completed this mess, can I rely on my strong clinical background for a position or will they simply look at "post UK registration experience"?
      -there are only 4 overseas assessment programs (all expensive). Any preference to the one in Brighton, Aberdeen, Sunderland (I can't remember where the other was...)?
      Scotland is more advanced in it's utilisation of pharmacy than is England - for that reason alone I'd suggest Aberdeen.

      Jeff

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Honest Opinions

        I can assure you that you will have few problems and be made very welcome.
        If you come to East Anglia and hunger for american friends, a few thousand here at local air base. We have americans at the bottom of our garden.

        Your wife can join the Lloyds european training scheme, lots of spanish pharmacists here so again no problems meeting compatriots. Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge is enormous as is teaching, they would love to have you.

        The one stumbling block is like likely to be housing which is double the cost in USA.

        Trust your wife did not spend too much on Black Friday!
        regards,

        johnep

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Honest Opinions

          Originally posted by johnep View Post
          I can assure you that you will have few problems and be made very welcome.
          If you come to East Anglia and hunger for american friends, a few thousand here at local air base. We have americans at the bottom of our garden.

          Your wife can join the Lloyds european training scheme, lots of spanish pharmacists here so again no problems meeting compatriots. Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge is enormous as is teaching, they would love to have you.

          The one stumbling block is like likely to be housing which is double the cost in USA.

          Trust your wife did not spend too much on Black Friday!
          regards,

          johnep
          Could you see if there are any lectureships going at Brighton Univ School of Pharmacy? Your background might be useful in training our new pharmacists. Failing that, other Uni's nearer to the main airports?

          As johnep says, the South of our country is very crowded, and property prices are very high. If you want to visit spain regularly you could site yourselves nearer to one of our main airports. Manchester, East Midlands etc to ensure quick a quick getaway?

          With reference to payee/payor you only have to check exemption status (most people have evidence of this when they come to the pharmacy) or collect the prescription charge (this is a fixed charge per drug on a prescription). Reading some US pharmacy sites a lot of time seems to be spent on the phone (on hold!) sorting out insurance. You will be glad to know there is none of that!
          47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
          2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
          How times change.

          If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Honest Opinions

            Originally posted by Pharmanaut View Post
            With reference to payee/payor you only have to check exemption status (most people have evidence of this when they come to the pharmacy) or collect the prescription charge (this is a fixed charge per drug on a prescription). Reading some US pharmacy sites a lot of time seems to be spent on the phone (on hold!) sorting out insurance. You will be glad to know there is none of that!
            I know I've already said it on this forum before, but I just can't get enough of it:
            Come to Wales and you don't even need to check exemption status, as everyone is entitled to free (Welsh) prescriptions!
            Ze genuine Article, present & perfect!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Honest Opinions

              Thank you to everyone for all of your information, it has been most helpful. Any thoughts on pharmacy in Ireland (Dublin), as this may also be an option for us? We are trying to decide by early next year so that we can get everything in order.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Honest Opinions

                We have been seeing adverts for jobs in Ireland for the first time in a generation. Previously Ireland exported Drs and Pharmacists.

                I used to travel there on business every other month in the 70s and 80s and loved it. Roads were empty outside Dublin. Houses cheaper than in UK.
                johnep

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Honest Opinions

                  Hi

                  Not sure about the property being cheaper than over the water--check out propertynews.com and do a search on semi-detached in Dublin suburbs such as Rathfarnham or Rush or Swords! Equivalent GB site is rightmove.co.uk, for comparison. Checking out prices of flats everywhere is my hobby (sad-eh?)

                  Lamzee

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Honest Opinions

                    How about Tallacht?
                    johnep

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Honest Opinions

                      Are you serious? Would you honestly suggest anyone live in that crime infested den? You wouldn't want the neighbours knowing you had pharmacy keys anyway!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Honest Opinions

                        Go on I used to drive through Tallacht on way to the wicklow mtns via the military rd and glendalough. tallacht must be a wealthy place judging by number of horses wandering around there.
                        johnep

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Honest Opinions

                          Pity their owners are all banged up.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Honest Opinions

                            Originally posted by pharout View Post
                            I'd appreciate any input from those who are registered. I have been commenting here for approx 1 month and reading to gauge current discussions/activities in the UK. My wife and I are considering relocating there. She is an EU national and living/working there will not be a problem for me. Other than a brief stent she did as an exchange student in Brighton, we are pretty much unfamiliar with England. We are considering this to be in close proximity to Spain where she is from (as there are no jobs there). We are both pharmacists in the US in different capacities and have different questions we would like answers to, to help guide our decision:

                            Me: I have primarily a clinical background in Primary Care with a PharmD, post-doc residency and board certification. I do prescribe, order/interpret labs/take students and residents/disease state management/oversee drug utilization and prescribing variability based on our formulary.

                            Questions:
                            -I would like to continue in the clinical realm of pharmacy perhaps in this capacity or clinical program development. Any suggestions as to the best career path?
                            -I probably will have to undergo the overseas assesement program, pre-reg training and test. I understand the process, although am not happy with it. But I'll take one for the team. Once I've completed this mess, can I rely on my strong clinical background for a position or will they simply look at "post UK registration experience"?
                            -there are only 4 overseas assessment programs (all expensive). Any preference to the one in Brighton, Aberdeen, Sunderland (I can't remember where the other was...)?

                            My wife:
                            Pharmacy degree in Spain. Masters degree in pharmacology in US and has worked in US as both pharmacist and in research. Can get licensed there pretty easily. Unsure which direction she will go. Works in a similar capacity now as a locum for a large multi-site company.

                            Simple questions about community pharmacy practice for her:
                            -If you recieve vacation there, can you actually take it all at once or could you say use it to take long weekends throughout the year?
                            -Does the system there (as it does in the US) require you to count out quantities when dispensing, place in a bottle, and place a label on each prescription? Or is a "package" dispensed (as it is in Spain)?
                            -Can physicians phone-in prescriptions there?
                            -Is the public generally respectfull or disrespectfull of your position?
                            -Do you have to deal with billing issues or insurance issues?

                            That's it for now, sorry for the long post. We're really just trying to sort things out now, so that we come to the best decision in terms of career, place, etc.
                            As far as actual jobs are concerned, have you looked at Pharmaceutical Journal Recruitment Portal

                            Good selection, and I would suggest that you could look at Primary Care. In this country, though this means working with GP's/Prescribing Advisors to sort out "most economical prescribing", best value etc.

                            Good luck!

                            Comment

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