A career in clinical pharmacy – an insight

Lucy HedleyLucy Hedley, Senior Clinical Pharmacist HIV & Infectious Diseases at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, discusses her career in clinical pharmacy and her professional journey so far.


I am currently working as a senior clinical pharmacist specialising in HIV, sexual health, infectious diseases and tropical medicine, at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UCLH.

During university I wanted to focus on a clinical career in hospital, however I had lots of areas that interested me. Throughout my training year in Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust I was exposed to a variety of specialties during my clinical rotations, in addition to rotations in technical services, patient services and medicines information. Upon qualifying I worked as a both a bank pharmacist at Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals in addition to locuming in community pharmacy both before and after going travelling. This provided a broad range of experience and I felt that I benefitted from working in both a community and hospital setting as I could see the issues surrounding failings in continuity of care from both sides.

Upon returning from travelling I worked at Guys & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust as a rotational resident clinical pharmacist on the STEP programme and undertook the JPB diploma in general pharmacy practice. This provided a great opportunity to try different general and clinical rotations. I completed 18 months of general rotations in medicines information, patient services, technical services and general medicine followed by three 6-month specialist placements in HIV & sexual health, paediatrics and surgery.

Following this I worked as a band 7 rotational clinical pharmacist at UCLH where I finished my diploma. I completed rotations in surgery, medicine, neurology and neurosurgery and my current specialty. HIV is an area that I had always found interesting due to the complexity of the condition and treatment, plus the valuable impact that a pharmacist can have on patient care. While I was working in this specialty as a band 7 there was an opportunity to act as a band 8a, which then became a permanent post.

I really enjoy my current role; there is a lot of diversity to it as my team need to cover both the in-patient ward service, which includes a range of other specialties, in addition to running the out-patient pharmacy and screening HIV prescriptions for home delivery. I have recently completed an independent prescribing qualification and plan to use this to develop the service further. I am actively involved in audit, research and publishing, and I am Education and Training lead, as well as 2016 Conference lead for the HIV Pharmacy Association Steering committee.

Lucy Hedley
Senior Clinical Pharmacist HIV & Infectious Diseases
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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