Pharmacy vaccination success; its role in distributing lateral flow test kits; and the alarming number of community pharmacy closures: These are just three of the hot topics that Leyla Hannbeck has raised nationally in recent months as an outspoken supporter of the community pharmacy sector.
“The biggest problems are constantly changing. But I think the biggest problem is a lack of recognition [of the sector]which then leads to a host of other problems,” says Dr. Hannbeck to C+D reporter Emily Stearn in the podcast (listen below).
“We have managed to really profile the community pharmacy. But with the amazing work they’ve done, it’s hard not to notice what happened and what they’ve accomplished.”
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In a career spanning nearly two decades, Dr. Hannbeck at the center of important decisions and developments within the community pharmacy sector.
She began her career as a pharmacists consultant in Sweden in 2004, was approached by UK pharmacies shortly afterwards and decided to move to Newcastle that same year where she started working at Boots, where she held various management positions across branches and multiple locations for over four years. .
While she “loved the people and the city” – overcoming the initial struggle with the Geordie accent – she decided to move to the south of England when the opportunity arose to join the National Pharmacy Association as head of the information services.
She later climbed the ladder, first as a drug safety officer and then as chief pharmacist and director of pharmacy. She later left to join the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) as CEO in September 2019.
Please note that this podcast was recorded remotely, which can sometimes affect the sound quality.
What does her day job look like as a popular CEO in the industry?
“It’s hectic, but I have a great team around me. There’s always a lot going on,” she says.
It’s all about making sure AIMp “push out as much as possible” to represent its members and their concerns in the most productive way. It is also about ‘what we want for the sector for the future’, she says, including making politicians aware of the value of the pharmacy.
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“The fuzzy words we hear from the decision-makers and politicians, that’s all great, that’s all good. But we need action,” she says. “We need to make sure those words are translated into the right action to help our industry.”
During the pandemic “we left no stone unturned,” she adds. “We’ve done flu services, we’ve done COVID-19 vaccination services, we’ve done all the other services and we’re breaking it down. The proof is there.”
Listen to the podcast to learn more about:
- The journey of Dr. Hannbeck to become CEO of AIMP
- what are her immediate priorities in the role?
- how community pharmacy can gain wider recognition
- its future goals for the sector.
You can listen to the podcast above. You can also follow C+D’s podcasts by searching for “Chemist+Druggist podcast” in your favorite app or on Soundcloud
dr. Hannbeck will chair two sessions at the Pharmacy Show in Birmingham this year, on October 16. Join her pharmacy staff debate from 10:40 a.m. at the Clinical Theater and her session on ICS and the future of pharmacy contracts and financing from 1:15 PM at the Keynote Theater.