Five minutes with… Advanced PH Pharmacist Josh Miller

Posted on April 15th 2024

Josh is an Advanced Pharmacist at the Scottish Pulmonary Vascular Unit and has been part of the service for six months, covering a colleague’s maternity leave. We caught up with him to talk teamwork, typical days, and crispy M&Ms…

What does an Advanced Pharmacist do?

My job covers lots of different aspects. The mainstay is making sure that we are using the most effective medicines and ensuring that this is done safely for every patient. We usually say, “right patient, right drug, right time”. Alot of my work is clinical – on ward rounds and outpatient clinics where I may be actively prescribing and discussing treatment with patients. Other parts of my job include managing homecare and repeat prescriptions. Other aspects include governance and medicines information especially responding to patient and other health professional queries.

What does your day normally look like at the SPVU?

Most healthcare professionals will say no two days are the same, and that is certainly the case within our team. However most “typical” days will include an early ward round, reviewing the patients admitted to the ward with our consultant, clinical fellow and specialist nurses.  As we cover the whole country it can become busy! Clinics also run in the afternoon and here I will see patients face to face. It is always lovely to see them.

Complete this sentence: The best part of my job is…

Working with the incredible SPVU team – they have all been so friendly and welcoming and we all get on so well. We are a very tight-knit group, and they make work so much more enjoyable!

Who or what inspires you in your work?

As cliche as it sounds, the patients. PH patients go through so much and to see and witness their tenacity, determination and willingness all with a smile (usually!) makes work very worthwhile.

What’s great about working in the NHS?  

Teamwork – over the past few years particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic, it was evident to see just how adaptable and amenable we are when we work as a team. I don’t think other organisations or companies could have succeeded in the way we did, and I suspect that is down to the teamwork of all involved.

What’s on your desk?

Currently a big pile of epoprostenol prescription to check. A large water bottle (a new year resolution to drink more water), and a snowy Christmas Santa decoration gifted by a colleague, who has somehow become the office mascot!

How do you think your colleagues would describe you, in just three words?

Witty, helpful (I hope), quick-replier (I know that’s two!)

What does time away from work involve for you

I enjoy finding new places to have brunch or dinner. I am a fair-weather paddle-boarder – so can often be found in a loch somewhere, hopefully dry, but I have known to fall in once or twice.

Finally, what can’t you resist from the hospital vending machine?

M&Ms (crispy) will win my heart every time!