Five minutes with Reshma Malde, Superintendent Pharmacist at John Bell & Croyden

The Harley Street Medical Area is made up of an array of fantastic businesses, organisations and practices. Each month, we spend some time getting to know one of the people that call Harley Street home. This month, we're meeting Reshma Malde, Superintendent Pharmacist at John Bell & Croyden

Can you tell us a little bit about your work?
My role as superintendent pharmacist is making sure that the clinical governance and standards within our pharmacy are absolutely appropriate for the customers that come in to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Describe your average day.
My average day is working with my team physically and reviewing what is going well and how we are further improve and drive our services to meet the needs of our community.

How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been a qualified pharmacist now for 20 years. During this time, I’ve worked in a variety of pharmacy settings, and I’ve been with John Bell & Croyden for the last ten years.

How has Covid-19 impacted your organisation?
Needless to say, the pandemic has brought a number of different challenges. We have seen a tremendous increase in demand for our services during the last 10 months as patients struggled to access other healthcare providers, such as GPs, dentists and hospitals. With consultations limited across the board, lots of us have had to rely on visiting the pharmacy for non-Covid related medical advice.

In response, we have had to introduce a number of new measures in-store and think carefully about how to keep our staff and customers safe. This has been particularly hard given the rate at which the rules were changing. But despite being a huge challenge, and testing us on a daily basis, the pandemic has also created new opportunities and revolutionised our practice in some truly unique ways.

For example, we’ve had to offer far greater breadth in the way we communicate to our customers. Due to Covid restrictions we’ve have had to think differently about what consultations look like, now and in future, and as the world modernises and we use more and more tech, we’ve very much had to move with the times.

This has meant introducing telephone and video consultations. Offering consultations virtually has given us a new way to continue to safely reach out to these customers, including those at higher risk or shielding and therefore unable to visit in person.

Meanwhile, within our own stores we also had to look at how to make the experience safe so that when patients and customers were coming in, they weren’t feeling concerned that they shouldn’t be in this environment. This has meant implementing a number of new measures in terms of adequate signage, single flow systems, sanitising areas, as well as equipping our crew with adequate PPE so they could protect themselves and our customers.

One of the most valuable developments has been the way we have branched out to support our customer base. Testing has been one of those critical areas.

Just one example is offering fit to fly services so a pharmacist can, through a simple swab, allow a patient or customer to prove they are Covid-free to access flights abroad. At John Bell & Croyden, customers have also been able to access same day and next day testing, which has been hugely popular. As more Covid tests have been available in store, we’ve found a huge increase in the number of people coming in to access these.

We have been vaccinating Covid approximately 1000 patients per week; we’ve already adapted our services, introduced a number of new safety measures and will continue to do the best we can to offer our help where we can.

What do you like most about being based on Harley Street?
Harley Street is a micro community filled with great talent and wealth of experiences and experience to offer a one stop health experience.

What are your thoughts on the future of the Harley Street Area?
Harley street is an area that will continue to thrive as it moves with the times and the needs of its community.

How does the Harley Street Medical Area Partnership support your business?
This partnership that allowed us to build valuable relationships with key professionals so that we can work together as a multidisciplinary team.

How could a visitor to the area spend their time here?
Harley Street offers a holistic one stop shop experience for all their healthcare needs.

If you could describe the Harley Street area in three words, what would they be?
Holistic, multidisciplinary, innovative.