For our Pharmacist in Practice series, The Pharmacist spoke to Danny Bartlett, lead pharmacist at Horsham Central PCN, about his work as a PCN pharmacist and how his team deprescribed 269 medications in 470 care home residents.

Tell us your name and where you work.

My name is Danny Bartlett and I’m lead pharmacist at Horsham Central PCN, in West Sussex, as well as a part-time senior lecturer in medicines at the University of Brighton.

How long have you been working in general practice and what were you doing before? What attracted you to working in general practice?

I have been working in general practice since July 2019 and I was a community pharmacist before that - I qualified in 2015. I was working in a community pharmacy within a practice, so I already knew the GPs. The PCNs formed and I became one of the first PCN pharmacists in the country. It seemed more clinical and I wanted a bit of a change, and to be a bit more involved.

Are you currently undertaking any training? How is it going?

I did the CPPE and IP a couple of years ago and I’m now doing a post-graduate certificate with Health Education England. I’m not a fan of the essays, but I’m one of only two pharmacists on the course, so it’s great to network with people in other roles.

Do you have any areas of special interest or any particular projects that you’re working on?

I’m really enthusiastic about deprescribing. My team and I have just completed a project, going to 10 nursing homes between us and deprescribing 269 medications in 470 residents. It just shows how, if you commit time to it, you can make a big difference.

What does your job look like day-to-day?

It’s a bit of a mixture. Monday to Thursday it’s my clinical job, so I’m managing my team of pharmacists and technicians - making sure they are working safely and effectively. I also have patients with long-term conditions who I manage, and I have some form of impact on the education of the team as well. On a Friday, I lecture at the University of Brighton for undergraduate pharmacists. I also write articles for various publications in the evenings.

What is the biggest patient need in your area and how does that influence your work?

We have lots of complex patients who are on 10 or more medications, so we commit quite a lot of our team’s resources to monitoring these patients and making sure they are looked after, because they are probably most at risk.

How do you work in a team with your practice colleagues?

We are a really forward-thinking PCN. We have lots of the ARRS roles and we all work together, so it’s not all on the GPs’ shoulders.

How do you work with community pharmacists?

We make sure we are in communication with them, so we are aware of what they have or haven’t got. We keep an open line of communication as much as we can and get real time responses through a WhatsApp group.

What do you think will be the biggest opportunities  and challenges in the sector as a whole over the next five years? What changes would you like to see?

From 2026, newly qualified pharmacists will become prescribers at qualification, which is slightly terrifying! The biggest barrier is making sure they are prescribing safely and effectively, and that they have got adequate supervision.

In terms of change I’d like to see, pharmacists are not great at banging their own drum, so I would like pharmacists to be more vocal about what they do.

And something you like to do in your time off?

I like to bake and watch football. I applied to go on The Great British Bake Off and almost got in! I had to make a biscuit self-portrait – I was immortalised in biscuit form!

Read more from practice and PCN pharmacists: Iain Speirits: 'We need more joined-up thinking in pharmacy'