Dave Pharmacy in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire was originally founded in 1930.
Ownership of the pharmacy changed hands a number of times before it was taken over by Westons, a small pharmacy chain.
The father of Nisha Dave, the current owner of the pharmacy, was doing his pre-reg with Westons in the 70s and eventually got a permanent job there and bought the pharmacy soon after.
|When his daughter Nisha took over the reins, some of the locals were hesitant.
“The transition was a little difficult for some customers as they saw me as a child, even though I was qualified!
“I’m dispensing medication for my teachers and I still cannot call them by their first names.”
She says her father was a “pioneer in the early days” and was instrumental in setting the foundations of the pharmacy as a local place for health advice, care and support.
“When used sharps were found in a children’s play area near the pharmacy, my father decided to offer harm reduction measures,” explains Nisha.
“The pharmacy provided services to drug users to prevent this. It is often an outcast group who do this but they still should have healthcare and not cause harm to others due to their risky behaviour.”
Nisha says lots of things have changed since she first took over.
“In the 70s we used a card system for recording Patient Medication Records and had little brown drawers filled with records. Labels were also handwritten. Then we got a typewriter for the labels and then eventually a computer which created computer generated labels. We used to accept cheques and now we use a contactless card machine. We used to get lots of handwritten prescriptions, now it’s mostly electronic prescriptions, so lots of things have changed.”
Throughout it all the NPA has been there to support her.
“I’ve used lots of the services from NPA,” says Nisha.
“When I started my career, I got my locum, travel and motor insurance via the NPA.
“I’ve used the information and advice service, legal services and lots else besides.”
She says she was particularly pleased with the NPA’s help during the early months of pandemic.
“We got abuse from some people just because we were an easy target as we were open. The NPA gave us useful advice and sent us a poster which really helped.
“Covid has been a tough ride for everyone which we are still going through. I think our patients and customers valued the ‘service as normal’ approach when other parts of the health service had shut their doors.”
During her time running the pharmacy Nisha has stepped in to help many patients when they needed it most.
“I’d like to think that we are very important to the community. I’ve called quite a few ambulances out when people needed them. We cater not just for ill people but people in good health too, so they can stay that way.
“I’ve talked to some of the community groups, mostly elderly, on how to stay well and what pharmacy does. We don’t just do prescriptions – we also provide pastoral care for those who need it and we do this because it is the human thing to do.
“We always try and do our best come stock shortages, lack of funding, or pandemic – pharmacy will keep on going.”
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