Last updated: 22 April 2021

Pharmacist Testimonial 1

My story

Cathy Pogson

Renal Pharmacist 


What made you become a pharmacist? - I have been a clinical hospital pharmacist for 28 years; 6 years ago, I specialised as a renal pharmacist. I love renal pharmacy, we have a diverse mix of patients, medical, surgical admissions and all of them requiring lots of our input. Many medications need doses adjusting when your kidneys aren’t working, lots of our patients are diabetic and need support to optimise their control which we help to co-ordinate. Renal patients tend to be on multiple medicines, I work to ensure the combination works well and is optimised for each patient.

How did you become a pharmacist? - I undertook a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at Cardiff University followed by a pre-registration year. I subsequently completed a 2-year Clinical Pharmacy Diploma followed by the Independent Prescribing Course.

What do you do on a day to day basis? - I work as part of the multidisciplinary team on the wards to optimise medication therapy and to prepare medications for discharge, promote health, and disease prevention. I help the doctors in individualising and tailoring drug therapy for their patients. I support the nursing staff in drug administration whilst ensuring timely access to medication. I have been able to transform care whilst at PHU with the support of the Renal Unit. To prevent delays to discharge, I proactively prescribe and order discharge medication whilst writing a comprehensive letter to GP’s explaining all the changes. I provide tailored medication advice to patients making their regimes easy to understand.

I take an active role in patient safety, ensuring incidents are reported and learning completed whilst trying to ensure safety is improved.

For renal transplant patients I participate in the transplant clinic, providing all ongoing transplant medication and offer educational support. I support the renal anaemia team, developing guidance and mechanisms to ensure safe prescribing.

Why did you choose PHU? - I chose PHU because this is the regional centre for renal patients, we are a big dialysis centre as well as offering home haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and many transplants every year.

What do you enjoy about being a pharmacist? - I love my job, every day there are new and different challenges. I see the difference I make to patient care, and how grateful the patients, nurses and doctors are for the job I do.

Career plans and advice for others - There are many additional roles and opportunities working at a national level which become available once you become experienced in this role . I am Educational Lead for the Renal Pharmacy Group (a national group supporting other renal pharmacists) and have been working for NICE on the latest CKD guidance about to be published. Get trained and come and join the team!