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Staff supporting Special Purpose Funds

15.07.16 Categories: Staff stories, Supporter stories

Special Purpose Funds (SPFs) are pots of money raised to benefit specific departments or areas within the hospital. Many of our staff take their dedication to their jobs above and beyond by raising money for their department’s SPF.

Ciaran Weir is a Technical/Clinical Pharmacist at Guy’s and St Thomas’. His team have been fundraising for the Pharmacy Department’s SPF, and Ciaran’s done his bit by running the London 10,000 in May and selling his home-baked treats. He tells us more about his role and why he thinks it’s so important to support the Pharmacy Department’s work.

Ciaran says...

“I’ve been working at Guy's and St Thomas’ for a year now. Having worked in other hospitals around London, I have to say I feel at home here. Everyone is really nice and enthusiastic about giving the best care to their patients.

Why an SPF is special

Being a pharmacist, I was always going to be interested in supporting the Pharmacy Department’s Special Purpose Fund (SPF). 

When I speak to patients on the ward and in the hospital they’re often surprised to see me. They have the perception that pharmacists are supposed to be in the pharmacy and that's all they can offer. Pharmacists offer so much more, from supporting medicine prescribing and administration on the ward, to technical services where we formulate bespoke patient medicines such as chemotherapy. 

Pharmacists sometimes need to bring their head above the parapet and be proud of what we do and what more we can give. The SPF will provide funding to train pharmacists in these areas so they are better equipped to provide a better variety of services. One example that I’ve been involved with is assisting in a sedation survey, which resulted in better prescribing of sedatives in intensive care units throughout the UK. 

Supporting and spreading the word

Fundraising is a good way to get out there and spread the word about what we are doing, the great job we do and how important it is that it’s supported. Raising money is one positive, but I think promoting awareness is more important. Funding is so important to services we provide and it’s only by creating awareness to the Trust and public of what we do that this funding can continue.

I love food, so some sort of exercise is required to facilitate this! I run as often as I can with London Bridge running club, and I’m hoping to complete a marathon with them in October this year. So a 10km run around London seemed like the most ideal way to start preparing.  

The London 10,000 experience

I have to say it was the best 10km I have ever ran. Everyone is obviously very upbeat before the race, but the sights and sounds of London and the atmosphere created by the spectators really made the event. I was looking around at everything more than where I was running - Health and Safety wouldn't be happy to hear that! 

I also want to thank all the patients and staff who bought my brownies at Guy’s to raise money for my 10km run. I hope you all enjoyed them.

Focus on being the best

I hope the money will give the pharmacy department the ability to help others with their care. With budgets being cut everywhere in the NHS, I believe it’s important to be efficient, but we must still focus on being the best at what we do. And I hope the training provided by this fund will go some way to achieving that."

If you'd like to help support Ciaran and his team raise funds for the Pharmacy Department, you can donate on their fundraising page.

It’s not just staff who can raise money for Special Purpose Funds at Guy’s and St Thomas’, anyone can! Find out more about how you can get involved, just like Ciaran and his team have.

Main image: Ciaran with Lynda Cameron, Oncology Pharmacist. Above right image: Ciaran (third from left) with the Pharmacy Quality Assurance team