Through the Looking Glass: Public and Professional Perspectives on Patient-centred Professionalism in Modern-day Community Pharmacy


  • Frances Rapport Swansea University
  • Marcus A. Doel Swansea University
  • Hayley A. Hutchings Swansea University
  • Gabi S. Jerzembek Cardiff University
  • Dai N. John Cardiff University
  • Paul Wainwright Kingston University and St George's University of London
  • Christine Dobbs Swansea University
  • Stephen Newbury Community Pharmacy
  • Carol Trower Co-operative Pharmacy



patient-centred professionalism, UK community pharmacy, public and professional perspectives, bio-photographic data, consultation workshops


This paper presents five consultation workshops with 29 community pharmacists, stakeholders and patients that examined "patient-centred professionalism" in terms of pharmacists' working day and environment. The concept is ill-defined in both medical and pharmacy literature and the study aimed to clarify the situated nature of the term for patients and health professionals across settings. Workshops were supported by bio-photographic datasets of "in-situ" practice and Nominal Group Work. The thematic content analyses led to the following aspects: building caring relationships; managing external forces; the effects of space and environment, and different roles and expectations. The study reveals how patient-centred professionalism cannot be defined in any singular or stationary sense, but should be seen as a "moveable feast", best understood through everyday examples of practice and interaction, in relation to whose experience is being expressed, and whose needs considered. The phrase is being mobilised by a whole set of interests and stakeholders to reshape practice, the effect of which remains both uncertain and contested. Whilst patients prioritise a quick and efficient dispensing service from knowledgeable pharmacists, pharmacists rail against increasing public demands and overtly formalised consultations that take them away from the dispensary where the defining aspects of their professionalism lie. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs100177


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Author Biographies

Frances Rapport, Swansea University

Frances RAPPORT is Professor of Qualitative Health Research and Head of the Qualitative Research Unit at the School of Medicine, Swansea University, UK. She has written extensively about the scope of New Qualitative Methodologies for health research and is currently exploring the use of bio-photographic methods to clarify health professionals' reflections on inhabited workspace. Frances is also involved in a study using innovative narrative analyses with Holocaust survivor testimony. The study is exploring how notions of trauma suffering are presented in narrative form and what that tells us about survivor's ongoing healthcare needs.

Marcus A. Doel, Swansea University

Marcus DOEL is Professor of Human Geography and the Head of the School of the Environment and Society at Swansea University. He is also an Associate Director of Swansea University's Centre for Urban Theory and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Institute of British Geographers. He has written extensively on social and spatial theory, and is the author of Poststructuralist Geography (1999, Edinburgh University Press), and the co-editor of Moving Pictures/Stopping Places (2009, Lexington) and The Consumer Reader (2004, Routledge). He serves on the Editorial Boards of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space and the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies.

Hayley A. Hutchings, Swansea University

Hayley HUTCHINGS is a Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research at Swansea University. She has extensive experience of quantitative research methodologies related to health and has a special interest in respiratory conditions, patient health related quality of life, chronic conditions and the use of routine data.

Gabi S. Jerzembek, Cardiff University

GGabi JERZEMBEK is an ESRC-funded PhD student at the Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Ethics (CISHE). She has experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods and is interested in resilience and its link to well-being in the context of public health.

Dai N. John, Cardiff University

Dai JOHN is a senior lecturer in clinical pharmacy, law, ethics & practice at the Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University, UK. His major research focus explores and evaluates established, developing and novel roles of community pharmacists using qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Dai has, via several interdisciplinary collaborations, published widely on the public's use of medicines and advice from pharmacies.

Paul Wainwright, Kingston University and St George's University of London

Paul WAINWRIGHT qualified as a nurse in Southampton and had a range of jobs in the NHS before moving into Higher Education. He worked in the Centre for Philosophy and Health Care in Swansea University until 2005, which is where he developed his interest in the medical humanities. He is now Professor of Nursing in the Joint Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences at Kingston University and St George's University of London. His research interests centre on the nature of practices in health care, from a philosophical and an empirical perspective.

Christine Dobbs, Swansea University

Christine DOBBS completed her PhD at Swansea University in the area of social psychology in 2008. Her research interests embrace intergroup relations such as those between the health professional and service user, as well as relationships between different levels of staff in a professional setting. From the organisational psychology perspective, she is interested in the problems that may arise due to role conflict, and operative or organisational stress factors that may impact upon staff well-being.

Stephen Newbury, Community Pharmacy

Stephen NEWBURY is an independent community pharmacist, having his own pharmacy in Mumbles, Swansea, where he is extensively involved in developing innovative patient-centred pharmaceutical care including healthy lifestyle support with health screening, allergy screening and care of the elderly. Having just qualified as an independent prescriber he is commencing an NHS commissioned service to support stable substance misuse clients; an area in which he has extensive experience.

Carol Trower, Co-operative Pharmacy

Carol TROWER is the Professional Development Manager for The Co-operative Pharmacy, a multiple pharmacy chain of almost 800 community pharmacies across the U.K. A qualified pharmacist, with extensive experience in training and development of undergraduate pharmacy students, pre-registration trainee pharmacists, pharmacists and support staff, she has been involved in shaping the future of pharmacy training in the UK. With a keen interest in CPD and the revalidation of practitioners Carol has been part of the ROYAL PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN advisory group looking at revalidation of pharmacists in preparation for the introduction of revalidation in the near future.




How to Cite

Rapport, F., Doel, M. A., Hutchings, H. A., Jerzembek, G. S., John, D. N., Wainwright, P., … Trower, C. (2009). Through the Looking Glass: Public and Professional Perspectives on Patient-centred Professionalism in Modern-day Community Pharmacy. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(1).