An interview with See Mun Wong - Interim Regional Pharmacy Procurement Specialist, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

An interview with See Mun Wong - Interim Regional Pharmacy Procurement Specialist, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Please could you start by telling us a bit about your career and journey so far?

Originally from Malaysia, I have been practising as a hospital pharmacist in England for over 20 years. Eight years ago, I was a formulary and procurement pharmacist at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and after 3 years I became the Regional Outsourced Medicines Supply Services Lead for the North West. More recently, I have been seconded as the interim Regional Pharmacy Procurement Specialist. Homecare, procurement and digital medicines are my key interests.


What are you most proud of?

Last year, I successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Health Leadership with Imperial College without getting a divorce! This was at the same time as juggling a relatively new, very demanding and challenging full time job as Regional Pharmacy Procurement Pharmacist. More importantly, I’m delighted that the outputs of the diploma which are anticipated to come to fruition imminently, are expected to deliver significant transformation in homecare medicines electronic prescribing. I’m proud to say that I’m a ‘digital leader’.


What has been one of your biggest professional challenges and how did you overcome it?

The biggest professional challenge to me is to bring colleagues with me on a journey to influence change for the better such as digital transformation in my area of practice and improving the supply of medicines. It is difficult as everyone is so busy firefighting, constantly dealing with day to day work problems. My view is that the system is causing some of the issues: most people don’t like change, they can see it as a criticism of their role, when really it’s about trying to constantly improve as a team. It’s hard to influence things in a multifaceted environment and I can’t say that I’ve overcome this problem, but I try to use data to back up my position so it’s not just my opinion talking – it’s factual.


What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Always put your service users and patients at the heart of what you do. It is more easily said than done, but in time everything will naturally fall into place. When things are difficult, listen to your inner self, and keep going as life will eventually get better!


What is something you would like others to know? For example, a piece of advice you would like to give women that are at the start of their pharmacy career.

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) have always been contentious where I was brought up. I feel very fortunate to have had equal opportunities to study and work in this country. My mother-in-law told me that maternity leave didn’t exist when she had her family and she had to leave her job until the children went to school. We’ve come a long way in 40 years. I’d like the new generation to embrace EDI, follow your instinct, believe in yourself and be brave to challenge any bias at work.