Since the early days of this site I've had occasional queries asking who I am, presumably from readers wanting to get a sense of the credibility of the posts I am making. Others have gone as far as requesting a page detailing my qualifications and where I work - so here goes!
My name is Matthew Robinson, a qualified and UK registered pharmacist (Registration number 2047988). I graduated with a B.Sc. in Pharmacy from The University of Manchester in 1997 and completed my pre-registration year working in retail pharmacy to fully register the following year.
I continued to work in retail pharmacy for a few years before realising that I was not putting into practice the many things I'd learned at university. This realisation led me to a career change and into the world of Blackpool Primary Care Group (PCG).
At Blackpool PCG (and then Primary Care Trust or PCT) I was involved, for several years, in advising doctors and nurses about drugs. This has involved recommending which medicines should be used in large groups of patients on a formulary approach and also on individual patient level taking into consideration a patients' other illnesses and medications. My recommendations are based upon an assessment of the evidence supporting the available options to provide a rational choice of the "best" option.
After about 4 years at the PCG/T I split my working week between working at the PCT and working directly for a group of doctors in their surgery. At the doctors surgery I started putting into practice the recommendations I made at the PCT!
In the summer of 2007 I completed my move from the PCT into front line primary care. I no longer work at the PCT and instead I now work for two doctors surgeries in Blackpool.
So, why this website? I've always been interested in technology and specifically computers. My dissertation at university was the implementation of a Guide to the Treatment of Common Ailments for PharmWeb that was online for many years but is sadly no more.
More recently, with the connection of all doctors' surgeries to the Internet and the wider use of so-called Web 2.0, it occurred to me that technology could be used to make information available more widely to guide treatment decisions and encourage discussion. This website is the result!
That explains the "who" and "why". The articles published on this site are the "what"; I write them all. The research, writing and maintenance of the website takes up a considerable amount of my time but I find it helps me to do my job, maybe it will help you too.