Boots UK, Windmill Park
Product Adviser Award
Pharmacy advisor, Nosheen Akhtar [centre, pictured with Matthew Caldwell-Nichols, director at Precision, left and Monica West, editor of Training Matters, right], started working at Boots UK as a Christmas temp over 11 years ago now and yet her favourite part of the job still is being on the pharmacy counter, listening to her customer’s problems and trying to help.
Her compassionate approach is a real asset to the pharmacy and its customers as is Nosheen’s impressive product knowledge, which is why she is the 2023 winner of the Product Adviser Award.
Recently the pharmacy has been having a lot of patients come in with questions about diarrhoea and sickness, Nosheen not only recommends the appropriate OTC treatments, but ensures her customers leave with personalised advice, including self care tips such as what foods to eat, or avoid. “Nosheen has demonstrated exceptional product knowledge when dealing with over-the-counter queries,” says nominator and pharmacist, Salma Khalid. “She goes above and beyond and gives tailor made individual advice to each customer, ensuring that the needs of the customer are met and that they understand the product they receive detailing dosages and any side effects with lifestyle advice provided.”
Nosheen aims to build up a good relationship with all of her customers and opening up such conversations can sometime reveal other issues, where Nosheen can give further advice and recommendations too. “It’s so important to me that I have personal use of products – I’d only really recommend something if I know personally that it works – to the best of my abilities of course!” she explains. “But I’m at my best when I can tell someone this is a great medication from my own experience. It works really well with customers as sometimes they just want to have someone to talk to about their problems and they will feel less embarrassed about some of them if you tell them that you relate.”
“It is very clear that Nosheen loves the job on the counter, helping people and finding the best holistic treatment for them!” says Mimi Lau, managing director at Pickfords Pharmacy. “She shows great empathy and will use personal experience to build trust and confidence. I like how she tries to link sell other products or services to the original sale.”
“I’m impressed with how Nosheen keeps her product knowledge skills up to date and draws on her own personal experience of products to enhance her consultations,” adds Janice Perkins, RoE judge and chair of the RPS Community Pharmacy Expert Advisory Group. “She has extensive product and symptom knowledge which she uses to ensure patient’s get the best product for them.”