Northern Trust sweeps the board in Pharmacy Awards
Quality is a key plank in the philosophy of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT). Recent awards to members of the Pharmacy team within the NHSCT show the level of the Trust’s commitment to the high standards outline in the Quality 2020 Strategy launched by then Health Minister Edwin Poots MLA in 2011.
Professor Mike Scott, Head of Pharmacy and Medicines Management in the Antrim Area Hospital, was given a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKPCA) in November. This is a clear acknowledgement of Professor Scott’s outstanding contribution to clinical pharmacy practice over a long and distinguished career. His commitment to his subject is well known and Professor Scott has influenced the development of medicines management and clinical pharmacy services across the United Kingdom and Europe. In 1994 he established the first academic practice unit in Northern Ireland in conjunction with Queen’s University, Belfast. Professor Scott has also led teams which have won national and regional awards in their work on infectious diseases.
Last year, Professor Scott, who is at the forefront of medicines management, was instrumental in establishing the new regional Medicines Optimisation Innovation centre. The idea was to ensure better outcomes for patients via the consistent delivery of best practice in relation to the use of medicines. Two new software systems, the Live Automated Pharmacy Surveillance Systems (LAMPS) and the Electronic Medicines Reconciliation System (EMRS), were developed by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust under Professor Scott to ensure correct prescribing and safe patient use of medicines. At the launch, the Health Minister noted: “It is essential that we have systems which support the safe and optimal use (of medicines) so that patients receive the right medicine at the right time. This will not only help them return to good health more quickly, reducing the time spent in hospital, reducing the time spent in hospital, but can also prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.”
Also last month, Clinical Pharmacist Julie Magee’s design won an award for the best poster for the initiative known as Doctor Light Discharge at the Hospital Pharmacy Europe Conference. Her artwork draws attention to a move aimed at speeding up the discharge of patients from hospital. When somebody is considered fit enough to leave hospital, there may be delays before the doctor can prepare a discharge summary. If the doctor is on ward rounds or having to perform other duties, the Pharmacist Independent Prescriber can save time by preparing the patient’s discharge summary and section on medication. The benefits of this approach are clear. When data was collected on Ward A1 in Antrim Area Hospital giving a ‘before’ and ‘after’ snapshot of the time patient discharges took with and without the ‘doctor light’ method, the time taken was reduced from an average 127 minutes with medical staff involvement in the discharge summary to 33 minutes without. An audit of the ‘Doctor Light Discharge’ summaries found that in 100% of the summaries prepared by pharmacists, the relevant information was present and correct.
Julie Magee’s artwork will be published in the Hospital Pharmacy Europe Journal next year.
15th December 2016