2018 Pharmacy & Medicines Optimisation Conference review

On Tuesday 16th October, we welcomed delegates to the NHS Benchmarking & Good Practice in Pharmacy & Medicines Optimisation conference. This is the fourth consecutive year we have run our Pharmacy conference, bringing together a celebration of good practice as well as policy updates from NHS Improvement, NICE and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Director of Hospital Pharmacy for NHS Improvement, Andrew Davies, opened the conference with an update on HoPMOp and future work within the organisation. Topics included a focus on better digital infrastructure and improved communications for Trusts to locate resources. Andrew closed his presentation with a shout out to Pharmacy Technicians on #RxTechDay – a topic which was returned to later in the conference by University Hospitals of Leicester.

Following this, we welcomed NICE representative, Zoe Girdis. Zoe provided a comprehensive guide to navigating the NICE website and resources. Delegates also had an introduction into the NICE Medicines Associates Programme. Their Associates support and promote high quality, safe, cost-effective prescribing and medicines optimisation within local health economies. They are a growing community and are supported the Medicines Education Team. For more information, take a look at their website.

NHSBN Programme Manager, Aidan Rawlinson, then provided a two-part presentation on the Pharmacy findings. This year, the project focused solely on Provider organisations, and included Acute, Mental Health and Community Trusts. Findings include:

Pharmacy 2.PNG
  • Primary Care and Secondary Care medicines expenditure is now approximately equal, following several years of growth from Secondary Care.

  • There has been a slow down in medicines spend, with a 3.9% increase from this year’s findings in comparison to over 6% the previous year.

  • Improved compliance with chemotherapy prescribed in dose bands, which has increased from 30% in 2016 to 90% in 2018.

Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for NHS Improvement, Richard Cattell, presented their Medicines Safety Programme. Richard highlighted the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: to reduce the level of severe, avoidable harm related to medications by 50% over five years, globally, and outlined England’s response to this objective. Progress within this area includes, an updated written patient safety report, uploading of LASA (look alike, sound alike) incident reports to the NRLS, and 80% of all registered pharmacy professionals to complete the CPPE Risk Management training.   

Following a networking break, we heard from Professor Liz Kay, representing the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts. Liz provided a development to last year’s Shared Stores presentation, the aim of which is to establish a regional supply chain solution to reduce operating cost and improve service levels. From their deep dive into ward observations at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, they recognised that ePrescribing is imperative to forecast medicine supply ensuring stock is in the right place before it is needed.

Our second good practice presentation came from Cwm Taf University Health Board. Alison Warner presented their public education campaign: Your Medicines Your Health. The simple motto for the campaign was well-received by all delegates – “Take them if you can, tell us if you can’t”. Alison discussed the positive benefits of using, storing and disposing of medicines, using behavioural science to empower patients to take responsibility for their medicines’ cupboard. A case study for Your Medicines Your Health can be found on the members’ area under the Pharmacy project.

Kristy Link, Deputy Chief Pharmacist for University Hospitals of Leicester, rounded off the good practice with a presentation on Pharmacy Technicians administering medicines, coincidentally on #RxTechDay! UHL identified that medicine ward rounds were taking 50% of their nurses shifts. Following this insight, the Trust funded two medicines administering pharmacy technicians (MAPTs), in areas of significant medication burden. Their Trust found success in the pilot scheme to facilitate complex discharges, proactively ordering medicines for discharge and providing patient counselling and assurance.  

Closing the programme, Paul Bennett, Chief Executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society discussed professional standards in pharmacy, which impact on delivering patient care and influencing policy. Paul introduced the RPS Hospital Expert Advisory Group, opportunities in Antimicrobial Stewardship and their Foundation Pharmacists project.

Thank you to delegates and speakers for their input in the event and the project. Project outputs, including bespoke and national reports, will be circulated in November and December.

You can register onto our other Network conferences via the members’ area or contact Emma Pruce for more information.