Monthly Archives: September 2014

Take My Breath Away

Those of us who watched Top Gun and salivated over either Tom Cruise or Kelly McGillis in our youths will understand that sometimes having your breath taken away is a pleasurable experience. Most of the time, it isn’t, and it needs treating.

The snag is that adherence to respiratory treatment is notoriously poor, and it isn’t easy to understand why.

We’ve tended to concentrate on respiratory technique – and there’s plenty to improve there – but there’s also the question of enhancing the patients’ understanding of the disease and its treatment.

Toby Capstick (Lead Respiratory Pharmacist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals) will be leading a Satellite Session at the Pharmacy Management National Forum (November 18th)… examining how to identify barriers to medicines use in respiratory patients and how Community Pharmacy services can perform an essential service to optimise medicines use.


How are hospitals changing to deliver Homecare?

Service redesign is a phrase much in evidence within the current NHS.

Changes in the hospital sector are increasingly being driven by the need to improve patient care and satisfy the requirements of commissioners.

The internationally renowned Management & Tax Consultants, KPMG, have been working with a number of Acute Trusts to shape solutions to this challenging and complex scenario.

Come along to the Pharmacy Management National Forum on November 18th and hear first- hand how commercial expertise is being utilised by hospitals—with the experience shared from current activity.

Book your place at


It’s not the pale moon that excites me…

Who knows what excites some people in the wee small hours, but a few will finish up in Section 136 suites.

  • 136 suites are for clients who have mental health problems and cannot be taken to custody cells in police stations when they have been picked up by the police for antisocial behaviours.
  • The intention is to provide a place of safety until the client can either be discharged from the 136 suite or moved on to an appropriate care setting.
  • Clients in 136 suites often have challenging behaviours and complex problems and they may be under the influence of alcohol or other illicit substances. And they may have equally complex pharmaceutical needs.

Bina Mistry (Chief Pharmacist, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust) will be leading a satellite at the Pharmacy Management National Forum examining what good pharmaceutical care means in the context of such a suite, and the challenges and the risks involved.

I know nothing about this subject, so it’s a racing certainty that I’ll know more after listening to Bina. But if you’re less ignorant than me, come and share your experience.

Do you always get your message across?…

Communication is either an art form or a science.

Does it really matter which as long as you are able to communicate effectively with you fellow professionals?

For the first time at the Pharmacy Management National Forum the trainers from the successful PM Academy programme will be running mini programmes on the day of skills that are invaluable for the modern pharmacist.

So whether its communicating or negotiation skills, you are likely to leave the session more ready for the challenges of daily life in NHS PHARMACY.

Go to and register for one of the best pharmacy events of the year.

Money, money, money…

My daughter and her husband recently bought their first house.

It needs some work and – surprisingly – Dad’s advice has been sought.

The constant part of Dad’s advice is to avoid cowboys.

Don’t go for the cheapest just because it’s cheapest, I keep saying, because it’ll cost more in the long run.

So why do we ignore that splendid advice in medicines management?

  • Of course, we’ll protest that we don’t, but all too often we head for the bottom of the cost pile and pocket a saving today, knowing that it may cost us tomorrow.
  • It doesn’t work with plumbers, and there’s no reason to think it will work with medicines supply either.

Val Shaw and her colleagues have taken a different approach.

Adopting Don Berwick’s sage approach that going after quality and safety is also the route to lowest total cost, they have pursued a medicines optimisation strategy that applies the principles of medicines optimisation and project management methodology to achieve better care for patients while still generating savings as a side effect.

She will share her knowledge in a satellite at the Pharmacy Management National Forum.

Better care for less cash has to interest everyone, doesn’t it?