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Celebrating excellence in hospital pharmacy.
Hospital Pharmacist of the Year
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Bryan is the Lead Pharmacist for Critical Care & Theatres at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, a COVID-19 surge centre. Bryan and the pharmacy team at the Royal Free have transformed the delivery of the ICU pharmacy service and played a vital role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He accepts the award on behalf of his team and all who helped them, including Abhishek Katiyar, Meera Thacker, Wendy Spicer, Marisa Lanzman, Jenna Thondee, Jennifer Morris, Ayesha Khanom, Roya Shemirani, Sameer Jiwani, Girish Lakhanpal, Farokh Master, Kirtida Patel, Hamed Shahbakhti, Shalina Dhalla, Nina Taherzadeh, Tina Shah, Fatema Jessa, Diane Thomas, Dorota Filipowicz, Renita Bindra, Vaishnavi Gnanakumaran, Nicky Mackulin, Kelly Hopwood, Jay Pang, Aarti Nandani, Tom Kelly, Carmen Bermejo, Kathryn Lynn, Daud Abdulla and Lisa Folan, as well as the procurement, production and pharmacy distribution teams - who he believes is a privilege to work alongside and are truly outstanding.
Bryan and his team, working across the Royal Free and Barnet hospitals, were pushed to their limits during the first wave of COVID-19, with units and bed capacity doubling to meet demand, and then nearly tripling during the second wave.
In order to continue to treat those patients, and support the medical and nursing teams looking after them, they had to effectively transform their entire service delivery. The main driver behind this was patient safety, but also to support nurse and medics working alongside them.
Jennifer Morris at the Royal Free, and Lisa Folan at Barnet Hospital played a key role in this, creating stock lists, supplying medicines, sourcing storage cupboards and fridges and labelling for ease of use. Daily stock checks were required to manage the sheer volume of medicines being used, and alternative regimens and strategy were planned and communicated to prepare for any drug shortages that might occur.
A seven-day rota with extended hours was also implemented to ensure the team were available at all times. In addition, the team took on a number of roles to ease pressure on nurses and medics, including introducing pre-filled syringes, setting up monitoring systems, and supporting clinical trials across the units, amongst numerous others.
Despite challenges from all directions, including the workload, drug shortages, working in PPE, the toll on patients, and the effects all of this had on staff morale, the team were outstanding in dealing with the pressure – and were able to deliver for their patients when they needed it most.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dragica Penovski Plevčak
University Medical Centre Ljubljana
Clinical pharmacist specialized in pharmaceutical technologies with more than 24 years of subject matter expertise in parenteral solutions ensuring individualised therapy of hospitalised and out-patient patients at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana. Furthermore, her passion for contributing to a better future of patients has motivated her in improving processes and standards for preparation of parenteral products for paediatric patients in intensive care.
Dragica started her career in the pharmaceutical industry; however, her aspiration to be close to the patients motivated her to move into hospital pharmacy and continue her career at the Department for Preparation of Parenteral Solutions. With strong focus on patient safety and benefit, she introduced new and improved old processes.
Her main career highlights are introducing total parenteral nutrition in the form of stable Two-in-One and ALL-in-One products for patients in home care. She also designed and implemented safety procedures for centralised preparation of parenteral products containing antineoplastic drugs for the treatment of cancer patients as well as other highly toxic drugs for other diseases.
To ensure aseptic production of parenteral products with antibiotics or high-risk medicines at the hospital departments, she trained pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and nurses. The best part of her career journey is seeing improved outcomes in patient care.
Rising Star Award
Dr Thomas Perez
Centre Hospitalier de Hyères
Thomas Perez, 29 years old, PharmD, PhD. Hospital pharmacist graduated in October 2020.
During his internship, he served in different pharmacies in Marseille's University Hospitals. He also obtained a PhD in science focused on HDACi and glioblastoma. Jack of all trades, he has produced numerous publications in various fields such as neurology, oncology and clinical pharmacy. He currently works as a pharmacist in Centre Hospitalier de Hyères, in the south of France.
As a young graduate, while still resident at a pharmacy, Thomas had the original idea to compare the efficacy and safety between the reference rituximab and one of its biosimilars in Multiple Sclerosis.
The efficacy and the safety of rituximab's biosimilar had never been tested in this indication. He led a multidisciplinary team made up of neurologists and pharmacists, who demonstrated for the first time a similarity in this indication, which will allow a safer and wider use of this biosimilar, and better access to treatment for patients in low-income countries.
In addition to this, his work was published in a prestigious neurology journal with an impact factor rarely reached by pharmacists (IF=5).
The Extra Mile Award
Countess of Chester Hospital
Drew is the lead clinical trials pharmacist at the Countess of Chester Hospital. He is currently undertaking the Associate Principle Investigator program, with the aim of leading future research at his trust. He also works as a medicines information pharmacist and has a special interest in medicines safety.
Working in the clinical trials team at the Countess of Chester Hospital alongside Fiona Ashworth and Jordi Evans, Drew has led the pharmacy side of the RECOVERY trial, which helped prove the efficacy of dexamethasone as a treatment against COVID-19, and directly resulted in thousands of lives being saved worldwide, which he describes as something that couldn’t have been done without an excellent joint effort from the whole team.
His tireless dedication at an incredibly important time, working to create prescribing aids for each study and roll out training for pharmacy staff in the face of new procedures being required every few weeks, with an extremely tight turnaround for disseminating this new information, meant that their small District General Hospital was within the top 15 recruiters for the RECOVERY trial as of February 2021.
Outside of COVID-19 clinical trials, Drew has shown a real commitment for going the extra mile, including working through the night to make a controlled drug extemporaneous preparation for a paediatric patient, and being available anytime, day or night, to help ensure patients can receive treatment without delay.
His passion and compassion for his role are clear, setting a high example to his peers. His encouragement helps to bring out the best in others, and he shows a high level of patient-centred professionalism and commitment to providing the best service to patients, no matter the circumstances.
Pharmacist Team of the Year Award
Haematology & Oncology Pharmacy Team
Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust
From left to right:
Ibrahim Al-Modaris, Beth Dias, Georgia Nicholson, Helen Russell, Rebecca Clark, Helen Swain, Neeta Gogna, Charlotte Hoult and Julie Whitehead.
The pharmacists in the Chesterfield Royal Hospital Haematology & Oncology team have been working in cancer clinics alongside medical and nursing colleagues since 2009. They use an electronic prescribing system to clinically verify chemotherapy prescriptions in clinic. They have built an excellent rapport with their patients and have now expanded their roles to have their own prescribing clinic lists in both haematology and oncology. They are continuing to expand their roles in a variety of ways that include expanding their inpatient service as well as outpatient service.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many treatments in other clinical areas were delayed or stopped to accommodate the response to the crisis.
The Chesterfield Royal Hospital Haematology & Oncology pharmacy team, working closely with the chemotherapy nursing team, continued to support patient needs by introducing a range of measures to help adapt to the increased pressure on services.
They helped to establish a more efficient routine for discharge medications for patients, which proved to be extremely useful for both patients and staff alike. Whereas they would usually see patients receiving chemotherapy in independent pharmacy clinics, they switched seamlessly to virtual consultations to ensure support for these patients continued, in addition to contacting those in need of supportive medications, or who had become confused with medication regimens.
They set up a satellite clinic, to allow patients to come in and receive treatment without having to walk through the main hospital building where COVID treatment was taking place, helping to alleviate a stressful situation for vulnerable patients. They also provided support to the Haematology Consultant on ward rounds, as well as visiting other wards, to ensure patients had a familiar face for what can be a frightening admission.
Even in the face of immense challenges, it’s clear how far the entire team will go to ensure that patients receive the best care possible.
Love Your Pharmacist Awards 2020
We unfortunately weren't able to announce the winners of the Love Your Pharmacist Awards 2020 last year, however it is our absolute pleasure to be able to do so now.
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