Ashtons 7th Annual Pharmacist Conference

 In Developing your Team, Quality Management

It’s that time of year again, where we bring all our pharmacists from far and wide, under one roof for Ashtons 7th Annual Pharmacist Conference.

Our pharmacists spend their working lives apart in different parts of the country.  Which makes our annual gathering incredibly useful from a social and professional perspective.

Professionally, there was training, idea-swapping, and experience-sharing on subjects ranging from ‘Pervasive Refusal Syndrome’ and ‘Use of Antipsychotics in Dementia’ to ‘Learning Disabilities’. Socially, it gave our pharmacists the chance to share dinner and a drink (or two) with one another, giving our new pharmacists a chance to get to know the rest of the team properly.

The theme throughout the two days was ‘Moving Forward Through Re-invention’.  Innovation is one of our core values and is crucial to improving not only our service but healthcare in general. It is our duty as a leading supplier of pharmacy services to continually seek to improve patient safety and hospital performance. This is highlighted by the current development of our own E-prescribing system.

The theme throughout the two days was ‘Moving Forward Through Re-invention’.


Our pharmacists together at our seventh annual Pharmacist Conference. © Ashtons Hospital Pharmacy Services 2016

Keynote Speakers at our Pharmacist Conference

First up was Dr Amlan Basu, Group Medical Director of The Huntercombe Group, a Visiting Research Associate at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, and a member of the Expert Witness Institute.  Dr Basu is a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist by background, previously Clinical Director of Broadmoor (High Secure) Hospital, West London Mental Health NHS Trust.

Amlan has taught psychopharmacology as part of the “Maudsley Forum” to the most promising European trainees who are specially selected to attend this course and was awarded Associate Membership of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He gave an insightful presentation on resilience.

We were also delighted to welcome Neil King, the professional lead for Safeguarding for Cygnet Healthcare. Neil was an award-winning nurse for innovative practice and service improvements. His interest in safeguarding was more formalised in Specialist Safeguarding Roles, following working as the Lead Practitioner for Safeguarding and Mental Health at the NSPCC. He was seconded to East Midlands Ambulance Service as one of two Safeguarding Leads covering the region. Thereafter stepping up into the role of Specialist Practitioner for Safeguarding Adults and Children in North Nottinghamshire. All this experience showed in his presentation, which was extremely informative.

Our third keynote speaker, discussing quality and the ISO9001 journey, was Mike Radlett, a Consultant specialising in the implementation and support of quality management systems. Mike has been working at Ashtons Hospital Pharmacy Services for the past 18 months. He successfully guided Ashtons through the development and achievement of the ISO9001 certification. In addition, Mike has also helped other companies achieve ISO awards for the Environment, Security and Health & Safety.

All three speeches were informative, well presented and demonstrated quality with a capital Q!

Ashtons E-prescribing

Sticking with the theme of moving forward through re-invention, we also had presentations outlining how the development of our e-prescribing system is progressing. We are working with Delphimatics to develop a state of the art electronic system to benefit our clients and improve the ease of day-to-day prescribing.

Our Clinical Director, Yachna Tak stated in her address “This technology will revolutionise the way medication will be prescribed and administered. According to NHS England, it should reduce errors by 9%”.

The presentation was an opportunity for our pharmacists to have a play with the system being developed. This gave them a chance to offer their input on what their hospitals would find most helpful in an e-prescribing system.

Sharing experience amongst colleagues

To support the external training, sharing expertise amongst our own pharmacists is also a crucial part of the conference. Every year we include a series of presentations, each delivered by one of the pharmacist team in one of their particular areas of expertise.

This year included presentations covering a variety of subjects. These included ‘Pervasive Refusal Syndrome’ by Charlotte Peters, ‘Use of Antipsychotics in Dementia’ by Shima Jadav and ‘Learning Disabilities’ by John Baylis. All of these presentations were extremely insightful and really helped to underline how sharing expertise in this way amongst a pharmacist team can help build both strong team spirit and outstanding clinical understanding.


It was a terrific two days.  We left feeling invigorated and excited about returning to our day jobs.  Here’s to our 8th conference in 2017!

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