Ashtons 9th Annual Pharmacists Conference

 In Developing your Team

At the beginning of October Ashtons was proud to host our ninth annual Pharmacists Conference. Our clinical pharmacists are based across the UK, and visit hospitals in their area. The conference gives them the chance to meet and share knowledge and experience, through a series of lectures and discussions.

Branching out

The theme throughout the two days was ‘branching out’. This year has been one of growth and ‘branching out’ into new areas. As well as expanding our expertise in ophthalmic care and custody suites, we have started to increase the number of hospices we supply. In her address, our Clinical Director, Yachna Tak, spoke of how our pharmacists are the cornerstone of our service, providing clinical support to our clients to improve quality and safety.

Keynote speakers

The conference gives our pharmacists the opportunity to benefit from expert speakers and presenters and this year we welcomed Dr Rick Driscoll, Group Medical Director, Priory Healthcare & Partnerships in Care. Dr Driscoll has more than 23 years’ clinical and management experience as a consultant psychiatrist and has interests in forensic rehabilitation and recovery, along with outcome measures and service development. He discussed the government’s forward plan for mental health in the UK.

We also welcomed Lianne Powell, a qualified mental health nurse and substance misuse specialist, who discussed the importance of holistic care and treatment for detox of patients, as well as the medications to aide withdrawal and the potential benefits of post-detox medications. Lianne has worked in the substance misuse field for over 15 years; in the community, prisons and currently in a forensic mental health hospital with people with complex needs. She is passionate about providing evidence-based care for her patients, which supports and empowers them.

Sharing experience

In addition to external speakers, our own pharmacists shared expertise to enhance understanding in the range of areas they specialise in.

This year included presentations covering a variety of subjects. These included: ‘Little things mean a lot – tailoring medicines to the patient in palliative care’ by Margaret Gibbs; ‘Alternative Treatments for Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia (TRS)’ by Ajay Mandan; ‘QT Prolongation’ by Tomasz Wojcik; ‘Switching/Augmenting Antipsychotics’ by Matthew Roberts; ‘Clozapine Injection’ by Dorna Ghashghaei; and ‘GPhC Revalidation’ by Nabila Ditta.

These insightful presentations were inspiring to all and helped strengthen understanding of a range of topics vital to providing outstanding patient care.

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