The winners of this year’s Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Awards — RPS members who have made an outstanding contribution to pharmacy — were revealed at the RPS conference in Birmingham on 13 September 2015.
Raymond Fitzpatrick, clinical director of pharmacy at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, University of Wolverhampton, won the lifetime achievement award, having pioneered innovations with lasting benefits for the profession. Fitzpatrick was one of the first clinical pharmacists in the late 1970s and, as clinical director of pharmacy at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, developed innovative medicines management systems. At Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, he installed one of the first automated dispensing systems and is a recognised leader in electronic secure medicines storage. Described as a visionary leader, Fitzpatrick has influenced policy and strategy at a national level and was an early pioneer in the RPS Faculty.
Winner of the clinical pharmacist of the year award was consultant pharmacist Satinder Bhandal of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. Bhandal’s achievements include setting up a new oral anticoagulant service (NOAC) to reduce avoidable strokes in patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, as well as a pharmacist-led prescribing clinic which has seen more than 3,500 patients since 2012.
Philip Newland-Jones, an advanced specialist pharmacist in the field of diabetes and endocrinology at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, won the leadership in pharmacy award. Known for his clinical expertise and commitment to education, Newland-Jones has also promoted the benefits of the role of specialist pharmacists. His leadership and practice have shown how the role of a clinical pharmacist practitioner can benefit patients across the health system.
Public health pharmacist of the year was Diane Ashiru-Oredope of Public Health England. Ashiru-Oredope set up Antibiotic Guardians, a national campaign to raise awareness about the risks of antimicrobial resistance and to change behaviours around antibiotic use. The campaign encouraged healthcare professionals and members of the public to make a pledge to be an antibiotic guardian. By August 2015, the campaign had garnered more than 13,000 pledges.
Roohi Mehra, from the University of Hertfordshire, won the excellence in education award for her drive and determination to overhaul the university’s pharmacy placement scheme. Mehra developed strong partnerships with a diverse range of employers, including the British Army, and has recruited more than 100 pharmacies to the scheme over 18 months.
Preregistration pharmacist of the year was awarded to Saran Amin who undertook an innovative joint GP surgery and community pharmacy preregistration year. Working with dementia patients who had behavioural problems, Amin stopped the use of antipsychotics in 55% of patients.
Siama Kausar took home the student of the year award after she was nominated for her enthusiasm and engagement with her undergraduate degree studies at the University of Huddersfield and for her extracurricular contributions to the profession. Kausar set up and ran the university’s Public Health Pharmacy Student Group and was a British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association representative, involved with student support at her school.
The local practice forum (LPF) of the year award went to Jersey LPF, which over the past 12 months has become one of the most active LPFs in the RPS. Led by six pharmacists, the LPF has seven workstreams, including review of transitional care arrangements, review of blister pack use in the community and review of legislation for emergency supplies.
David Alldred, associate professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Leeds, was presented with the Pharmacy Research UK award. He delivered a keynote speech at the conference, focusing on the research he has conducted over the past decade to optimise medicines for older people living in care homes.
Claire Thompson, co-founder and director at NanoScientium, and former head of research and development with Oxford Pharmascience, received a commendation for her contribution to pharmaceutical science.
A special recognition award was given to Trudi Hilton, a humanitarian aid pharmacist, for her contribution to the practice of pharmacy through humanitarian work. Hilton’s work has been pioneering in making sure that pharmacists are increasingly used as part of medical relief teams and that the important role of medicines and medicines usage is more widely recognised in emergency relief.
RPS chief executive Helen Gordon, who presented the awards, says: “It’s a highlight of the year to recognise, through our awards, the work of inspiring pharmacists who have led changes that improve care for patients. And I hope that their stories help to inspire others to make similar changes to their practice and also to tempt others to apply for the awards, so that we can share their initiatives with others. All our runners up and finalists deserve a huge ‘thank you’ for their dedication to excellence.”
- This story was amended on 16 September 2015 to include additional reporting.