Pharmacy professionals are being positioned more centrally within all healthcare services. The Discharge Medicines Service, Community Pharmacy Consultation and providing structured medication reviews create a step change to make pharmacy professionals a first point of call for healthcare information rather than traditional settings such as General Practice or Emergency Departments.

This move recognises the skills, knowledge and experience of those working in pharmacy. This repositioning is likely to reduce pressure elsewhere in the system but, crucially, improves patient safety and user experience with healthcare.

All pharmacy project work contribute to the World Health Organisation Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm. The West of England AHSN has a history of working on patient safety improvement projects which involve pharmacists and pharmacy colleagues, including Transfer of Care Around Medicines (TCAM), PINCER & Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) for more information please visit our Medicine Optimisation pages.

Why Quality Improvement?

As recognised by The King’s Fund, the NHS in England cannot hope to meet the health care needs of the population without a coherent, comprehensive, unifying, and sustained commitment to Quality Improvement (QI) as its principal strategy. Pharmacists and pharmacy colleagues, as experts in medication management and optimisation, are ideally positioned in the healthcare system to improve current processes and reduce avoidable medication-related harm. Despite playing an integral role in preventing and managing drug-related errors, pharmacists often lack the basic tools required to lead on or participate in QI initiatives.

Historically, pharmacists have not been required to perform QI projects (QIPs) as part of their professional training – this project therefore hopes to bridge this knowledge gap by providing this group of healthcare professionals with knowledge, tools and support allowing them to design and implement novel QI solutions with regards to medicines safety. In delivering QI for pharmacists and pharmacy colleagues, capacity for change and improvement will be built in this important sector of the healthcare system.

QI in pharmacy? It’s a brave new world

In this joint blog from Senior Project Manager, Chris Learoyd and Ola Howell, Clinical Pharmacy Lead at the West of England AHSN, we explore the value of QI for pharmacy teams, why it hasn’t really been embedded so far and how we can support pharmacy teams to embrace QI tools. Read the blog here.

Free learning:

Pharmacy Showcase webinar – 12 January 2022

This event gave details of our Medicine Optimisation work in the West of England, shared new ways of working and innovative approaches that pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy teams across the country have successfully adopted, and also highlighted key opportunities for future QI learning and support.

View the Pharmacy Showcase webinar slides.

View recordings from the Pharmacy Showcase.

Working alongside the West of England Academy, we’re pleased to announce a free and accredited five-part QI Series tailored for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and their teams.

The weekly workshops commence on Tuesday evenings from 1 March.

This interactive and practical series will:
– Showcase the basic theory of Quality Improvement (QI) tailored specifically for pharmacists and their teams
– Allow you to gain a basic understanding and practical knowledge of applying Quality Improvement techniques to your area of work
– Provide supportive resources to help you embark on quality improvement projects.

To book a space, please click here.


Want to know more? Please contact us to discuss this project and how you can get involved.

You can also stay up to date with our news and events by signing up to receive our monthly West of England newsletter here.