At the 18th Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards the award for Hospital Pharmacy Team of the Year was won by Dr Ruth Miller and The Medicines Optimisation in Older People Team. A collaborative working partnership between pharmacy teams in the Western Trust and Northern Trust has been recognised recently for excellent practice in older people’s medicine. The teams shared the honours in the Hospital Pharmacy Team Of The Year award category at the Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards, held at the Europa Hotel, Belfast. The annual event is dedicated to celebrating those whose exceptional expertise and contribution to their profession have transformed the provision of healthcare for the better.

Innovative service

Since September 2015 the Western Trust and Northern Trust’s Medicines Optimisation in Older People Pharmacy Teams have worked together, refining and changing new consultant pharmacist led models of pharmaceutical care for patients living in care homes and admitted to community hospitals. The teams embraced the need to implement the new service and evaluate them as it would change the shape of how older people’s medicines management would be delivered across Northern Ireland. Based on their positive outcomes for patients, the Department of Health in Northern Ireland is now providing permanent funding for this new, innovative service to be replicated across all five trusts.

Anne Friel, Regional lead for Medicines Optimisation in Older People said:

“This is a great acknowledgement of the teams’ hard work and dedication; not many can say that they have made such an impact on pharmaceutical care across an entire region”

Project Manager Dr Ruth Miller, who led the entry, noted how inspirational the team had been as they worked with other healthcare professionals to deliver a very high quality clinical pharmacy service to their patients.
Team members, Sabrina Parkhill, Rory McSorley, Nuala McGeough, Helen Graham, James Nicholl and Niamh McLister (older people specialist case management pharmacists) have expressed their delight at receiving this award saying: “The role provides immense job satisfaction. Older people can take many medicines for more than one medical condition; medicines optimisation is patient centred and ensures patients are taking the most appropriate medicines at the right time and in the right way.”

18th Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards, 23 February 2017, the Europa Hotel, Belfast

Winners of 18th Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards Revealed18th NIHA Press Release

Hospital Pharmacy Team of the Year: Dr Ruth Miller & the Medicine’s Optimisation in Older People Team – WHSCT & NHSCT