MOIC display at EAHP Congress Lisbon

MOIC display at EAHP Congress Lisbon

MOIC Project Managers Rachel Huey and Catherine Goudy attended the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists Congress in Lisbon this week and contributed to the poster display.

The poster contribution looked at the technical assessment of PPE during COVID-19. MOIC alongside the Business Services Organisation Procurement and Logistics Services (BSOPaLS) and regional Infection Prevention and Control colleagues utilised pharmacist skills to develop a technical process that was used right across Northern Ireland in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and escalating demand for PPE. 

You can view the poster here: MOIC poster EAHP Congress


iSIMPATHY Project improving Patient Care and Safety

iSIMPATHY Project improving Patient Care and Safety

MOIC is one of the partners involved in a joint pharmacy project that has improved care for patients prescribed with multiple medicines.

The iSIMPATHY project, funded by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, worked with professionals in Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to comprehensively review patient medication. Taking multiple medicines can be problematic if the increased risk of harm from interactions between drugs, or between drugs and diseases, outweighs the intended benefits.

Interim findings showed these interventions potentially prevented major organ failure, adverse drug reactions, avoided hospital admissions and saw patients moved to more appropriate medication. Project funding, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), was match funded by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Irish Government and the Scottish Government. Scotland’s Public Health Minister Maree Todd said:

“This project looked at some of our most vulnerable patients taking more than five medications. The reviews have avoided adverse combinations of drugs and hospitalisations while also reducing prescriptions and drugs costs. We will know more when the full evaluation is published in June, we will work with partners to see how  these improvements can be applied more widely, potentially saving lives and money.”

Ireland’s Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly said:
“Medicines are the most common healthcare intervention used within the health system, and the use of the right medicine for the right patient at the right time is central to this. In the delivery of this project, pharmacists were strategically and ideally placed as medicines experts within a multidisciplinary team framework working to maximise therapeutic outcomes for optimal patient benefit. I’d like to thank all the partners involved in the iSIMPATHY project for their work to achieve this.”

Northern Ireland Department of Health Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Mrs Cathy Harrison said:
“I’m pleased to see the impact on patients and service users who have taken part in iSIMPATHY who are at the heart of the project’s aim to ensure the best and most sustainable use of medicines. iSIMPATHY has achieved this through training pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to deliver medicine reviews and embed a shared approach to managing multiple medicines. Northern Ireland has been delighted to collaborate with our partner regions to build on the success of previous projects dedicated to improving medicine safety.”

The project partners are:
• Scottish Government
• NHS Scotland
• Northern Health & Social Care Trust
• Medicines Optimisation Centre (MOIC) in Northern Ireland
• Health Service Executive in the Republic of Ireland.

For more information on iSIMPATHY please visit

Northern Trust pharmacist Siobhan Henry talks below about the benefits of working with the iSIMPATHY team when reviewing patient medication.

Permanent Secretary Peter May visits MOIC

Permanent Secretary Peter May visits MOIC

Permanent Secretary Peter May recently visited MOIC and met with Director Professor Mike Scott and Deputy Director Dr. Glenda Fleming.

Also in attendance was Northern Trust Chief Executive Jennifer Welsh and Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Cathy Harrison.

We discussed how MOIC are improving patient outcomes in Northern Ireland through better medicine use and are building collaborations throughout Europe.

MOIC Team take up the Hydration Challenge

MOIC Team take up the Hydration Challenge

This year the team in MOIC are focusing on Healthy Lifestyles and making small changes to our work week to improve energy levels, concentration and mood.

MOIC applied for funding under the Trust Health and Wellbeing and Inclusion programme promoting hydration initiative and we were delighted to be successful. We received water bottles, attended a webinar and received information packs. Throughout our offices we have also displayed posters and useful tips on how to stay hydrated in the workplace.

Healthcare Workers have a higher risk of dehydration as they are often working in warm, air conditioned environments and often work long shifts without taking breaks. MOIC have pledged to focus on hydration and small improvements and wish to thank the Trust Health and Wellbeing and Inclusion group for the tips and advice.

Professor Mike Scott awarded an MBE

Professor Mike Scott awarded an MBE

Professor Mike Scott Director of MOIC has recently been awarded an MBE for services to pharmacy in Northern Ireland, his pharmacy career spanning over 40 years has resulted in the transformation of pharmacy services within Northern Ireland and his achievements have been recognised worldwide.

Professor Scott has held a number of positions within the Health and Social Care System in Northern Ireland. He is currently the Director of the Regional Medicines Optimisation Innovation Centre (MOIC) in Northern Ireland, having previously been the Head of Pharmacy and Medicines Management in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust since 2007

In 1994 he established the first academic practice unit in the province in conjunction with the Queens University of Belfast. In 2004 he was made a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. In June 2009 he was made an honorary Professor of Pharmacy Practice at QUB. He was awarded the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists gold medal for outstanding contribution to the health service at national level in 2010.

In 2014 he received the special achievement award from the Ulster Chemists Association for outstanding contribution to the development of pharmacy in Northern Ireland. In 2016 he was awarded the United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017 he was part of the expert group working on the technical documents for the WHO Global Challenge to reduce avoidable medication related harm by 50% over 5 years. In 2019 he received the David Samways Award from the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists and most recently he was awarded a visiting professorship with Ulster University (2021).

Throughout his career Professor Scott has been passionate about patient centred medicine and was pivotal in implementing clinical pharmacists onto ward based settings. His work with MOIC is dedicated to driving innovation in medicines use and ensuring that patients get the best outcome from their medicines.

Speaking about his MBE Professor Scott said;

“It is an honour and a privilege to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. Pharmacy has changed tremendously over the last 40 years and I am pleased that this work undertaken over the years with a number of highly motivated and enthusiastic colleagues primarily from both the health service and academia has contributed to improving the profession and has made a difference to the people of Northern Ireland. I have committed my professional life to improving pharmacy services in all settings and it is an honour to be a recipient of an MBE.”