Throughout the past year travelling and visiting other sites globally has not been possible however this has not prevented MOIC co-operating and working cohesively to deliver safer and more effective medicines use.

MOIC are key drivers in knowledge translation via the hosting programme. Under this programme, visitors are usually welcomed to Northern Ireland for periods lasting between 1 day and 5 months. During 2020/21 these visits were unable to progress however some collaborative links were progressed.

Staff from MOIC, Northern Trust Pharmacy and Microbiology have been working with Sonja Guntschnig from Austria. Sonja first visited NHSCT under the hosting programme in 2019. She is now developing antimicrobial stewardship programmes within her hospital which could potentially be scaled within her region. Linked to this, she will be undertaking a PhD under the supervision and mentorship of Ulster University and MOIC.

MOIC & Pharmacy teams in Northern Trust have been working with Ulster University to secure approval for a Pharmacy Masters student from Misr University for Science and Technology (MUST) in Egypt. The project will evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on antimicrobial prescribing and resistance patterns in secondary care and commenced in April 2021. Data collection will take place across the Antrim and Causeway sites within the NHSCT.

Also Professor Mike Scott is jointly supervising a new PhD student based at the University of Tartu in Estonia. During her studies, Anita Tuula will be examining the area of medicines use reviews with a focus on older people and polypharmacy.