This programme is no longer active but the resources (correct at time of publication) may be of use.

Pharmacy professionals are being positioned more centrally within all healthcare services. 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.

All pharmacy project work contributes 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 on these projects, 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.

Free learning and resources:

QI resources

Working alongside the West of England Academy, we hosted a QI series tailored to pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and their teams during March 2022.

A wide range of free QI resources are available from the West of England Academy, these include:

  • On-demand replays of sections of our QI Autumn Series 2021, and a bonus session on how to collect and present data. Download our QI workbook, which supports this training package.
  • A facilitator’s guide to QI – a step-by-step workbook, slides and templates to support facilitators working with teams on QI projects.
  • A QI toolkit which explains a wide range of QI activities such as the process mappings, PDSA cycles and the 5 whys.
  • Our practical guide to making a QI poster for submission to conferences. Our guide includes top tips from a judge, answers to your most common questions, templates and advice on imagery and infographics.
  • Explore new and better ways of organising health and social care services to improve quality on our free six-week online training course developed with the University of Bath and hosted by Future Learn. Learning is available year-round. Join our Quality Improvement in Healthcare course.

Review all our Academy resources.

Pharmacy showcase webinar –  January 2022

Our pharmacy showcase shared details of our regional medicines optimisation work, new ways of working and innovative QI approaches that pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy teams across the country have successfully adopted.

View the pharmacy showcase webinar slides.

View recordings from the pharmacy showcase.

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.

Find out more and keep in touch

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

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