National Award for the Royal Chesterfield Hospital Pharmacy Team – Destination Chesterfield

Through Josh Marais

The Hematology and Oncology Pharmacy team at Chesterfield Royal Hospital has won a prestigious national award.

They were named “Pharmacist Team of the Year 2021” at the Clinigen Direct Love Your Pharmacist Awards 2021 at the 25th Congress of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) after a year of having to adapt their service to due to the Covid pandemic.

Senior Hematology and Oncology Pharmacist Ibrahim Al-Modaris said: “This year we had to work differently for a number of reasons, not least because we were urging many of our patients to stay home as they might well be. shielding but also because many of our team have young children who could force us to isolate ourselves if they become slightly ill (like all children!) which would put a strain on our specialist service. Remote access and the possibility of working from home had to be developed as a priority.

Remote work

“We set up remote work so that we could connect to the Chesterfield and Weston Park systems, search for patient results via ICE and access clinic letters. We have access to almost all the relevant information we need for electronic consultation. With a lot of our patient consultations taking place over the phone or through NHS Attend Anywhere, it is possible to do a home clinic, and if we find that there is a need to see patients face to face, we have been able to arrange appointments or admissions as needed. As good as it is to be able to connect remotely, being on site, in the clinic, with our hard-working clinic support colleagues is still the most efficient way to work.

“The most important thing is that we have been able to maintain most of the chemotherapy and cancer treatments for our patients after performing risk assessments for the treatments we offer. Despite the stressful time we were all in, I think we managed to reduce some of the stress that many of our cancer patients would have felt, worrying about how to get their meds while protecting themselves for example. . Each patient and each plan had to be reviewed individually, and we worked closely with their consultants and specialist nurses to deliver patients their medications while reducing their risk of exposure to COVID.

“For example, part of the oral chemotherapy that we provide, to reduce the need for our patients to come, we have in some cases been able to provide the equivalent of two months of medication rather than just one. This not only reduced their number of visits to pick up medication, but also the need for monthly blood tests. We were also able to organize home delivery of prescriptions in some cases, including by taxi for more patients who were protecting themselves. We of course continued our clinic or home counseling to help advise patients on how to get the most from their supportive medications to reduce the side effects of their chemotherapy as well.

Satellite pharmacy

“I am very happy to say that we have also been able to install and operate our satellite pharmacy in the NGS Macmillan unit. This means we have a pharmacy technician, Helen, in the building Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, who can provide and advise patients on their oral medications. We have also maintained training to allow more of our pharmacists to become prescribers, which gives more flexibility in clinics with more staff able to assess chemotherapy patients and prescribe their treatment. This allows clinical consultants to spend more time with complex patients and meet their needs. We are now also extending this role from oncology to hematology. “

“This role of assessing chemotherapy patients and prescribing their treatment is one of the most exciting aspects of working as a Hematology and Oncology Pharmacist at Chesterfield Royal and it really allows us to build a good relationship with our patients. We are able to use our drug expertise as pharmacists to help optimize cancer treatments for the patient at the time of assessment. We have also taken the additional training required to order tests that patients will need to monitor the effectiveness of their treatment.

Restructure and improve inpatient services

“In addition to this, we have started to work to develop and improve our inpatient service. This work will ensure continuity of service as we work with our inpatient colleagues providing specialist chemotherapy and cancer advice as needed. It also gives our patients a familiar face of the clinic to reassure them during their stay in hospital.

“We have always worked very closely with our nursing and physician colleagues at Chesterfield Royal and Weston Park and this has continued. All of the clinic’s specialist nurses and health assistants are always available to help us organize various things like blood transfusions or tests that patients need, while our medical colleagues always offer helpful advice when the going gets tough. . We also rely on the efforts of everyone in the pharmacy production unit who prepare and supply all injectable chemotherapy drugs for the patients as well as the staff at the order office and dispensary who supply us with drugs for the patients. Without the work of all these staff, we would not be here now.

“It has been a difficult time for everyone, but I am very proud of the way our team rose to the challenge and adopted different ways of working to help each other and benefit our patients. I am sure that some of the working methods that we have adapted and developed will continue once we all get back to normal. We are very grateful to receive this award which is given to all of our fantastic team members and it should encourage us to continue our good work. “

The Royal Chesterfield Hospital supports the marketing and economic growth of the city through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organizations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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