Great North Pharmacy Research Collaborative Conference 2021

09/07/2021 1:00 pm to 09/07/2021 5:00 pm

Event Details

The theme of this year’s Great North Pharmacy Research Collaborative Conference is Technology: the great pharmacy enabler

Th conference aims to showcase all the great regional pharmacy research completed this year and will incorporate the regional Pre-Registration presentations and awards. This includes work from early career researchers, postgraduate students, and pharmacy professionals from all sectors.

By working together as one pharmacy team across multiple organisations and sectors we have a unique opportunity to improve quality of care, reduce risk of harm from medicines and increase efficiencies.

We are delighted to announce our Great North Pharmacy Research Collaborative conference keynote speakers:

Dr Jane Brown, Pharmacy Dean, Health Education England and Professor Graham Evans, Chief Information and Technology Officer/SIRO, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Chief Digital Officer NENC, Integrated Care System and Honorary Professor, Teesside University.

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Download the Conference Agenda


Dr Wasim Baqir

Dr Wasim Baqir

Senior Policy Lead, Pharmacy Integration Programme

NHS England and Improvement

@wasimbaqir  @NHSEngland


Wasim Baqir is a senior policy lead from the Pharmacy Integration Programme at NHS England. Prior to this he led the national medicines optimisation in care homes scheme for NHS England. He currently works across a number of areas (primary care networks, health inequalities, pharmacy workforce) supporting pharmacy integration across Integrated Care Systems.


He has a clinical role as lead pharmacist at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust where he supports pharmacy teams, working collaboratively with doctors, nurses, social care and other professionals to develop and test services for patients across Northumberland and North Tyneside. Before this, he was the R&D and quality improvement pharmacist, leading on several projects including the Shine project: optimising medicines in care homes.


He has a passion for quality improvement science and is a member the Health Foundation’s Generation Q Network. Nationally, he co-chairs the multidisciplinary medicines research group, PRIMM (Prescribing Research in Medicines Management).

Keynote Speakers

Dr Jane Brown

Dr Jane Brown

Pharmacy Dean

Health Education England



Jane is the Pharmacy Dean for the North of England and leads the School of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation. She joined HEE in December 2018 as Associate Dean for advanced practice pharmacist training and the Pharmacy Specialist Education Lead for the north west. Prior to this she was the North lead for the clinical pharmacists in general practice training pahway for the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education. Other roles held include Director of Policy and Implementation at the National Prescribing Centre where she was the project lead for the development of the Single Prescribers’ Competency Framework and led the national non-medical prescribing support programme.


Jane trained as a hospital clinical pharmacist and also has many years experience in primary care medicines optimisation working in a variety of roles ranging from a practice pharmacist to PCT Head of Medicines Management.  During a role as a primary / secondary care interface pharmacist Jane undertook research leading to the award of PhD investigating the impact of the interface on effective and efficient medicines management and the reasons why national guidance to improve medicines management at the interface had not been effectively implemented.  She has also been a clinical liaison tutor for the post-graduate clinical pharmacy diploma at Liverpool John Moore’s University.


Professor Graham EvansProfessor Graham Evans

Chief Information and Technology Officer/SIRO, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Chief Digital Officer NENC, Integrated Care System

Honorary Professor, Teesside University

@DrGrahamEvans  @NTeesHpoolNHSFT  @NENC_ICS


Professor Graham Evans is the Chief Information and Technology Officer (CITO) for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust. In addition, Graham is the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) Integrated Care System (ICS).


Graham has held a number of national and regional leadership roles in the NHS relating to health informatics. Graham commenced his NHS career with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust in June 2004 as the director of Information Management and Technology (IM&T). Graham’s former NHS roles include; Chief Information Officer and director of informatics for the North East Strategic Health Authority, Director of corporate services and corporate chief information officer for NHS England.


More recently, Graham was the Digital Transformation Workstream lead for the regional Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), in the Durham, Darlington, Teesside, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby (DDTHRW) region. As well as holding a joint CITO role between North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust from 2017 to 2018.


Prior to joining the NHS, Graham worked within the private sector in a range of senior commercial, operational and engineering management positions, predominantly in the chemical, electronics and fast-moving consumer goods

(FMCG) industries.


Graham is a Chartered Engineer by profession, he holds a professional doctoral degree (DProf) in Technology enabled transformational change. Graham also holds an Honours degree in Information Technology and a Master’s degree in Organisational Change and Management Development.


Graham holds Chartered IT Professional Fellowship status with the British Computer Society and has further fellowship and membership grades with several Engineering, Technology and Management Institutions. In 2018 Graham was an NHS70 ‘Parliamentary Award’ nominee in the category of Future NHS.


Graham is an Honorary Professor at Teesside University and a past chairman of the Teesside and District Branch of the British Computer Society (BCS).


Breakout Session Speakers

Technology Enabled Research

Gemma Donovan, Academic Practitioner in Pharmacy Practice

School of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Sciences

University of Sunderland

@AbsoluteGem  @sunderlanduni  @UoSResearch


Gemma Donovan is an Academic Practitioner at the University of Sunderland and a current National Institute for Health Research Doctoral Research Fellow. As well as research and teaching, Gemma works as a Medicines Optimisation pharmacist at NHS Sunderland CCG. Gemma’s practice and research explores how pharmacists can support medicines optimisation in all settings, as well as working together with other healthcare professionals and across boundaries of care.


From finding my feet to discovering my passion: my journey through mental health Pharmacy

Laura Stavert

Laura Stavert, Advanced Pharmacist Practitioner

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust



Laura began her training in 2005 at The Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen. She completed Pre-Registration training at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in 2009, discovering a passion for mental health and working with older adults.  After qualification in 2010, Laura was a basic grade Pharmacist at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh for 2 years before taking up a specialist role in mental health services with Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS FT in 2012.  Laura began her role as a specialist in old age psychiatry in 2016 before qualifying as an independent prescriber in 2017. She is an active member of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy.


Since 2017, Laura has held an advanced practice role with community mental health services in Northumberland. She supports older adults with complex mental health disorders to use their medicines safely and effectively through shared decision making. Laura has a special interest in reducing problematic use of psychotropic medicines in people living with dementia.


Laura is currently undertaking a Masters in Clinical Research at the University of Manchester and is hoping to pursue an NIHR research Fellowship in late 2021.


Improving Cancer with Data – a journey to consultancy pharmacy

Calum PolwartCalum Polwart, Specialist Cancer Pharmacist

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

@ShinyBlackShoe   @steespharmacy  @SouthTees


Calum Polwart is the Specialist Pharmacist Oncology at South Tees NHS Foundation Trust & Cancer Commissioning Pharmacist at NHSE/I (North East region).


He has worked in oncology pharmacy for over 20 years, and currently runs a number of chemotherapy prescribing clinics across 5 hospitals in the North East of England.  His work has included multi-centre audits and research evaluating clinical outcomes, patient safety and infusion reactions to systemic anti-cancer therapies. He will submit his portfolio for accreditation of consultant level practice during the summer of 2021.  He is a self-proclaimed geek with a keen interest in data and evidence based practice.

Calum developed the National Chemotherapy Dose Bands with colleagues from The Christie Hospital, The Royal Marsden and Sheffield Foundation Trust. He is well known for having an opinion on most things and can’t help but get involved in almost anything involving data and cancer! Calum is also an author of the UK Chemotherapy Board Guidelines on Coronavirus Vaccination. He can be found on twitter as @ShinyBlackShoe.


Community Pharmacy: How can we work better together?

Richard BrownRichard Brown, Chief Officer

Avon LPC

@pharmacyexperts    @AvonLPC   @VirtualOutcome1


Richard is a pharmacist and has extensive experience working as the Chief Officer of Avon LPC whilst also running a successful Pharmacy Consulting business, BRR Consulting and online training company, VirtualOutcomes.


His passion for supporting and promoting community pharmacy has led to the successful deployment of the newly commissioned NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service and Discharge Medicines Service across Avon with support offered to LPCs across the country.


His vision for the future of community pharmacy is for the highly skilled pharmacy team to be offering both preventative health advice to stop people becoming ill, whilst also supporting people with a diagnosed condition.  That way pharmacies can truly be part of the local community.


Richard also has a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and is currently a Senior Visiting Lecturer at the University of Bath, Pharmacy and Pharmacology department.

Technology Enabled Research

Gemma Donovan, Academic Practitioner in Pharmacy Practice

School of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Sciences, University of Sunderland

This workshop will provide an introduction to using routinely collected digital healthcare data for the purposes of research, evaluation or quality improvement. This will include what data sources may be helpful for medicines-related research, the potential limitations of using this data and examples of how it’s use can be optimised to appropriately answer research questions.


From finding my feet to discovering my passion: my journey through mental health Pharmacy

Laura Stavert, Advanced Pharmacist Practitioner

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Laura will be exploring her beginnings in psychiatry starting 10 years ago, talking about working independently as the only Pharmacist in a community mental health team and her future ambitions as a clinical academic combining expert clinical practice and research.


Improving Cancer with Data – a journey to consultancy pharmacy

Calum Polwart, Specialist Cancer Pharmacist

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Calum will describe some of his work he has undertaken using data, often already routinely being collected, to reduce waste, assure patient safety or measure clinical outcomes of anti-cancer treatments.  He will describe how this form of research can help advanced practitioners develop their research skills and progress towards Consultant Level Practice without the need to spend a lifetime gathering data.  While Calum will show the power of joining data from multiple data sources, he promises to try and keep the technical data at a fairly low level of geekiness!  He will also discuss the need to exclude patients who have chosen for their routinely collected data to not be used for research purposes, and how this can happen in practice.


Community Pharmacy: How can we work better together?

Richard Brown, Chief Officer

Avon LPC

The workshop will look to explore how GP Surgeries and Pharmacies can work closer together. With a combined interest to support the health and wellbeing of their community, pharmacies and surgeries can both provide support in a cohesive way. For example, to support practices, the use of the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service allows patients to be referred to their pharmacist for a common ailment to free up appointments for more complex patents. This year, it is anticipated that flu vaccinations will reach their highest demand, especially with the additional age cohorts. With a collaborative plan, surgeries and pharmacies can ensure maximum penetration into these groups along with planning for the potential C19 vaccination boosters. Lastly, everyday, patients are discharged from hospital and we know it can go wrong if all communication channels are not working effectively. The Discharge Medicines Service allows community pharmacies, working with their PCN pharmacist to ensure better outcomes are achieved.

Investigating the Effects of COVID-19 on High INR Readings

Megan Blenkinship, Pre-Registration Pharmacist

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust


An Audit Assessing the Appropriateness of Controlled Drug Destruction and its Relevant Documentation

Aidan Bowler, Pre-Registration Pharmacist

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust


Evaluating the Quality of Patient Follow-Up Post-Myocardial Infarction: An Audit of ACE inhibitor/ARB and Beta-Blocker Up-Titration in Primary Care

Caitlyn Madden, Pre-Registration Pharmacist

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


An Assessment of the Electronic Documentation of Medicine Reconciliation

Sabrina Mahmoud, Pre-Registration Pharmacist

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust


Auditing the Prescribing of Oral Tetracycline’s for the Management of Acne in Patients >12 Years Old in a GP Surgery

Hannah McMillan, Pre-Registration Pharmacist

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Download the pre registration abstracts below:

Pre-Registration Abstracts 2021

More details about our 2020 Conference can be found on the conference webpage. A recording of the event is below: