Celebrating ‘Growth and Innovation’ at the annual Pharmacists’ Conference

24 September, 2021

At Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront on 16-17 September 2021

On 16-17 September 2021, the Ashtons pharmacists and team gathered for our eleventh annual Pharmacists’ Conference. It was exciting to be back and meeting together in person, as the 2020 conference was postponed due to the pandemic. Our pharmacists are spread across the UK to help support our clients nationwide, and so it is important for them to be able to meet and share their knowledge and experience through a series of lectures and discussions.

Growth and Innovation

This year’s theme was ‘Growth and Innovation’. In a difficult year that has brought about some unique challenges for us all, Ashtons has continued to grow and develop, launching new services and products aimed at supporting our clients to provide outstanding care, including our electronic prescribing and administration system, Ashtons e-Works; our new accredited e-learning system; and the installation of our new robot, Zelda, which has significantly increased our dispensing capacity.

Ashtons clinical team at the Annual Pharmacists Conference 2021

Keynote speakers

The conference provides an opportunity to hear from expert speakers across different areas of healthcare and this year we were delighted to welcome three fantastic speakers. John Donoghue is an award-winning author and mental health pharmacist, and a founding member of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy, who has written widely on mental health issues and has over 80 peer-reviewed publications. John delivered a fascinating insight into the long-term outcomes and acute treatment of schizophrenia.

We were also honoured receive Professor David Taylor, Director of Pharmacy and Pathology at the Maudsley Hospital and Professor of Psychopharmacology at King’s College London. Professor Taylor has formerly contributed to NICE guidelines, is a lead author for the Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines and in 2014 was ranked in the top 100 clinical leaders in the NHS by the Health Service Journal. He presented an engaging lecture on ‘Pharmacogenetic Testing – The Future for Clozapine’.

Also joining our group of external presenters was Adrian Munday, the Director of The First Aid Training College, our cherished partner for first aid training. Adrian was previously on the board of directors at Cygnet Health Care and also runs a management consulting company – Essential Management Consultants. He delivered an insightful and practical session on immediate life support and basic life support.

Sharing experience

Our annual conference is also a chance for our pharmacists to present on their own topics and expertise, in specialist areas important to them. This included a variety of topics including ‘Motor Neurone Disease – A Case Study’ by Karen Higlett; ‘STOMP’ (Stopping Over Medication of People with a learning disability, autism or both) by Priyanka Patel and Matthew Roberts; ‘The Role of the Hospice’ by Lesley Spencer and ‘Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder’ by Nabila Ditta. These compelling and thought-provoking seminars provided a great deal of information and helped solidify our team’s understanding of important topics, so that they can continue to excel at supporting our clients to provide the very best patient care.

A big thank you to all of our speakers for creating a fantastic couple of days of learning and development!