Pennine Pharmacy Service shortlisted for national HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards in General Medicine category

Pharmacy awards
Pennine Pharmacy Service shortlisted for national HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards in General Medicine category
12 May 2016

A SERVICE which has introduced a safe approach to reduce carbapenem prescriptions has been shortlisted in the General Medicine category in the prestigious HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards.

The Trust Pharmacy Service introduced a project to explore the prescribing patterns of carbapenems at The Royal Oldham Hospital. In this study the service put carbapenem prescriptions into different categories and used different strategies to safely reduce carbapenem usage.

The carbapenems are a group of broad spectrum beta-lactam antibiotics, which in many cases are the last effective defence against infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria. However resistance to carbapenems has emerged and is beginning to spread.

The HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards recognise and reward outstanding efficiency and improvement by the NHS. The winners will be announced at the HSJ Congress event on 24th May in Manchester. 

Dr Zack Fang, Consultant Microbiologist at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“It is a great honour to be recognized by the HSJ Value nomination committee to compete for this award. Antibiotic resistance is set to become a national and global crisis. Meropenem is our last line antibiotic to treat resistant Gram negative infections. Resistance to this antibiotic is increasing alarmingly especially in Greater Manchester. Overuse and inappropriate use of meropenem contributes to this problem for which the Department of Health and various professional organizations are working hard to find solutions.

“The Trust Antimicrobial Stewardship Team has been implementing strategies to optimise meropenem use at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust ensuring that patient safety is not compromised. As a result, we have already been seeing a sustained yet safe reduction in meropenem use, which is better than the national average. We continue to actively monitor the occurrence of meropenem resistant organisms and would anticipate that this strategy will lead to reduction in numbers of these germs”

Dr Ivor Cartmill, Chair of the Antibiotic Management Team at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“The emergence of antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health and only careful use (stewardship) of those antibiotics we already have will address this.  Antibiotic Stewardship has been well developed in Pennine under the leadership of Dr Zack Fang and Emma Hughes and I am delighted that their work in reducing unnecessary meropenem use (the antibiotic of last resort for many infections) has been recognised in the short-listing of these prestigious national awards.”

Pictured left to right: Zack Fang, Consultant Microbiologist; Emma Hughes, Senior Clinical Pharmacist (Antimicrobials); Dimitrios Mermerelis, Microbiology Registrar; Vinutha Siddaraju, Microbiology Registrar; Joel Paul, Consultant Virologist; Charlotte Brookfield, Microbiology Registrar; Ivor Cartmill, Consultant Microbiologist; Shuk In (Anita) Ho, ePMA Pharmacy System Manager and Clinical Pharmacist; Mark Livingstone, Head of Pharmacy