By Liz Crudgington
A six month pilot project installing pharmacy staff at QEQM Hospital’s emergency department is now permanent after a successful trial run .
Pharmacy technicians Michelle Brown and Ben Smith joined the ED team as part of a project to improve patient safety The scheme has resulted in the pair being permanently based at the department with East Kent Hospitals now looking to recruit more staff to join them.
Their role involves checking and administering patients’ regular medication, as well as administering certain intravenous antibiotics. The role also speeds up discharges for patients, by making sure medications are available for people to go home with.
Michelle said: “When people are brought in as an emergency, they often don’t have time to bring their usual medication with them so we can help by taking a full history and making sure everything is prescribed appropriately and safely on their drug chart.
“We can also make sure all their allergies are recorded and that any new medication is prescribed correctly, while also answering medication-related queries from other members of the team.
“And we are able to help relieve some of the pressure on the nursing staff by administering medication and being an extra pair of hands in the department to help care for our patients.
“It is a really rewarding role because you are helping treat patients who are so sick and you can see that you are making a difference.”
Michelle and Ben were previously working on wards in the hospital before joining the ED team and said they were enjoying the new challenge.
Ben said: “It is a really busy environment and we’re able to make a positive difference to our patients from the front door of the hospital and onto their hospital stay on the wards. We also see the positive difference this has made to our colleagues working in ED.
“Only a few other Trusts have permanent pharmacy staff in their emergency departments so we are leading the way and lots of other Trusts are watching with interest.
“I love being able to be involved with such a diverse range of patients; we see medical, cardiac, respiratory and other conditions as well as orthopaedic and surgical, and every day is different. I can honestly say I love my job!”