I’ve been a pharmacist for 25 years working across all sectors: hospital, community, pharmaceutical companies and academia. I spent several years in my last role as Consultant Pharmacist in Social Care at Brighton and Hove NHS PCT and Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton.
During this time, it became clear that much of what passed medication training involved staff sitting through slide shows or being talked at by someone in front of a flip chart.
But think of a course you attended last year… what was on the 5th slide, 2nd bullet point down? Surely medicines administration is too important for a “tick box” approach.
My formal teacher training at the university made me realise there was a better way: focus on competency.
Administering medication is a practical skill. It needs close attention to detail and practise to get right. Strip out the theory, write it down, and give this to staff as a permanent reference for them to refer to. Then make the training practical, teach staff to administer medication by actually having them do this, rather than just talk about it. So that’s what I did.
I spent years working with the city council and private care providers in Brighton to transform the medication training and support that was provided in the city. I created training based on simulated medicines rounds where staff must administer and record medicines correctly, whilst avoiding and correctly identifying deliberate mistakes that we included.
I then repeated these assessments before, during and after the training, demonstrating the impact that the training has, and creating a pass mark that staff must achieve to be deemed competent.
And it works. In 2015, Hampshire County Council carried out a retrospective study comparing medicines administration errors after our training was established, with those during the previous “medicines awareness” training from another provider. A control group was also used. The data showed that our approach to training led to a 36% reduction in medication errors.
Word spread about the training and support, and soon East Sussex County Council and West Sussex County Council got in touch to ask me to also provide their medication training. It all snowballed from there…
I left the PCT and University in 2007 to provide this training and consultancy privately on a national basis, as the Medication Training Company. We now look after councils and private care providers all across the UK, with a team of experienced pharmacists and nurses trained by myself and experts in their own right.
We are totally committed and extremely passionate about providing the very best medication training in the UK.