Health Innovation Manchester strengthens medicines optimisation work with appointment of new pharmacists

Health Innovation Manchester has appointed three new pharmacists to support work to improve medicines safety and optimisation within Greater Manchester and East Cheshire.

The three new appointments to the HInM team will be able to offer their experience and expertise of working as a pharmacist within the local health and care system to support the development of projects to improve medicines safety and optimisation.

The new pharmacists will primarily support three Health Innovation Manchester projects:

Pharmacy People


An audit tool that searches the GP Practice computer system and identifies patients who are being prescribed medicines that are commonly and consistently associated with medication errors and allow actions to be taken to reduce this risk

Transfers of Care Around Medicines (TCAM)

An electronic pharmacy referral system which aims to help patients who need additional support taking their prescribed medicines following a hospital stay.

Medicines in Care Homes

Working to improve the safety of medication administration primarily in care homes for the elderly, reducing avoidable harm and improving experience of care.

The pharmacists will also be able to offer their insights across other HInM projects involving medication or community pharmacy, such as our Hepatitis C elimination project and our COPD programme.

Meet the pharmacists

Chris Haigh, Pharmacist

Chris Haigh, Head of Medicines Optimisation at NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Chris will be supporting the rollout of SMASH medication safety dashboard across GM. He has previously led a team of practice pharmacists in Salford in a direct patient facing role and led a proactive care homes pilot in West London by reviewing patients in care and residential homes.

Chris said: “I wanted to work on the project as medication safety in primary care is something I have a passion for. I have seen lots of avoidable harm with prescribed medicines in both primary and secondary that could have been prevented if a pharmacist or other healthcare professional had reviewed the patient. I would want as many patients as possible to benefit from this intervention and to use data we have available in new ways to make medicines use as safe as possible.”

Ruth Dales has joined HInM to lead the Medicines Safety Improvement Programme (MedSIP) for the GM and Eastern Cheshire Patient Safety Collaborative.

Employed in Primary Care direct from graduation in 2004, Ruth worked for North Bradford PCT where she facilitated compliance with the patient safety and clinical governance requirements of the new community pharmacy national contract in all pharmacies across the PCT whist undertaking PG Dip in Prescribing Management in Primary Care in a development role to become a Prescribing Adviser.

Since then she has worked in commissioning organisations and/or GP practices in Bolton, Leeds, Liverpool and Rotherham as well as in community pharmacies across South and West Yorkshire and Eastern Cheshire.

Ruth Dales, Pharmacist

Her roles have been varied covering medicines optimisation, medicines safety, guideline and clinical pathway development, care homes service development, safeguarding investigation and education and service redesign, as well as being actively involved in clinical patient medication review and a source of medicines information for clinicians, patients and the public.

Ruth is also Chair of Healthwatch Warrington, working to put the service user and the public at the centre of all policies and services. This role allows Ruth to work in partnership with the services in Warrington to move towards a patient safety culture and patient safety system where the voice of the patient is heard “from ward to board”.

Nicola Hayes

Nicola Hayes has joined Health Innovation Manchester and is supporting the rollout of TCAM across Greater Manchester.

As Deputy Chief Pharmacist at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospital NHSFT, she has extensive experience of implementing TCAM and understands the wider perspective of the health economy, having previously worked as Head of Medicines Management in Halton and St Helens.

Nicola said: “I believe that the TCAM project is essential for improving both patient safety and experience at point of discharge from hospital by ensuring that patients are supported with their medicines.”

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