Centre for Pharmacy Innovation launched today – a first for pharmacy in the UK

Research collaboration founded to improve medicines management in primary and secondary care transition

The Centre for Pharmacy Innovation is a tripartite research collaboration between the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and LloydsPharmacy, and is the first of its kind in the UK.

The Centre will be housed in the LJMU School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences and the collaboration’s first stream of research will study the transfer of pharmacy care between hospitals and the community at the admission and discharge stages. Its conclusions will be used to enhance the role of pharmacy and improve the quality of medicines management for patients, decrease medicines waste, and maximise clinical input.

With an enhanced role for the community pharmacist in the transition process, there are opportunities to change the current system to help improve the quality of care provided and save the NHS money. Specifically, the research aims to determine an innovative hospital discharge prescribing process that provides safe, quality and effective transfer for patients from secondary to community care. The new model will be piloted and evaluated with the objective of directing future processes in hospitals and pharmacies across the UK.

Focusing on clinical pharmacy practice research, the project will also support the development of a post-graduate education and training programme to better equip community pharmacy teams with the skills to advise patients about their health – from minor ailments to diabetes and asthma control – providing a resource for the wider NHS community and pharmacy profession.

The collaboration arose from the successful partnership established in 2009 between the Trust and LloydsPharmacy to provide hospital outpatient dispensing. The benefit of joint working to improve patient care became the driving force in working with the university to research additional ways of working together.

LJMU has granted Alison Ewing, Clinical Director of Pharmacy at the Trust, a chair in Pharmacy Innovation to direct the work streams together with Professor Charles Morecroft, Professor of Pharmacy Education and Professional Practice at LJMU’s Faculty of Science. A programme board comprising members from all three organisations will oversee the work and source additional funding for further research. Alison Ewing, Charles Morecroft and Andrew Willetts are the Board members from the three organisations.

Professor Ewing is delighted that the joined up approach is being taken to address inefficiencies in the current system. She commented: “We want the Centre to encourage and inspire pharmacists to take part in research and hope to design and deliver a new postgraduate diploma programme to advance community practice. This is the current priority for Health Education England and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, which will be required if healthcare services are to be more aligned and interconnected to improve the quality of patient care.”

Professor Morecroft, added: “There have been numerous attempts to improve aspects of the discharge process for medicines in the UK, however these have not made any sustainable difference to patient safety or quality of care. We are delighted to conduct this pioneering research with LloydsPharmacy and RLBUHT.

“Our first PhD student is in place and is working on a project entitled “Investigating “Models of Care in the NHS: Patient transfer to primary care on discharge from hospital.” The project aims to determine an innovative hospital medication discharge process which provides safe, quality and effective transfer for patients from secondary to community care. This will involve a mixed methods approach.”

Andrew Willetts, Healthcare Solutions Director leading the project on behalf of LloydsPharmacy, said: “With pressure on the NHS continuing to rise and patient safety increasingly important, there is an opportunity for pharmacy to alleviate this pressure by providing hospitals with an approved clinical pathway. It is exciting that through this research, we have the opportunity to improve the continuity of care after hospital discharge and change the face and quality of healthcare forever.”

“This project is just one way in which we are driving innovation within the healthcare sector. We are incredibly proud that our partnerships between the NHS and LloydsPharmacy branches across the UK allow us to understand community healthcare in a way that helps to shape positive improvements. We see this first research project as a starting point in a long future of creating academic partnerships that will drive excellence in healthcare.”


The Centre for Pharmacy Innovation has been launched 6th November 2014.

Notes to editors:

About LloydsPharmacy, part of Celesio UK

Celesio UK is a leading provider of integrated healthcare services to the NHS specialising in medicines, pharmaceutical care and primary care patient services.

With almost 21,000 employees, more than 1,550 community pharmacies, a UK-wide logistics network and dispensing in excess of 150 million items a year, Celesio UK works in partnership with the NHS, community pharmacies and medicines manufacturers to help UK citizens live longer, healthier and more positive lives. Celesio provides customers, the NHS and patients with high levels of service, value, efficiency and innovation.

Celesio UK comprises LloydsPharmacy, AAH Pharmaceuticals, Evolution Homecare, Wilkinsons Healthcare, Dr Thom and Betterlife.

Celesio UK is part of Celesio: a leading international wholesale and retail company and provider of logistics and services to the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. With some 39,000 employees, Celesio operates in 14 countries around the world. Every day, the group serves over 2 million customers – at 2,200 pharmacies of its own and 4,200 participants in brand partnership schemes. With around 130 wholesale branches, Celesio supplies 65,000 pharmacies and hospitals every day with up to 130,000 pharmaceutical products. The services benefit a patient pool of about 15 million per day. www.celesio.co.uk

About The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the largest and busiest hospital trusts in the North of England, with an annual budget exceeding £400 million. It delivers services across two sites and three hospitals, the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Broadgreen Hospital and Liverpool University Dental Hospital, and employs more than 5,500 people.

Each year the Trust sees more than half a million people in its outpatient department and deals with around 150,000 emergency patients and day case admissions. It is one of the top teaching trusts in the UK with well-established links to the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and international institutions. In 2013 work will began on a new state of the art Royal Liverpool University Hospital.  To find out more about the Trust, visit www.rlbuht.nhs.uk.

About Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool John Moores University is one of the leading research-active new universities in the UK, combining areas of world-leading, international and national excellence in research.

The School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences is one of the oldest providers of Pharmacy education in Europe, and has been delivering industry-relevant courses since 1849. It offers both outstanding facilities and great expertise through its research with funding obtained from a wide variety of sources, including directly from industrial companies, reflecting the applied aspects of the subjects. Additionally, international collaboration with other university research groups in China, France, Spain, Slovakia, Iran, Thailand, and many other countries is also a strong feature of the School’s research activities. http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/pbs/


UK, 6th November 2014