Patient safety is focus of north-east healthcare conference

Safe prescribing and patient safety will be at the centre of a forthcoming conference for north-east Scotland non-medical healthcare professionals who have prescribing responsibilities.

Nearly 100 nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals are already signed up to attend the Non-Medical Prescribing Conference on Wednesday 5 September.

Funded by NHS Grampian and facilitated in collaboration with Robert Gordon University (RGU), the free conference will provide learning and networking opportunities for all non-medical prescribers within Grampian. It will once again be held at the Faculty of Health and Social Care building at the University’s Garthdee campus where it has convened for the last three years.

The extension of prescribing responsibilities to non-medical healthcare professionals is a relatively recent development which aims to:

  • improve the quality of service to patients
  • make it easier for them to get the medicines they need
  • make better use of the skills of health professionals
  • contribute to the introduction of more flexible team-working across the NHS

Next month’s conference will offer continuous professional development opportunities for non-medical prescribers in NHS Grampian. Delegates will attend a series of presentations and workshops delivered by experts from academic and clinical backgrounds.

The morning will open with a welcome and opening remarks from conference-chair, Jane Harris, programme manager for Modernising Nursing in the Community, from the Scottish Government’s Chief Nursing Officer Directorate. Directly after, a keynote presentation will be delivered by George Hogg, lecturer in Interprofessional Education at the University of Dundee’s School of Medicine. His presentation is titled, “From medical error to patient safety – what have we learned”.

This will be followed up in the afternoon with second keynote delivered by Jennifer Ross, medication safety officer for NHS Grampian. Exploring a similar theme, Mrs Ross will present on safer prescribing through learning from incidents.

Between presentations, delegates will attend a morning and afternoon workshop selected from a choice of six on offer: pain management for adults and children; palliative care; prescribing and de-prescribing in the elderly; safe prescribing for common skin diseases; management of controlled drugs and audit.

Mrs Linda Harper is one of the main forces behind the conference. As lead for non-medical prescribing at NHS Grampian, she and the conference committee have worked hard to organise an event that is current and reflects the needs and interests of the professional community. The content of this year’s conference has been informed by feedback gathered from delegates who attended the previous two events.

Regarding this year’s conference, Mrs Harper said: “Medicines Management is part of the Scottish Government’s Patient Safety programme. This conference, through education and the opportunity to network, will support practitioners to ensure they are delivering safe, effective evidence based care to patients when they are prescribing. ”

Trudi McIntosh, lecturer in pharmacy practice at RGU and conference committee member, added: “This is a great opportunity for non-medical prescribers to exchange experiences and learn from experts and each other.”

Spaces at the Non-Medical Prescribing Conference on Wednesday 5 September are still available. For further information and to register on the conference please visit or call RGU Events Manager Barbara Jones on 01224 262034.

Notes to editor

The 2012 workshop series is comprised of six individual sessions:

  • Controlled Drugs
    Lesley Thomson and Ann Taylor Lead Pharmacists Controlled Drugs Team NHS Grampian
  • Pain Management for Adults and Children
    Anne McLaughlin, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist Acute Pain Service and Jacqui Tahari Archie Clinical Nurse Specialist. RACH
  • Palliative Care
    Dr David Carroll Associate Specialist in Palliative Medicine and GP Facilitator in Palliative Care for NHSG and Dr Sally Lawton Senior Lecturer in Palliative Care (Nursing)
  • Prescribing and De-prescribing in the elderly
    Drs Clare Bostock and Bob Caslake, Senior Registrars in the Department of Medicine for the Elderly, NHS Grampian.
  • Safe Prescribing for Common Skin Diseases
    Dr Tony Ormerod, Consultant Dermatologist NHS Grampian
  • Audit
    Graham Rodgers Pharmacist, Fiona Robertson Team Leader/ Clinical Effectiveness Facilitators Tanya Johnston and Elodie Schrijver

Andrew Youngson 
Communications Officer | Faculty of Health and Social Care
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262389