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Pharmacy research and teaching boost as NHS Highland and Robert Gordon University join forces


Robert Gordon University (RGU) has joined forces with NHS Highland to establish a new pharmacy academic research centre in Inverness.

L to R - Professor Rose Marie Parr, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Scottish Government; Professor Don Cairns, Head of RGU’s School of Pharmacy & Life Sciences; Ian Rudd, Director of Pharmacy NHS Highland; and Gordon Rushworth, Programme Director HPERC.Lecturers from RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences have worked with colleagues in the Highland capital to create the Highland Pharmacy Education and Research Centre (HPERC).

Based in the Centre for Health Science in Inverness, HPERC was officially opened in November by Professor Rose Marie Parr, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for the Scottish Government.

The research centre is a new venture for RGU and NHS Highland and has been established to support the provision of long-term clinical placements for a new postgraduate course at the university entitled ‘MSc in Clinical Pharmacy and Service Development.’

HPERC will also build on existing undergraduate interprofessional teaching placements with medical students based in NHS Highland. In addition, HPERC will act as a hub for pharmacy researchers in the Highlands.

Professor Parr said: “I was honoured to be asked to open HPERC which will enable research collaborations and achieve that special mix of industry, academic and NHS activity, which is vitally important to grow the life sciences sector, and also support the Scottish Government’s vision and action plan for pharmaceutical care in the community.

“Having a community pharmacy network across all our remote and rural communities is a key lifeline service and this development will help to support that health system for patients.”

Gordon Rushworth, Programme Director for the Highland Pharmacy Education and Research Centre, added: “Opening HPERC is the culmination of years of work establishing an effective teaching and research collaboration between NHS Highland and RGU’s School of Pharmacy & Life Sciences.

“HPERC will deliver innovative clinical placement teaching to undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacy students in Highland and be at the forefront of clinical and practice based research."

Professor Donald Cairns, head of RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, said: “I am delighted that the School has partnered with NHS Highland and look forward to working more closely with them in the future. The new facilities are excellent and establish an RGU presence in Inverness.”

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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health and Sport