This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Case study: The Pharmacy ACROSS Service: A new way to support research delivery

Pharmacy ACROSS Service

By Jenny Warmington, Senior Pharmacy Technician

There have been many exciting new developments in relation to the delivery of research happening lately. Our world is changing and pharmacy is no exception.

The West Midlands region has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to our pharmacy community. We have a strong culture of collaboration and support that has developed over many years. This includes a mentorship programme for pharmacy staff new to research delivery and meetings that we facilitate to enable staff across the region to share their expertise with one another on a regular basis.

Julie Shenton CRN West Midlands Lead Pharmacist and I have always been available to support Trusts on an advisory basis and during the pandemic, our roles became more hands-on as we provided support to research-naive pharmacy colleagues to help them to set up and deliver the Urgent Public Health (UPH) studies. This demonstrated that pharmacy staff across the region could work collaboratively to support the delivery of clinical trials of investigational medicinal products (CTIMPs), something that (to our knowledge) has not been done before and which has since paved the way for the development of a new service.

At the start of this year we began to explore the development of a pharmacy service where we offer practical support to Trusts in the delivery of CTIMPs across the region. Our Network already had a well established ACROSS service for research nurses so it made sense to see if we could tap into that expertise to develop a similar service for pharmacy.

The idea of the Pharmacy ACROSS service was to offer Trusts in the region support from a pharmacy technician or pharmacist experienced in the delivery of CTIMPs through, for example:

- Delivery support - dispensing and checking for example
- Support to set up studies
- Review of the their pharmacy service in relation to the delivery of research
- Mentorship (peer support)
- Training
- Development of Standard Operating Procedures
- Protocol development support for Trust-sponsored studies

To date the Pharmacy ACROSS service has supported the set up of eight clinical trials across many specialities including, but not limited to, paediatrics, dental, cardiology , COVID-19 , and diabetes of which four are currently open to recruitment with the remaining studies expected to open in the coming weeks. We have also conducted two service reviews for pharmacy clinical trials services.

In the coming weeks we will be conducting a stakeholder review to establish the needs of the service which will allow us to increase our capacity with the most appropriate skill mix to support Trusts in the delivery of CTIMPs.

This is a very exciting time for research given the increasing number of decentralised clinical trials and the move to more integrated healthcare systems. The ambition is that the Pharmacy ACROSS service will be able to support the delivery of CTIMPs across our region in all settings.