We speak to the Pharmacist/Pharmacy Team of the Year Award shortlist ahead of this year’s General Practice Awards, to be held on 8 December in London.

The first entry under the spotlight from this year’s shortlist of six is Mohammad M Rahman, principal pharmacist and head of medicines management at Lewes Primary Care Network and Foundry Healthcare.

Mr Rahman works as the principal pharmacist and head of medicines management for Lewes Primary Care Network and Foundry Healthcare. He is spearheading a multi-disciplinary model of clinical care within the PCN and aiming to enhance the service through digital processes.

He has devised integrated working between community pharmacies and GP practices within the PCN. He created a single point contact for prescription queries, and clinical intervention is formulated via a dedicated email and phone number directly linked to the clinical pharmacy team and a prescriber in-house. This service takes care of the prescription query, clinical intervention, or short supply generated at community pharmacies.

Instead of waiting for the reception to find a GP to resolve the queries, now community pharmacies at Lewes are in a better position to get quick answers to their questions relating to medication changes and prescribing. This new approach has cut the waiting time for prescription queries or clinical interventions from pharmacies to GP surgeries and reduced the telephone burden for reception colleagues. It has also helped free up GPs' admin time.

As antibiotic stewardship lead, Mr Rahman linked the GP system to Public Health England’s (PHE’s) guidelines to create guideline-dependent antibiotic prescribing. As a result, a system-generated alert flags up PHE guidelines to assist clinicians in safely and appropriately prescribing antibiotics.

Mr Rahman has introduced a pharmacist-led preventative cardiology clinic where established cardiac patients are seen and managed for heart failure, dyslipidaemia, atrial fibrillation and hypertension. One clinical intervention helped diagnose a pulmonary embolism in a patient in secondary care within hours. This was discussed as a clinical learning case for the students of the advanced clinical assessment unit at the University of Bath.

Mr Rahman was instrumental in piloting the Florence digital platform for Sussex ICS, helping patients to monitor blood pressure and medication usage remotely. Patient data is supplied through the platform to clinicians, helping to review clinical cases and reduce waiting times.

What they said

Dr Katherine Wallek, mental health lead and GP partner and trainer at Lewes PCN and Foundry Healthcare, said Mr Rahman is an ‘exceptionally committed professional in patient-centred care, NHS services, medicine optimisation and poly pharmacy.’

Dr Wallek added: ‘Through his development of our dedicated prescriptions team, Mo has improved patient safety by significantly reducing prescribing errors. He has also developed good relationships with our community pharmacies, which has resulted in better patient care through effective collaborative working.’

Geraldine Hoban, managing director for Lewes PCN and Foundry Healthcare, said: ‘Mo continues to stretch the offer of clinical pharmacists and the wider pharmacy team, building a level of expertise and collaborative working across primary and secondary care that is leading the way for other PCNs in the system and beyond.’

She added: ‘His enthusiasm for a digital-first approach and patient-centred care is providing a blueprint through our innovative digital pilot projects for how long-term condition management can be transformed in primary care.’

Last year, West Midlands-based pharmacist Helen Kilminster won the Pharmacist of the Year Award after demonstrating she is an advocate for fair and equitable access to healthcare.

See here for more information about this year’s General Practice Awards and the gala dinner and ceremony, which will be held at the Novotel London West on Friday 8 December.