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Lead Enhanced Recovery Pharmacist first to win prestigious NICE scholarship

NICE

Neetu Bansal, our Lead Enhanced Recovery Surgical Pharmacist, has been appointed as one of NICE's 2014-15 scholars - the first pharmacist in the UK to be accepted on the scheme.

As part of the prestigious Scholarship, she is expected to attend a series of workshops and master classes, which provide content such as NICE methodology, implementation science and other transferable skills such as influencing.

NICE Scholarships are one-year opportunities typically awarded to qualified health and social care professionals to find out about the inner workings of NICE and undertake a supported improvement project, related to NICE guidance, within their local organisation. NICE aim to appoint ten scholars each year across the country.

The relationships formed with NICE staff and other Fellows and Scholars are often of value far beyond the Scholarship project - relationships which will be strengthened at the NICE Conference due to be held in Birmingham in May.

Through active participation in the scheme, Neetu will also be better able to understand healthcare regulatory issues and become skilled in driving a quality improvement change agenda both locally and nationally.

As the Lead Enhanced Recovery pharmacist at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Neetu's role involves working strategically and in collaboration with various members of the multidisciplinary team to implement enhanced recovery pathways within different surgical specialities.

The overall aim is to improve patient outcomes and patient experience with an evidence-based approach to patient care. The enhanced recovery partnership programme fully supports strategies such as maintaining good pre-operative hydration, carbohydrate loading to reduce the fasting period, peri-operatively individualised goal directed therapy, surgical antibiotic prophylaxis, appropriate venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis and optimal analgesia.

The benefits of enhanced recovery pathways to improve patient outcomes is fully supported by the enhanced recovery partnership programme between the Department of Health, NHS Improvement and National Cancer Action Plan.

Neetu said: "As a NICE scholar, I propose to undertake a supported improvement project demonstrating the positive impact pharmacists can make in optimising medicines use and improving patient safety by the implementation of various NICE guidance and quality standards along enhanced recovery pathways.

"These include medicines reconciliation on transfer of care between settings, reducing surgical sites infections, VTE prevention, promoting medicines adherence with the patient-centred 'No decision about me without me' approach, and medicines optimisation helping to reduce surgery cancellations, post-operative complications, length of stay and readmissions.

"Through participation in the NICE scholarship programme, I aim to demonstrate the associated productivity and efficiency gains that can be realised along enhanced recovery pathways, and to derive shareable lessons to improve the quality of patient care nationally."