Lead Diabetes Pharmacist, Ulster Hospital, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland
Since graduating with BSc Hons from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) in 1982, Rosemary has worked as a clinical pharmacist, completing an MPhil in 2007 and qualifying as a pharmacist prescriber in 2006. After joining the diabetes team in 2005, Rosemary set up and ran a Diabetes Cardiovascular Risk Clinic. She currently consults at weekly outpatient clinics for adults with diabetes and manages a Trust-wide Type 2 Insulin Titration Service. Rosemary regularly participates in pharmacist education for QUB and the Northern Ireland Centre for Pharmacy Learning and Development (NICPLD) and provides diabetes education for primary care teams through her involvement in Project ECHO NI. As a member of the NI Diabetes Strategy Group, Rosemary also contributes to strategic and planning decisions for diabetes management across NI. More recently, Rosemary led the ‘Making Insulin Treatment Safer in Northern Ireland’ Project which won the Royal College of Physicians Patient Safety Award in 2018.
‘Making insulin treatment safer’
The National Diabetes Inpatient Audit Reports repeatedly detail a high percentage of management and prescription errors with insulin. These events increase patient risk and lengthen hospital stay. Foundation Doctors, who undertake most prescribing, receive little support to fulfil this important role. Reports also indicate that inpatients would like to be more involved with their diabetes management. The Making Insulin Treatment Safer (MITS) initiative aims to improve the experiences of inpatients prescribed insulin, the education of the Foundation Doctors who write most of their prescriptions and the appropriateness of these prescriptions. The MITS team developed a reflective debriefing tool (SMAC2). This was used to conduct formative case-based discussions with junior doctors; encouraging them to reflect on an insulin prescribing event and subsequently make SMART commitments to improve prescribing and involve patients in their decision making.