St George’s was proud to see both our pharmacy and therapy teams represented at this year’s national Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) conference.

Principle physiotherapist Jennifer Willis gave a presentation to 100 attendees discussing the extended roles of the St George’s therapy team in both our emergency department and acute medicine unit (AMU).


Jennifer said, “Extended therapy roles are historically around extended the therapists skills with medical skills and responsibilities.

“However, at St George’s AMU therapists go beyond this by our physiotherapists and occupational therapists gaining skills outside of their trained role in physiotherapy, occupational therapy and also social work roles.”

Acute and respiratory medicine consultant Jane Evans presented research with lead pharmacist Victoria Bray, which clearly demonstrated the positive impact of having a specialised pharmacist present during AMU team ward rounds.

The team compared the number of drug interaction checks patients received when being assessed by a specialised AMU pharmacist compared to a non-AMU pharmacist. They found that the number increased when a specialised AMU pharmacist was involved and suggested that this highlighted the need to utilise pharmacist skills in the correct area.


This work was “highly commended” at the conference. It was one of nine pieces of work recognised out of the 110 entries.

Jane said, “By ensuring specialist pharmacists are present to provide expert advice we can further improve patient safety and ensure we continue to deliver the highest standard of care.”

The St George’s pharmacy and AMU team also presented encouraging results from their ‘Pop-Up Pharmacy’ trial. This piece of work was led jointly by Dr Stephan Brincat and Runa Patel, AMU lead pharmacist.

One of the major contributing factors to discharge delays is the time taken to prescribe, dispense and deliver discharge medicines to the patient.

By erecting a ‘Pop-Up Pharmacy’ much closer to AMU the team found they could increase their capability to dispense medications and that this, on average, resulted in an 84 minute reduction in patient waiting times. Work is now underway to make this ‘Pop-Up’ a much more permanent fixture.

Chris Evans, chief pharmacist said, “Our team presented two pieces of research that robustly demonstrate the importance for pharmacy staff to be present at the front line of patient care, working with the medical and nursing colleagues – contributing to improved safety, quality and patient experience.”


Acute and respiratory medicine consultant Jane Evans said, “It was great to see full representation by St George’s AMU medics, therapists and pharmacists’ at this National Conference. They demonstrated the benefits of cross-professional working. I was proud to be there to present my work and support the team.”