News & Events

Kostas Petridis
We are very pleased to welcome Kostas to the APU team. Kostas is a mathematician and has just completed a PhD in business modelling. His ability to support APU research and teaching programmes, primarily in quantitative research techniques and service development / business-benefits realisation is exciting!

Pharmacists in Emergency Departments (HEWM-HEE)
At present we are analysing the data from 785 ED patient attendances to identify the potential for pharmacists to expand their role within the multidisciplinary team of hospital Emergency Departments. This regional pilot study may expand to a national study considering some 26,000 patient attendances. In particular we are interested in determining the optimal advanced training needed by pharmacists working in Emergency Departments and their potential to support the clinical workforce. Please contact Dr David Terry for further details.

Patient with diabetes – community pharmacists
The training of pharmacists to support patients with diabetes is the subject of a part research grant from Sanofi. Please contact Prof Keith Wilson for further details.

Paediatric drug dosing database

POEM – Paediatric Oral Enhanced Medicines
Work to develop novel formulations for children is on-going. Two PhD students are investigating oral-dispersible tablets (ODTs) and fast-dissolving films capable of carrying medicines for children in easy swallow formulations. Laboratory work is supervised by Dr Afzal Mohammed and Dr Dan Kirby.

Also within POEM we are conducting some work with the USA company Flavorx to consider the benefits of their products, including: a re-flavouring process for use in community or hospital pharmacies to change the flavour of existing liquid medicines; the use of ‘Pill Glide” a product designed to make swallowing tablets and capsules easier for both children and adults.

The development of Pill School (funded by BCH Charities) is underway. Pill School is designed to provide a pharmacist led clinic to support children to swallow tablets. Please contact Dr David Terry for further details.

This project is designed to consider the engagement of adolescents with community pharmacists, and builds on the successful ‘Arthriting’ project completed in 2014 (funded by PRUK and led by Greenline Consultants).

Electronic Prescribing in Paediatrics
A recent matched funding projected (CLARHC and Aston University) has been agreed. This three year, three phase project will identify the benefits of introducing electronic prescribing to paediatric practice in hospitals. Start date is early 2015.

Doctoral research programmes
Existing doctoral research programmes associated with APU include:

  • Paediatric electronic prescribing and clinical decision support tools (AB and AF) 
  • Pharmacy latent errors (AS) 
  • ODT use in paediatrics (HES) 
  • Fast-film medicines for children (TP) 
  • Pharmacy services in paediatric out-patients (JA) 
  • Hospital oncology services and pharmacy support (SH) 
  • Intranet pharmacy services (RS)


Erasmus / overseas students
In 2015 APU will host 8 students from other countries, including: USA, Australia, France and Italy.

Horizon 2020
A bid to consider the adverse-drug reactions relating to the use of unlicensed medicines in Europe and beyond is being drafted. We are also pleased to be working with colleagues from Curtin University, Perth, Australia on this subject area.

Recent Publications


  • Hughes E, Aiello M, Terry D. Clinical pharmacists in urgent and acute care - the future pharmacist. Commissioning. 2014;1(6):48-53.
  • Lajoinie A, Henin E, Kassal B, Terry D. Solid oral forms availability in children: A cost-saving investigation. Br J Clin Pharm. 2014;78(5):1080-9.
  • Burridge AM, Wilson K and Terry D. Support tools for paediatric inpatient prescribers: a review. Eur J Hosp Pharm 2014;21(2),113-117.
  • Gutermann L, Decottignies A, Sharif K, Sinclair A, Rieutord A, Terry D. Parents and carers of patients who had liver transplants: opinions and experiences of medication issues. Eur J Hosp Pharm. 2014;21:339-43.
  • Burridge AM, Terry D and Wilson K. Support for paediatric prescribers: what is discussed at hospital board level? Eur J Hosp Pharm 2014;21:6 330-334 doi:10.1136/ejhpharm-2013-000438


Aston Pharmacy School

Pill School

BCH Charities have awarded a small grant (£5k) for us to complete a proof of concept study concerning Pill School. 30 children taking liquid medicines for long-term conditions will be referred to Pill School. This is an out-patient clinic run by a pharmacist and a nurse using evidence based methods to teach children how to swallow tablets. Results will then be considered with a view to developing a full business case for an on-going service.

Dr Ahmed Hawwa

Ahmed has recently joined Aston as a senior lecturer in clinical pharmacy and has an enviable track record in pharmacy related research. Specific research interests include methotrexate and tacrolimus and pharmacokinetic modelling.  Ahmed will be collaborating with APU and research programmes at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Pharmacists in Emergency Departments (HEE)

Health Education England in the West Midlands have commissioned an observational study to identify the potential benefits of having independent prescribing clinical pharmacists as front line clinicians in hospital Emergency Departments. The BCH arm of the study is scheduled to commence in March 2014 and will involve a BCH Pharmacist working in the busy ED department for a period of 5 weeks. 

Medicines Optimisation 

A collaborative study between APU, Jhoots Pharmacy Group and Sanofi is being developed to consider the medicines optimisation role of pharmacists across the  primary and secondary care interface.

Paediatric drug dosing database

To support the development and implementation of electronic prescribing at BCH we are developing a database of dose regimens suitable for children. This exciting project will enable prescribers, pharmacists and other healthcare staff to look up a drug-indication-route combination and find an approved dose in appropriate age ranges. Senior managers of NHS England have been to see the project with a view to making it available beyond BCH. 

Oral dispersible tablets

Work to develop ODTs suitable for children is on-going and an evaluation of placebo products will commence in early 2014. A consultation with the Young People's Group at the Wellcome Clinical Research Facility was undertaken by Dr Afzal Mohammed and Dr David Terry in November 2013. Pending successful  testing of the placebo small scale production of the active product from a licensed manufacturer is likely to start in early 2014.

Fast-dissolving film medicines

Work is on-going to develop fast-dissolving films as a carrier of medicines for children. 

Doctoral research programmes

Existing doctoral research programmes associated with APU include:

  • Paediatric electronic prescribing and clinical decision support tools (AB)
  • Pharmacy latent errors (AS)
  • ODT use in paediatrics (HES)
  • Fast-film medicines for children (TP)
  • Pharmacy services in paediatric out-patients (JA) 

New PharmD students will also consider:

  • Hospital oncology services and pharmacy support (SH)
  • Intranet pharmacy services (RS)

Adverts to identify further PhD students are being developed. These are:

  • A comparison of UK verses Dutch clinical pharmacy services
  • Clinical benefits of a paediatric drug dosing tool 

Horizon 2020

Whilst our bid to secure (Madame Curie IEF) funding to evaluate clinical pharmacy services across Europe was not successful we will soon be advertising for a suitable candidate to develop a further bid for our study protocol titled COPyUK (Clinical Outcomes of Pharmacy in UK and Europe).


Following the successful delivery of the PRUK funded Arthriting study in 2013 (DT was part of the study team) a proposal for funding for a follow-up study has successfully got through to the final round of funding considerations. Final result awaited. A summary of the original study can be found here.

The APU now has a Virtual Office facility provided by Collaborate software. The system allows interactive meetings and educational sessions to be hosted by the software. The link to the office is provided below. To use the Virtual Office click on the link and follow the instructions on the screen. You do not need any software installed on your own PC. To make best use of the system you will need a webcam and a microphone (an integrated headset is recommended). To use the Virtual Office please contact us (0121-333-9793) to book an appointment. APU Virtual Office >>

PhD students: We are pleased to welcome both Thu Pham and Hamad Alyami who are being co-supervised via the APU. Thu is working on the use of fast-dissolving films as a drug vehicle in paediatrics and Hamad is developing fast-melt tablets.

PharmD: The professional doctorate in pharmacy course is open to applicants starting October 2013. For more details please contact Dr David Terry (programme director) or the LHS Admissions team). The programme is open to UK registered pharmacists who hold a postgraduate diploma in pharmacy or a postgraduate masters or equivalent.

Clinical Diploma: The clinical diploma is expected to be available in 2014. The diploma is part of a continuing postgraduate programme for registered pharmacists that runs through diploma to masters to doctorate - start from where you are (!) get off when you have achieved your goal! The Aston clinical diploma in pharmacy is designed for pharmacists in all sectors of practice and is 'skills' focused. The diploma has an innovative distance learning module structure that includes content for the working pharmacist. Modules are: 

  • Working in Organisations
  • Healthcare management
  • Clinical Consultation
  • Medicines enhancement
  • Prescribing
  • Medicines for specialised groups (Paeds).

MCRN: Dr David Terry has joined the Medicines for Children Research Network Pharmacy and Pharmacology Clinical Study Group.

Ms Caron Eyre has agreed to join the APU's Steering Committee. Caron is Associate Director of Nursing at Birmingham Children's Hospital and will support the team in the consideration and development of a professional doctorate in nursing.

A draft report, commissioned by the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG) on medication reconciliation has been completed and will soon be made widely available. The 117 page report considered the significance of medication reconciliation (MR) for children on admission to hospital and included studies on 4 sites in England. The report confirms the need for MR as an essential service to reduce risk to children.

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