The School of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences hosted a major pharmacy conference in May 2013. The two day 19th annual Health Services Research in Pharmacy Practice (HSRPP) conference was attended by academic pharmacists, pharmacy researchers, practicing pharmacists and pharmacy policy makers with over 100 delegates from as far afield as Nigeria, Canada and New Zealand, as well as from over 15 of the UK Schools of Pharmacy.
The conference got off to a great start with an excellent keynote speech from Professor Zubin Austin of the University of Toronto, who spoke about the psychology and professional identity of pharmacists. The day continued with a wide variety of research being presented under the umbrella theme of value-added pharmacy, and the ‘work’ of the day was rounded up by a keynote on this theme from Professor Alison Blenkinsopp of the University of Bradford. The conference dinner was held at the Tudor Samlesbury Hall, where delegates were treated to an historic talk, including tales of ghosts and some unexpected audience participation in the re-enactment of scenes from the history of the hall.
The second day opened with a keynote from Professor Mark Gabbay of the University of Liverpool, who spoke on how practicing pharmacists could become more involved in research, and on the NHS structures available to support researchers. The morning then focused on the exploration of research skills and methods, with workshops on research ethics, statistics, and the use of qualitative methods, with a final session of presentations rounding up the conference.
The conference received some very good feedback, including that UCLan kept up the tradition of HSRPP in providing a supportive and informal environment in which experienced and novice researchers could meet. There was also an enthusiastic response from both students and staff to the conference, and the local organisers are extremely grateful for the contribution of colleagues and students in helping the days run smoothly, and making it a warm and welcoming event.