Hospital pharmacist based in Aylesbury is named as a Woman to Watch

Combatting overuse of antibiotics wins specialist pharmacist a coveted place on the Pharmaceutical Journal’s list for 2021

By Hannah Richardson
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 12:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 12:24 pm

A specialist pharmacist at the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has been named as one of the Pharmaceutical Journal’s Women to Watch 2021.

Claire Brandish, a specialist pharmacist in antimicrobials, is based at Stoke Mandeville Hospital but works across the trust as a whole.

According to the Pharmaceutical Journal, Claire has “revolutionised the impact of antimicrobial stewardship" at the Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust, with an ambitious programme to radically reduce the number of patients prescribed unnecesssary antibiotics.

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Claire Brandish

As a result of her drive, the number of hospital patients who had their antibiotics stopped rose from 65 in 2017/2018 to 312 in 2020/2021.

Claire and her team achieved this by increasing the number of pharmacy-led ward rounds they conducted, from 39 in 2017/18 to a mammoth 1,566 in 202/21.

The overuse of antibiotics in recent years means they are becoming less effective and this has led to the emergence of 'superbugs' - strains of bacteria that have developed resistance to many different types of antibiotics.

The NHS and other health organisations across the world are trying to reduce the use of antibiotics when there is no benefit to be gained in taking them and patients risk side-effects.

More recently, Claire led her team when they were redeployed to work in intensive care during the first and second waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, taking it as an opportunity to forge better links with the intensive care and respiratory teams.

The healthcare trust's chief pharmacist, Jayne Ballinger, said: “No matter what work or life demands of her, Claire rolls her sleeves up and will be the first in line to help resolve a problem, bringing humour and grit and getting to the end of the day and congratulating everyone else.”