Health Services Research and Pharmacy Practice (HSRPP) Conference 2016. Embracing distinct Research methods: bringing an end to harm from medication.

The 22nd HSRPP conference was held at the Greenland campus, Henley on Thames, on 7th-8th April 2016. It was hosted by the Reading School of Pharmacy and was chaired by Dr Parastou Donyai, Director of Pharmacy Practice and Associate Professor of Social and Cognitive Pharmacy – with Dr Nilesh Patel, Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice being the co-lead. The conference also coincided with the 10-year anniversary of Reading School of Pharmacy. The main conference sponsor was Clinigen Group (Idis Global Access), and other sponsors included Janssen Cilag, Mortimer Pharmacy, and Day Lewis Pharmacy.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Embracing distinct research methods: bringing an end to harm from medication?” which focussed on the topic of medication harm reduction. 113 delegates consisting of national and international researchers from academic, primary and secondary care sectors attended this 2-day event. Both days comprised of parallel oral and poster presentation sessions, and keynote presentations.

The conference was opened by Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, who was followed by the first of three stimulating and inspiring keynote speakers. Professor Martin Marshall, Professor of Health Improvement, University College London was the first of the keynotes, whose presentation was titled: ‘Evidence-based practice or practice-based evidence? Breaking down the barriers between academics and practitioners’. This was followed later that day by Professor Peter Buckle, Visiting Professor at Imperial College London who presented on ‘Human factors and pharmacy – improving quality and enhancing safety’. The second day of the conference was completed with a three-course conference dinner at Phyllis Court in Henley.

Dr Jeffrey Aronson, Editor of Meyler’s Side Effects of Drugs, Honorary Consultant Physician at Oxford University, started off proceedings on the second day of the conference talking about ‘Adverse drug reactions: anecdotes, signals, and evidence’. Day two of the conference also provided a choice of four parallel workshops covering topics of current interest; the design of feasibility studies (delivered by Professor Sandra Elridge, Queen Mary’s University London), professional development (delivered by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Head of Professional Development Dr Catherine Duggan), writing for publication (delivered by Dr Jon Bull) and increasing the impact of research (delivered by Dr Anthony Atkin). The conference was concluded by a prize giving event for best oral and poster presentations, and the passing over to next years’ HSRPP host, the University of Nottingham.

The two day conference was an enjoyable, friendly and sociable event that showcased a range of health-related research methods, all tackling the issue of medication safety. It allowed the opportunity for networking and exchange of ideas and was well received by the delegates. The twitter # can be viewed for delegate photos and comments #HSRPP2016