KESS2 MPhil in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences: Unlicensed “special” medicines - improving the patients’ experience

Key facts

Application deadline 22 November 2017
Start date 1 January 2018
Duration 3 years
Funding body KESS
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type Master’s studentship
Number of studentships 1

An ideal opportunity for an enthusiastic individual to make a difference in patient care.

“Special” medicines are medicines made for a specific patient when their needs cannot be met using a standard commercially available product, for example for children, to achieve lower doses than the standard product can provide, or to provide a liquid medicine for a person who receives their food and medicines via a feeding tube.

Pharmacists are responsible for supplying specials to patients, and this may involve manufacture, procurement and dispensing. Specials are tailored to the patient, but this individualisation means that obtaining them can be difficult, and variable between suppliers. They range from those prepared as a “one-off” by a pharmacist in a community pharmacy through to quality assured products made in a licensed manufacturing unit and subjected to end product analytical testing before release and use. This variability in quality and accessibility is particularly problematic when patients move between care settings, for example returning home after treatment in hospital.

We have secured funding for a Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) scholarship, to better understand the issues around the safety, quality and accessibility of specials, so that evidence-based improvements can be made to the process. In particular, the aim of the project is to investigate patient and pharmacist perceptions of the acceptability and accessibility of specials.

The project activity will involve qualitative surveys of patients and an understanding from the patients’ perspective of issues relating to specials. In parallel there will be a collection of procedures and policies from across Wales and a proposal for improvements based on evidence from stakeholders’ experiences and challenges. All of the recruitment, interviews and focus groups for this project will be based in West Wales and the Valleys region.

To ensure that the scope of the project encompasses all the relevant areas, it will involve several partners: Mayberry Pharmacy, St Mary’s Pharmaceutical Unit and Community Pharmacy Wales; each is involved at different parts of the specials supply chain. Findings can help each partner improve the patient experience of obtaining and using specials by enhancing communication and collaborative working between the different sectors of pharmacy.

Supervisors

Contact

Wendy Davies

Wendy Davies

Postgraduate Research and Quality Administrator

Email:
pharmacypgr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6419

Funding details

Tuition fee support Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum

Eligibility criteria

Residency Applicants must have a home or work address in the West Wales and the Valleys region at the time of their application for KESS funding and their enrolment for the course of study (see details).
Academic criteria

Applicants are expected to have an Upper-Second Class Honours Degree or above in Chemistry, Material Science or Material Engineering.

Applicants must:

  • have a home or work address in the West Wales and the Valleys region at the time of their application for KESS funding and their enrolment for the course of study
  • have a legal right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the KESS2 support, and the right to take up paid work in the WWV region on completion of the scholarship
  • be classified as a ‘home’ or ‘EU’ student.

The Convergence area covers West Wales and the Valleys, and is made up of the following 15 local authorities:

  • Isle of Anglesey
  • Gwynedd
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Ceredigion
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Swansea
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Bridgend
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Caerphilly
  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Torfaen.

Contact

Wendy Davies

Wendy Davies

Postgraduate Research and Quality Administrator

Email:
pharmacypgr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6419

Consideration is automatic upon application for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (start date of October 2017).

In the funding section of your application, please select 'I will be applying for a scholarship/grant' and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from KESS. In the research proposal section, include the project description contained here.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Contact

Wendy Davies

Wendy Davies

Postgraduate Research and Quality Administrator

Email:
pharmacypgr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6419

Funding opportunity provided by:

Meet us at our Postgraduate Open Day on 22 November 2017.

Eligible research programmes