“Welcome to my website, which includes
to support my
candidacy for the
English Pharmacy Board of the RPSGB .”
Professor Nick Barber
Department of Practice and Policy
The School of Pharmacy
MezzanineFloor, BMA House
London WC1H 9JP
I studied pharmacy at Bradford and went straight on to a PhD in the Clinical Pharmacology Department of the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. After two years my supervisor moved to Glasgow University and I moved with him, spending a very happy year in the Department of Materia Medica at Stobhill Hospital. A lectureship in pharmacology followed, at Chelsea College. However this was the early 1980’s and cuts were coming in higher education. I decided, at the grand age of 28, to take voluntary redundancy and start my pre-registration training, which was at Redhill Hospital and St Georges (where I met my wife).
Following registration I was briefly at St Thomas’ Hospital before becoming an education and training pharmacist for NW Thames Region. I learned a lot in that post, and ran many courses for pharmacists and technicians; I also ran the dispensary at St Stephen’s Hospital a day a week. In 1985 I ran the small pharmacy at the National Heart Hospital, a thoroughly enjoyable, clinically intense environment where we were very much part of the clinical team. I was managed from the Brompton Hospital and it was in this period that I first got engaged with specifications for computerised prescribing, an area I am still actively researching! In 1987 I became principal pharmacist for Oldchurch Hospital in Romford, under Adrian Shafford. Running a pharmacy of around 70 staff across three hospitals, under the excellent mentorship of Adrian, taught me a great deal about practical management.
In 1990 I became the NW Thames Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services and a Senior Lecturer at The School of Pharmacy, University of London, where I was responsible for running an MSc in Clinical Pharmacy. In 1992 the School advertised, and eventually I was appointed to, a new post: Professor of the Practice of Pharmacy.
I am a Professor in the Department of Practice and Policy at the School, and a Visiting Professor in Patient Safety at Harvard Medical School. We are now one of the largest Pharmacy Practice research groups in the world, including seven professors and around 20 PhD students. I stood down as Head of Department when I was elected to Council. You can find out more about the department at www.pharmacy.ac.uk.
I have always been driven to make the world a better place for patients who take medicines. I believe this is a fundamental role for pharmacy. In order to understand what we should do I think it is important to understand what is wrong with things at present, so my work usually starts by seeking understanding by studying what people (patients, pharmacists, doctors etc) do. The next stage is to establish how things could be better, then to introduce and evaluate services which should achieve this end. Funding usually follows.
My work on pharmacists’ interventions in the early 1990’s convinced me that we were recreating the prescribing role, so I started studying prescribing, both the philosophy and the practicality. My research on doctor-patient communication in the consultation (published in the BMJ and elsewhere) is still my most cited work in the medical literature. This also led to research into prescribing error, other medication errors, and non-adherence. Two of my most quoted papers in the field of medication error are a qualitative paper on why doctors made prescribing errors, published in the Lancet in 2002, and work on the prevalence of intravenous errors, published in the BMJ. A constant strand of my research has been in evaluating the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in improving (or not) the safety, effectiveness and efficiency of the use of medicines. Finally, I have been promoting and studying professional values, ethics and the pharmacist for many years and have recently co-authored a study on pharmacists’ values.
More recently my work has led, or appears to be leading, to changes in policy. Work showing the cost effectiveness of a phone support service by community pharmacists for patients starting a new medicine for a chronic condition was adopted in the Pharmacy White Paper; I am hopeful it will become a service funded by PCTs. Our work on medication errors in care homes received a lots of media attention recently (I even appeared on the Today programme), and we are still discussing with government departments how this could be taken forward. My current work is predominantly around the evaluation (including safety) of new technologies, and in ways of bringing together safety science and new pharmacy services. My experiences in hospital research showed me that the best way to get funding was to show that something was unsafe, and that pharmacists could make it safer.
My current major research projects are listed below. All are multidisciplinary projects with multiple institutions; they are real team efforts, however here I just present the gist of them and the institutions without mentioning all the applicants on the grant. Many are with my colleague, Professor Bryony Franklin.
- Evaluation of Release 2 of the Electronic Prescription Service in primary care. Jointly with Rachel Elliott, Tony Avery and others at Nottingham, and Tony Cornford and others at LSE. Funded by, £750,000
- Evaluation of the implementation of the Care Record System into hospitals in England – this is the computerised core of hospitals. I am one of four centres researching into a variety of aspects of the implementation; I am focussing on hospitals in London. The whole project is led by Edinburgh University, and is funded by the Connecting for Health Evaluation Programme at just under £2m.
- Re-engineering the medication process in primary care. The goal is to study the potential effects of lean processes six sigma etc on reducing errors in primary care. Funded by the Welsh National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare, £141,000
- Bryony and I are also part of the team evaluating the large national Health Foundation’s ‘Safer Patients Initiative’, based on IHI innovations in several hospitals.
- There are many other projects, including evaluation of the introduction of electronic prescribing, studying adherence in cancer patients and evaluating FMEA, a technique commonly used to assess risk in healthcare.
An account of my past research, and my views, can best be gleaned from my papers; I include recent peer reviewed publications below in case you are interested, or have difficulty sleeping. I have not included reports, articles, or books, but I am co-editor of Churchill’s pocket book in Clinical Pharmacy and am co-editing a book on Rational Prescribing for Oxford University Press.
Council and other Committee work
As well as being an elected member of Council, I was also elected to be the fourth officer earlier this year (the other three officers being the president, vice president and treasurer). This has given me not only an intimate insight into the complexities of running the RPSGB, and serving members, but also a real capacity to positively influence people. I also sit on the education committee and have been part of the search team for the new CEO of the RPSGB. I am also a trustee of PTECO, a pharmacy charity dedicated to education and research, which receives funding from the RPSGB, and have been nominated to be a governor of the College of pharmacy practice.
I sit on Medical Education England (MEE, an independent committee which advises the secretary of state for health on education and workforce issues in medicine and pharmacy). I'm on the management board of modernising pharmacy careers, a subgroup of MEE, which is reviewing all aspects of undergraduate and postgraduate education for pharmacists and technicians. I am also on the board of the Pharmaceutical Press, a very profitable company which publishes, amongst other things, the Pharmaceutical Journal, the BNF, and Martindale.
Outside the world of pharmacy I sit on the management board of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and on their audit committee, staff performance review and remuneration committees.
And outside work…
I live in Ealing, W London with my wife, Ann Jacklin, and our 17 year old daughter. My wife, another pharmacist, is the Chief of Service for Pharmacy and Therapies at Imperial College Healthcare Trust. As I am now in my 50’s I have given up the motorcycling and martial arts, however I still enjoy exercise, which is just as well as my other interests are food, beer and wine.
Some examples of my research
- Franklin, B.D., Birch, S., Savage, I., Wong, I., Woloshynowych, M., Jacklin, A. and Barber, N., Methodological variability in detecting prescribing errors and consequences for the evaluation of interventions. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 2009; 18: 992-999.
- Barber, N. D., Alldred, D. P., Raynor, D. K., Dickinson, R., Garfield, S., Jesson, B., Lim, R., Savage, I., Standage, C., Buckle, P., Carpenter, J., Franklin, B., Woloshynowych M. and Zermansky, A. G., Care homes’ use of medicines study: prevalence, causes and potential harm of medication errors in care homes for older people. Qual. Saf. Health Care 2009; 18;341-346
- Benson, A., Cribb, A. and Barber, N., Understanding pharmacists' values: a qualitative study of ideals and dilemmas in UK pharmacy practice. Social Science & Medicine, 2009; 68(12): 2223-30.
- Garfield, S., Barber, N., Walley, P., Wilson, A. and Eliasson, E., Quality of medication use in primary care - mapping the problem, working to a solution: a systematic review of the literature. BMC Medicine, 2009, 7:50.
- Shebl, N.A., Dean Franklin, B. and Barber, N., Is Failure Mode and Effect Analysis Reliable? J Patient Saf, 2009; 5(2): 86-94.
- Jani, Y., Ghaleb, M., Marks, S., Cope, J., Barber, N. and Wong, I., Electronic Prescribing Reduced Prescribing Errors in a Pediatric Renal Outpatient Clinic. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2008; 152 (2): 214-218.
- Dean Franklin, B., Jacklin, A. and Barber, N., The impact of an electronic prescribing and administration system on the safety and quality of medication administration. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 2008; 16: 375-379.
- Gallivan, S., Pagel, C., Utley, M., Franklin, B.D., Taxis, K. and Barber, N., A technical note concerning non-adherence to drug therapy: exact expressions for the mean and variance of drug concentration. Health Care Management Science, 2008 Sep;11(3): 296-301.
- Gallivan, S., Taxis, K., Dean Franklin, B. and Barber, N., Is the principle of a stable Heinrich ratio a myth? A multimethod analysis,Drug Safety, 2008; 31(8): 637-42
- Alldred, D.P., Standage, C., Zermansky, A.G., Jesson, B., Savage, I., Dean Franklin, B., Barber, N. and Raynor, D.K., Development and validation of criteria to identify medication-monitoring errors in care home residents. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 2008; 16: 317-323.
- Donyai, P.D., O’Grady, K., Jacklin, A., Barber, N. and Franklin, B.D., The effects of electronic prescribing on the quality of prescribing. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 2008 Feb; 65:(2):230-237.
- Clifford, S., Barber, N. and Horne, R., Understanding different beliefs held by adherers, unintentional nonadherers, and intentional nonadherers: application of the Necessity-Concerns Framework.J. Psychosom Res, 2008 Jan; 64(1): 41-6.
- Elliott, R.A., Barber,N., Clifford, S., Horne, R and Hartley, E., The cost effectiveness of a telephone-based pharmacy advisory service to improve adherence to newly prescribed medicines, Pharmacy World & Science, January 2008; 30 (1):17–23.
- Spinewine, A., Schmader, K.E., Barber, N., Hughes, C., Lapane, K., Swine, C. and Hanlon, J.T., Appropriate prescribing in elderly people: How well can it be measured and optimised? The Lancet, 2007; 370: (9582):173-184.
- Franklin, B.D., O’Grady, K., Donyai, P.D., Jacklin, A. and Barber, N., The impact of a closed-loop electronic prescribing and administration system on prescribing errors, administration errors and staff time: a before and after study. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 2007; 16:279-284.
- Barber, N., Franklin, B.D., O’Grady, Paschelides, S., K., Galliva n, S., Jacklin, A. and Utley, M., Providing feedback to hospital doctors about prescribing errors; a pilot study, Pharmacy World & Science, June 2007; 29:(3):213-220.
- Franklin, B.D., O’Grady, K., Donyai, P., Jacklin, A. and Barber, N., The impact of a closed-loop electronic prescribing and automated dispensing system on the ward pharmacist’s time and activities. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, June 2007; 15: 133-139.
- Shebl, N., Franklin, B.D. and Barber, N., Clinical decision support systems and antibiotic use, Pharm World Sci, 2007 Feb, DOI 10.1007/s11096-007-9113-3.
- Wirtz, V., Cribb, A. and Barber, N., The use of informed consent for medication treatment in hospital: a qualitative study of the views of doctors and nurses. Clinical Ethics, 2007; 2 : 36–41.
- Taxis, K. and Barber, N., Safe medication prescribing and administration: three strategies for hospital pharmacists. European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, 2007; 13: 98 – 100.
- Jenkings, K.N. and Barber, N., Same evidence, different meanings: Transformation of textual evidence in hospital new drugs committees. Text & Talk, 2006; 26-2: 169 -189.
- Ghaleb, M.A., Barber, N., Franklin, B.D., Yeung, V.W.S., et al, Systematic Review of Medication Errors in Pediatric Patients, The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2006 Oct, DOI 10.1345/aph.IG717
- Clifford, S., Barber N., Elliott R., Hartley E., Horne, R., Patient-centred advice is effective in improving adherence to medicines, Pharmacy World & Science, 2006 Sep; 28:165-170.
- Stebbing, C., Jacklin, A., Barber, N., Bates, D.W., A comparison of the US and UK inpatient medication systems, European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy Practice, 2006; 12:36-39.
- Barnes, J., Barber, N., Wheatley, D., Williamson, E.M., A Pilot Randomised, Open, Uncontrolled, Clinical Study of Two Dosages of St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) Herb Extract (LI-160) as an Aid to Motivational/Behavioural Support in Smoking Cessation, Planta Med., 2006 Mar; 72(4):378-82.
- 108. Wirtz, V., Cribb, A., Barber, N., Patient-doctor decision-making about treatment within the consultation - a critical analysis of models, Soc Sci Med., 2006 Jan; 62(1):116-24.
- Barber, N., Safdar, A., Franklin, B.D., Can human error theory explain non-adherence? Pharm World Sci., 2005; 27:300-304
- Barber, N. The Pharmaceutical Gaze – the defining feature of pharmacy? The Pharmaceutical Journal 2005; 275 (7358):78
- Dean Franklin, B., Vincent, C., Schachter, M., Barber, N., The incidence of prescribing errors in hospital inpatients: an overview of the research methods, Drug Saf., 2005; 28(10): 891-900.
- Wirtz, V., Cribb, A., Barber, N., Reimbursement decisions in health policy--extending our understanding of the elements of decision-making, Health Policy., 2005 Sept 08; 73(3):330-8.
- Ghaleb, M.A., Barber, N., Dean Franklin, B., Wong, I.C., What constitutes a prescribing error in paediatrics?, Qual Saf Health Care., 2005 Oct;14(5):352-7.
- Elliott, R.A., Barber, N., Horne, R., Cost-effectiveness of adherence-enhancing interventions: a quality assessment of the evidence, Ann Pharmacother., 2005 Mar;39(3):508-15.
- Beso, A., Franklin, B.D., Barber, N., The frequency and potential causes of dispensing errors in a hospital pharmacy, Pharm World Sci., 2005 Jun; 27(3):182-90.
- Barber, N., Bradley, C., Barry, C., Stevenson, F., Britten, N., Jenkins, L., Measuring the appropriateness of prescribing in primary care: are current measures complete?, J Clin Pharm Ther., 2005 Dec ;30(6):533-9.
- Barber, N., Safdar, A., Franklin, B.D., Can human error theory explain non-adherence?, Pharm World Sci., 2005 Aug; 27(4):300-4.
- Wong, I.C., Ghaleb, M.A., Franklin, B.D., Barber, N., Incidence and nature of dosing errors in paediatric medications: a systematic review, Drug Saf., 2004; 27(9):661-70. Review.
- Jenkings, K.N., Barber, N., What constitutes evidence in hospital new drug decision making?, Soc Sci Med., 2004 May; 58(9):1757-66.
- Barber, N., Parsons, J., Clifford, S., Darracott, R., Horne, R., Patients' problems with new medication for chronic conditions, Qual Saf Health Care., 2004 Jun;13(3):172-5.
- Taxis, K., Barber, N., Causes of intravenous medication errors - Observation of nurses in a German hospital, Journal of Public Health. 2004; 12(2):132-138.
- Taxis, K., Barber, N., Incidence and severity of intravenous drug errors in a German hospital, Eur J Clin Pharmacol., 2004 Jan; 59(11):815-7.
- Taxis, K., Wirtz, V., Barber, N., Variations in aseptic techniques during preparation and administration of intravenous drugs-an observation-based study in the UK and in Germany, J Hosp Infect., 2004 Jan; 56(1):79-81.
- Barber, N., Designing information technology to support prescribing decision making, Qual Saf Health Care., 2004 Dec; 13(6):450-4.
- Coleman, B., Martin, C., Barber, N., Patterson, D., An evaluation of the safety and acceptability of an anticoagulation clinic in a community pharmacy setting - A pilot study., Pharmaceutical Journal., 2004 Dec; 273(7328):822-824.
- Barber, N., Rawlins, M., and Dean, B., Reducing prescribing error: Competence, control and culture, Quality and Safety in Health Care, 12 (Suppl 1), 2003; i29-i32.
- Britten, N., Jenkins, L., Barber,N., Bradley, C., and Stevenson, F., Developing a measure for the appropriateness of prescribing in general practice, Quality and Safety in Health Care, 2003; 12: 246-250.
- Elliott, R., Barber, N., and Noyce, P., Can Britain and the United States learn anything from each other?, The Pharmaceutical Journal, 2003; 27:508-510.
- Jenkins, L., Britten, N., Stevenson, F., Barber,N., and Bradley, C., Developing and using quantitative instruments for measuring doctor-patient communication about drugs, Patient Education and Counseling, 2003; 50:273-278.
- Stevenson, F. A., Britten, N., Barry, C. A., Bradley, C. P., and Barber,N., Self treatment and its discussion in medical consultations: how is medical pluralism managed in practice?, Social Science and Medicine, 2003; 57:513-527.
- Taxis, K. and Barber,N., Causes of intravenous errors: an ethnographic study, Quality and Safety in Health Care, 2003; 12(5):343-347.
- Taxis, K. and Barber,N., Ethnographic study of incidence and severity of intravenous drug errors, BMJ, 2003; 326: 684-687.
- Wirtz, V., Cribb, A., and Barber,N., Understanding the Role of "the Hidden Curriculum" in Resource Allocation - The Case of the UK NHS, Health Care Analysis, 2003; 11:289-294.
- Wirtz, V., Taxis, K., and Barber,N., An observational study of intravenous medication errors in the United Kingdom and in Germany, Pharmacy World and Science, 2003; 25:104-111.
- Barber, N., Should we consider non-compliance a medical error?, Quality and Safety in Health Care, 2002; 11: 81-84.
- Dean, B., Schachter, M., Vincent, C., and Barber,N., Prescribing errors in hospital inpatients: their incidence and clinical significance, Quality and Safety in Health Care, 2002; 11:340-344.
- Dean, B., Schachter, M., Vincent, C., and Barber,N., Causes of prescribing errors in hospital inpatients: a prospective study, Lancet, 2002; 359:1373-1378.
- Sagripanti, M., Dean, B. S., and Barber,N., An evaluation of the process-related medication risks for elective surgery patients from pre-operative assessment to discharge, International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 2002; 10:161-170.
- Stevenson, F. A., Britten, N., Barry, C. A., Bradley, C. P., and Barber,N., Perceptions of legitimacy: the influence on medicine taking and prescribing, Health, 2002; 6: 85-104.
- Taxis, K., Dean, B. S., and Barber,N., The validation of an existing method of scoring the severity of medication administration errors for use in Germany, Pharmacy World and Science, 2002; 24(6):236- 239.
- Barry, C. A., Stevenson, F., Britten, N., Barber,N., and Bradley, C., Giving voice to the lifeworld. More humane, more effective medical care? A qualitative study of doctor-patient communication in general practice., Social Science and Medicine, 2001; 53: 487-505.
- Dean, B. S., Barber, N. D., van Ackere, A., and Gallivan, S., Can simulation be used to reduce errors in health care delivery? The hospital drug distribution system, Journal of Health Services and Research Policy, 2001; 6:32-37.
- Dean, B. and Barber,N., Validity and reliability of observational methods for studying medication administration errors, Am J Health-Syst Pharm., 2001; 58:54-59.
- Titley-Lake, C. and, Barber,N. Drug-related problems in the elders of the British Virgin Islands, International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 2000; 8:53-59.
- Barry, C. A., Bradley, C. P., Britten, N., Stevenson, F A., and Barber, N. Patients' unvoiced agendas in general practice consultations. BMJ 2000; 320:1246-1250.
- Britten, N., Stevenson, F. A., Barry, C. A., Barber,N., and Bradley, C. P., Misunderstandings in general practice prescribing decisions: a qualitative study, BMJ, 2000; 320: 484-488.
- Cribb, A. and Barber, N. Developing Pharmacy Values: Stimulating the Debate. Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain ( 2000).
- Dean, B. S. and Barber, N. D., The effects of a patients' own drugs scheme on the incidence and severity of medication administration errors, International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 2000; 8:209-216.
- Dean, B., Barber, N., and Schachter, M., What is a prescribing error?, Quality in Health Care, 2000; 9:232-237.
- Hand, K. and Barber,N., Nurses' attitudes and beliefs about medication errors in a UK hospital, International Journal of Pharmacy Practice , 2000; 8:128-134.
- Stevenson, F. A., Barry, C. A., Britten, N., Barber,N., and Bradley, C. P., Doctor – patient communication about drugs: the evidence for shared decision making, Social Science and Medicine, 2000; 50:829-840.
- Huang A., Barber N., and Northeast A., Deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis protocol – Needs active enforcement, Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 2000; 82(1): 69-70.
- Stevenson, F. A., Britten, N., Barry, C. A., Barber, N., and Bradley, C. P., Qualitative methods and prescribing research, Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 2000 25: 317-324.
- Taxis, K. and Barber,N., An analytical framework to investigate intravenous medication errors in hospitals, Pharmacy World and Science, 2000; 22: A7.
Last updated: 14-Dec-09