School of Pharmacy

Staff Profile

Professor Andy Husband

Head of School

Background

I am currently Head of the School of Pharmacy and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy. I have a background in hospital pharmacy practice and have held a range of academic posts at both the University of Sunderland and Durham University. I chair the Accreditation Team and the Board of Examiners at the General Pharmaceutical Council and have a longstanding interest in curriculum design and improvement within pharmacy education. I'm specifically interested in integrated curricula and how assessment strategies should be designed to appropriately assess pharmacy students ability to solve the complex clinical problems they will encounter in practise.  

My research interests beyond education, primarily focus on the rational use of medicines and how prescribing decisions influence patient care. This currently extends into examining how medicines are discontinued when no longer appropriate and how clinical review of prescribed medicines can influence patient outcomes, including readmission to hospital. Adherence to prescribed medication is also of interest particularly in the context of how individual disease states and social backgrounds influence patients decisions to adhere to their treatments.

Memberships/Registrations

Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (88462)

Registrant of the General Pharmaceutical Council (2042568) 




Research

I have a number of strands of research interests focusing on education and rational medicines use

I am interested in curriculum integration in pharmacy, as a statutory health qualification the content of the MPharm is governed by the General Pharmaceutical Council, since 2011 the regulator has created a different set of standards for MPharm programmes primarily based upon outcomes. The combination of the various science strands within a pharmacy degree has always been difficult to properly align and students often fail to understand the relevance of fundamental chemistry or physiology to professional practice. I have worked on curriculum designs, which attempt to focus students' understanding of course material and how  this information can be applied to complex clinical scenarios. I am interested in how we improve information retention and in particular how students assimilate information into the working memory, such that it is accessible to them in high-pressured clinical situations. The assessment of this sort of curriculum is challenging and I am involved in a number of strands of research, which attempt to understand how an integrated curriculum improves knowledge, understanding and application of information. Primarily, I would like to ensure that our assessments are driving integrative thinking and problem solving without being compartmentalised.

The rational use of medicines, primarily in the hospital environment and in palliative care will continue to be part of my research portfolio. This area is focused on prescribing and deprescribing and the consequences thereof, including medicines-related readmission to hospital and the use of IT to support prescribing and decision-making. We are interested in understanding more about interventions, which will improve safe prescribing, but also ensure regular, timely review in order to improve patient outcomes. The use of medicines as patients age is a specific area of interest currently patients are prescribed a medicine and told they will need to take it of the rest of their life. What does this mean in ageing patients or those with life-limiting illness, how do patient perceive deprescribing and how can this be safely and systematically approached? These are the questions we are currently addressing within this group. 



    


Teaching

I teach on the Master of Pharmacy programme (MPharm) primarily in the area of clinical therapeutics. My main area of interest is in cancer and anticoagulation. I supervise Master's projects associated with the MPharm, these projects usually focus on hospital pharmacy-related topics around admission and readmission to hospital as a consequence of medicine-related issues. I also contribute to anatomy teaching at Stage 1 of the MPharm programme.  

Publications