Advancing Knowledge, Changing Lives
Professor of Primary Care Pharmacy, Carmel is Director of Research for the Pharmaceutical Science and Practice Cluster and Chair of the School of Pharmacy's Postgraduate Committee. Her research has led to major changes in how medicines are prescribed in nursing homes in Northern Ireland.
Tell us about your research.
I focus on the use of medicines in older people, and have a particular interest in the quality of care provided in nursing and residential homes. I have undertaken a range of different studies in these types of settings, ranging from qualitative investigations to randomised controlled trials. I am also interested in evidence-based medicine and behaviour change in both patients and healthcare professionals.
How does your research impact on the lives of people in Northern Ireland
One study, known as the Fleetwood Project, demonstrated how pharmacists, working with general practitioners, could improve the prescribing of medicines for nursing home residents. This has led to a new service, based on the research, being commissioned by the Health and Social Care Board for all nursing homes in Northern Ireland.
Pharmacy at Queen’s had a great result in REF 2014. What do you think makes your School such a successful research environment?
We have excellent staff and excellent students, we collaborate widely, and many of us have a strong focus on improving patient care, irrespective of the field of research.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Interacting with enthusiastic and motivated students, and being able to work on topics that are of critical importance for health care.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Reading, cinema-going, travel (not for work) and keeping fit. Last year, a group of us from the School did the Belfast Half-Marathon and we were in the top 3% of fund-raisers. This year, we are aiming for the Great North Run. Runners are selected through a series of lotteries and only one of us has made it so far.
What are you currently reading?
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill. It was featured in many of the ‘Must Read’ lists at the end of 2014.
What are you most proud of?
The Fleetwood project, and the students who successfully complete a PhD. It’s such an achievement..
If I wasn’t an academic, I would be…
The owner of a bookshop.