Top award for flu fighters 

21/09/2011 00:00 

Two UCLH colleagues have won a prestigious national award for their work in fighting flu.

Dr Mike Kidd and Dr Rob Shulman with their award

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society recognised the important contribution made by critical care pharmacist Dr Rob Shulman and consultant virologist Dr Mike Kidd who consolidated and summarised evidence. In doing so, they highlighted the most effective antiviral therapy and dosages for various types of critically ill patients.

The guidelines were written for the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA) Critical Care Group and were endorsed by the Health Protection Agency. They were widely used nationally and, as a result, played an important role in influencing the management of critically ill H1N1 flu patients across the country.

The pair worked with fellow critical care pharmacists from The Royal Free and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. The team were awarded the Clinical Pharmacist of the Year Award 2011 at a recent ceremony – the impressive glass trophy currently sits in the pharmacy at UCH.

Dr Shulman said: "During the flu pandemics, the type of patients coming into critical care were different from usual and required the use of unfamiliar medications. New evidence was emerging all the time in this dynamic field requiring a change in practice.  In 2009 there was scant data available but as the pandemic proceeded, the treatment advice rapidly evolved to take into account new evidence and experience."

The guidelines were updated three times during a period of enormous pressure on critical care services; during the winter 2010 surge, 25% of critical care bed capacity in England was occupied by patients being treated for flu. In some areas this figure rose to 40%.

Dr Kidd added: "It was a very valuable experience collaborating with expert pharmacists and applying that expertise in a totally new situation."

As the winter 2010 flu surge subsided in the UK, it spread eastwards across Europe.   The team were invited by the Health Protection Agency to share their expertise via European and Russian teleconferences on behalf of WHO-Europe.

Dr Shulman said: “It was truly collaborative work and it is very nice that our professional body has recognised our work in this way… very gratifying!”


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