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Addressing the Polypharmacy Challenge in Older People

Expert Advisory Group

Our Expert Advisory Group is made up of people with expertise in: living with multiple long-term conditions, general practice and public health, pharmacy, the voluntary/third sector, medical ethics, social science, psychology:

Jennifer Bostock, Lay Chair
Darren Ashcroft, Manchester University
Gerry Bennison, Patient representative
Nicky Britten, Exeter University
Graham Brown, Patient representative
James Goodwin, Age UK
Iona Heath, ex-President Royal College General Practitioners
Robert Horne, University College London
Celia Roberts, King’s College London
Stephanie Taylor, Queen Mary University of London
Peter Toon, ethicist and GP

Jennifer has been working in Research Ethics and Patient and Public Involvement for over 10 years. She has been involved in writing for the academic and NHS press, lay peer review, research funding panels, quality assessment, and research ethics. She is Vice Chair for an NHS Research Ethics Committee, a visiting lecturer at King’s College London, a trainer for the Mental Health Research Network and the Health Research Authority, an ethicist on Marie Stopes International Ethics Committee and is Ethics Lead for Research Design Service London. Her interest in polypharmacy comes from caring for her elderly parents and as a patient with a complex genetic condition.

Darren Head of the Drug Usage and Pharmacy Practice Division at Manchester Pharmacy School. He is also the research theme lead for medication safety in the NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre. As a pharmacist and pharmaco-epidemiologist, his major research interests and teaching focus on the use of medicines within society. Topics of particular interest include: methods to improve the appropriateness and safety of drug prescribing and drug taking, adherence by patients with prescribed regimens, and quantification of the risks and benefits of drug therapies.

Gerry has a keen interest in the use of lived knowledge and narrative in diverse forms of Health and Social Care provision through Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) mechanisms. He is actively engaged as a PPI Reviewer for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), previously acted as a Public Panel Member for the Department of Health Policy Research Programme, and has been a lay member for National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). Within pharmacy research and guideline development, Gerry has acted as a Specialist Topic Lay Member for the Managing Medicines in Care Homes Guideline and the associated Quality Standard. Gerry is a PPI Research Advisor with the Quality and Outcomes of Person Centred Care Research Unit at the University of Kent. He recently obtained a degree in health and social care with The Open University. This experience combined with providing informal care, means Gerry understands the issues of polypharmacy and how these relate to practical issues for choice and empowerment for people with complex needs across the life course, with particular reference to older people.

Nicky is Professor of Applied Health Care Research, at the University of Exeter Medical School. She is a medical sociologist with particular interests in lay views of prescribed and non-prescribed treatments, patient-doctor communication about prescribing, the management of multiple medications in chronic illness, the synthesis of qualitative research, and user involvement in research.

Graham graduated with an Honours degree in Psychology in 2002 from the Open University. He recently retired after running his own successful business for 15 years. Graham has been an Expert Patient Programme volunteer tutor and assessor with the NHS & Arthritis Care for many years. As well as sitting on APOLLO-MM's Expert Advisory Group, Graham is a Research Advisor for the Quality and Outcomes of Person Centred Care Research Unit (QORU) and a Patient and Public Involvement advisor for CLAHRC West Midlands.

James is Head of Research for Age UK. In this role, he is responsible for funding and commissioning a wide portfolio of research to improve the health and wellbeing of older people; knowledge management and translation; and all AGE UK’s internal, external and international research partnerships. James also holds a Visiting Professorship in Ageing at Loughborough University.

Iona worked as a general practitioner in Kentish Town, London from 1975 until 2010. She is a Past President of the UK Royal College of General Practitioners. In 2000, Iona was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the Care of Elderly People. Through her writing she has explored the nature of general practice, the importance of medical generalism, issues of justice and liberty in relation to health care, the corrosive influence of the medical industrial complex and the commercialisation of medicine, the challenges posed by disease-mongering, the care of the dying, and violence within families. Her book Matters of Life and Death was published in 2007. In 2014 she chaired a panel tasked with responding to a request that articles in the BMJ about the side effects of statins should be retracted.

Rob is Professor of Behavioural Medicine at University College London. After a decade as a clinical pharmacist in the NHS he completed a PhD in health psychology. His research interests include: developing theory-based, pragmatic interventions to support treatment adherence and engagement with care in long-term conditions; measurement in behavioral medicine to assess patients’ perceptions, expectations and experiences of illness and treatment; and understanding and optimising medication related behaviours including prescribing and adherence.

Celia is Professor Emerita in Sociolinguistics in the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication, King’s College London. Her research interests include: institutional discourse, language and ethnicity, and the methods of linguistic ethnography. Celia is also a part of the APOLLO-MM research team as a collaborator.

Stephanie is Professor in Public Health and Primary Care at Queen Mary University of London. Her research interests include complex interventions, chronic disease management and the self-management of chronic conditions. She is an expert advisor on self-care of non-communicable diseases to the World Health Organization.

Peter practiced as a GP for 30 years. He is a writer and has held academic posts at UCL, Queen Mary University of London and the GP Deanery, where he worked mainly on postgraduate and continuing education. His many academic papers focus on the ethics of medical reports, preventive health care and virtue ethics in medical practice. His published books are a Flourishing Practice?, What is Good General Practice? and Towards a Philosophy of General Practice.

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