The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP), in association with First DataBank Europe have announced the launch of the First DataBank Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists Information Technology Award.

The aim of the new annual award, established with the Guild’s IT Interest Group, is to encourage, support and promote information technology initiatives and ‘Best Practice’ in the use of IT in the pharmacy.

In particular, initiatives are sought where IT has made a positive difference to the provision of pharmaceutical services or resulted in direct benefit to patients or staff. The award, aimed at pharmacy departments and individuals, will be for £2,500.

Projects may be related to patient care, clinical services, medicines management, decision support, electronic prescribing, or any other IT application that improves pharmaceutical services.

The prize money may be used within the Trust pharmacy departments towards IT initiatives or requirements. A description of how the money will be spent must be included in the application.

To be eligible for the award projects need to have completed in the last 18 months. The award will be presented at the GHP Annual National conference in Bristol, April 2003.

On behalf of the GHP IT Interest Group, Raj Gokani said "We are delighted that First DataBank has chosen to support this new award. IT can have very positive impact upon the way pharmacists work and more importantly how services are delivered for the benefit of patients.

Mr Gokani added: "We hope that this award will help highlight some of the most successful projects and inspire others to move forward in the use of information technology."

The IT Interest Group of the Guild of Hospital Pharmacists was established during 2001 and holds bi-annual seminars that attract around one hundred and fifty delegates. Members have an active interest in the implementation of new technologies to support the provision of pharmaceutical services.

The deadline for entries is Friday, 24 January 2003. For further information and details of how to apply download an application form or visit