The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists have opened nominations for their 2006 annual award for innovative use of information technology within pharmacies, sponsored by First DataBank.

The ‘First DataBank Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists Information Technology Award’, which is worth £2500, was set four years ago to encourage new ideas and best practice from pharmacists using IT.

Neil Kirby, chair of the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP) IT Interest Group, which organises the awards, said: "The entries we received in the last three years’ awards were of a very high standard and demonstrated the positive impact that IT can have on how services are delivered and upon the way pharmacists work.

"We hope that this award will continue to highlight some of the most successful projects and inspire others in the use of information technology."

University College London were the winners of the 2005 award for their project on a web-based application for management of clinical trials, ‘Complying with Clinical Trial Regulations: Using IT Without Working Harder’.

Their Clinical Trial Management System served to standardise all the 100 clinical trials taking place at any one time over the college’s five sites, allowed paper-free management of dispensing and patient histories for each trial, and even featured a sophisticated automated invoicing system.

Previous years’ winners also include The Highlands Primary Care NHS Trust ‘Prescribe-a-Chat’ project, which vastly improved communication with individual Prescribing Support Pharmacists across the area, and University Hospital Aintree, for their patient discharge data transfer system.

Prospective nominees must submit a 2,500 word description of their project to the GHP. They may then be invited to give a presentation in person about their project to the Guild. Part of their case must include how the prize money would be spent on advancing the project.

The GHP is looking for evidence of success, how the benefits of the project were measured, how obstacles were overcome and how the project could be scaled to fit into other healthcare organisations.

For more information about the awards and details on entering, visit