Starting his career as a hospital pharmacist at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, Professor Ball’s professional journey has taken him to New Zealand, Australia and many other countries, and then back to Wolverhampton. He has worked across a wide range of specialities including paediatrics, care of the elderly, terminal care, pain management and many others.
“Like many other health professionals, I realised very early in my career that it was far from a perfect world, but that if some of the imperfections are tackled one at a time, and the changes made are tested for their effectiveness, it is possible for us all to make a difference.
“If we approach each problem with the mindset of how things could be done better and how something new could be better, we can change outcomes.”
In his public lecture, Professor Ball will use examples and he will demonstrate that changed practice and improved outcomes are achievable if the right approach is taken.
From simple examples such as the plastic 5mL spoon that years ago was the standard for most children’s medicines, to how, and why, we moved to the oral syringe; to recent advances in aged care that offer the possibility that using simple tests in the clinic and at the bedside, we can identify whether confusion in older people is because they have dementia, or merely side effects of the medications they are taking.
At the more complex end of healthcare Professor Ball will talk about how early attempts at sending patients home to continue complex treatments started with us sending the hospital home with the patient, but how listening to patients helped us turn this around and give the patients a proper home life.
“The work is not finished. In our health service we have had cheap or free medication for many years, but our hospitals still spend millions each year treating complications of common diseases that we should be able to prevent with better use of medication.”
Working with his co-researcher, who is also his wife, Dr Hana Morrissey, Reader in Clinical Pharmacy in the same School of the University, the two academics are bringing this research to Wolverhampton and the Black Country.
Book onto the FREE lecture here.