Health researchers secure Qatar project funding

Health researchers from Aberdeen are working on an innovative project in the Middle East to identify the causes of medication errors at a national healthcare provider.

Professor Derek StewartProfessor Derek Stewart from Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences leads a multi-national research team which aims to help Qatar’s Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) strengthen its procedures and develop safer medication practices.

The wide-ranging project involves researchers from RGU, the University of Aberdeen, Queen’s University Belfast, HMC and Qatar University.

The team has recently been awarded a research grant of $600,000 US (£350,000) from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) to identify what causes medication errors and the organisation’s subsequent reporting structures.

Professor Stewart, who is also a principal researcher at RGU’s Institute for Health and Wellbeing Research (IHWR), has been working with Professor Moza Al Hail and her colleagues at HMC for several years.

He said: “Errors in medication are known to be worldwide issues which can have a major effect on patient care and safety.

“These can occur during the prescribing, administration and dispensing of medication. We hope the research will lead to the development of more robust and enhanced medication practices at HMC.”

In addition to three general hospitals – Al Khor Hospital, Al Wakra Hospital and The Cuban Hospital – HMC also manages five specialist hospitals, Hamad General Hospital, Rumailah Hospital, Women’s Hospital, the National Center for Cancer Care and Research and Heart Hospital.

They look after patients with the most prevalent conditions, including cancer and heart conditions, as well as provide rehabilitation services and provide specialist treatment for women and children.

Professor Cherry Wainwright, Director of RGU’s Institute for Health & Wellbeing Research said: “This is an excellent advance in our research efforts in the field of pharmacy practice, demonstrating the true international reach of the research that Professor Stewart is undertaking.

“This collaboration will help to cement the existing research relationships with Qatar and hopefully lead to additional collaborations with other countries in the Middle East.”

Professor Donald Cairns, Head of RGU's School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, said: "This is great recognition for Prof Stewart and his team. The school has been working with partners in the Gulf region for several years and this award will reinforce these important relationships."

Funding body the Qatar National Research Fund was established in 2006 as part of the government’s on-going commitment to establish Qatar as a knowledge-based economy.

The organisation views research as essential to national and regional growth, and a means to diversify the country’s economy, enhance educational offerings and develop areas that affect the community, such as health and environment.

For more information about Qatar National Research Fund, please visit:

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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health and Sport