Dr Simon Wills

Simon WillsHead of Medicines Information

My role

I’m lucky enough to work with a great team who make me look really good! There are about 15 of us, and we’re all so different. I think my main role is to create the right environment in which excellence and creativity can flourish, and where professional people know they can work at the cutting edge and yet still enjoy themselves. We all work hard.


As a team we’ve done some wonderful things that I’m really proud of. In many ways we’ve played an important part in modernising UKMi. We write the UKMi Training Workbook which is used by all pre-reg and junior pharmacists in the UK. Recently it’s been adopted by other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Germany. It says a lot for Southampton that other countries want to follow our lead. We’ve also led the development of MiDatabank which will have really important implications for Pharmacy as part of the NHS Constitution.

Our training of local pre-reg here is always rated very highly, and we’ve led our Health Authority’s initiative to introduce multidisciplinary e-learning. We write a lot of material for www.nelm.nhs.uk, for NHS Direct, and for the National Prescribing Centre. We have an active research programme which keeps us on the map, and a very good local APC which my team do a great deal to support.

I suppose my personal best achievements are completing my PhD (drug-related events in A&E) and my book (Drugs of Abuse, Pharmaceutical Press).

Future aspirations

There are so many, but I’m told I can only have three, so here goes:

  • To enable patients to make informed decisions about their own care by supporting clinicians, NHS Direct, and patients themselves via a Southampton medicines hotline.
  • To make MiDatabank the core Pharmacy-specific database for sharing all information and records in-house in secondary care across the NHS.
  • To make sure UKMi has a vibrant and relevant research programme that informs practice and demonstrates its worth.