Surinder Bassan graduated from Sunderland Polytechnic in 1972, registering as a pharmacist in 1973 after completing his pre-registration training in community pharmacy. He managed various pharmacies in the Potteries whilst reading for LLB as an external student of London University.
In 1976 he joined NHS, managing mental illness, psychiatric and geriatrics hospital pharmacies in Dartford. He accompanied consultants on ward rounds, realising the potential for pharmacy contribution to patient care as well as to the practices of ward-based teams.
In 1978 he was appointed Area Drug Information Officer based at Basildon hospital. Despite having completed Part 1 of LLB, he concluded Pharmacy’s future was in providing near-patient clinical services. He moved to Manchester to read for MSc in Hospital Practice specialising in rheumatology under Prof. Rowland.
Surinder joined Southend General Hospital; developing clinical services by introducing pharmacy based therapeutic drug monitoring, managing patients with resistant hypertension and epilepsy in clinics with medics. He started SWAP (Sampling Ward Activities of Pharmacists) in North East Thames Region. He produced a report of over 23,000 hospital pharmacist interventions which was submitted to DoH as evidence of pharmacists’ clinical contributions to patient care. He supported education and training of Nurses and Pharmacy Technicians as a lecturer at Southend Technical College.
Between 1983-85, Surinder set up and managed the Drugs and Poisons Information Centre at King Khaled University Hospital in Riyadh, gaining valuable insight into American based pharmacy systems.
On return to Southend in 1986, he developed Formulary and Prescribing Guidelines before being appointed District Pharmaceutical Officer for North Warwickshire in 1987. Based at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton he continued to develop clinical services and education and training avenues for Pharmacy & Nursing teams.
In 1990 Surinder was awarded Membership of the College of Pharmacy Practice. He also served as a member of Recruitment & Retention Committee of the College.
Various innovative developments followed, such as starting Needle Exchange facilities through A&E department and local community pharmacies (despite initial police reservations), pharmacist run clinics for diabetics & heart failure patients, robotic dispensing and a model demonstrating reduction in medicines administration errors through technician led mid-day medicines round.
In 1995, following a grant, a pharmacist was placed in a Dispensing Doctor Practice to rationalise prescribing, develop Formulary Guidelines, and start up clinics for Hay Fever and H. Pylori Eradication, which resulted in Surinder being awarded MSc in Clinical Pharmacy by Liverpool John Moores University in1997.
In 1997 West Midlands Chief Pharmacists realised there was a lack of succession planning. Surinder set up an Education and Development fund with the aid of the pharmaceutical industry to finance a part-time Diploma in Hospital Pharmacy Management in conjunction with Aston University. He co-ordinated recruitment and funding of potential students, all of whom subsequently went on to become chief or deputy chief pharmacists throughout the country.
From 1998 Surinder became a member of the RPS’ Adjudicating Committee for Registration of Overseas Pharmacist. Later he also became part of the team for accreditation Universities MPharm and Overseas Pharmacist Assessment Programme (OSPAP).
In 2005, Surinder completed the Executive MBA of Warwick University. The hospital benefitted with improved systems and governance arrangements in the management of NICE guidance.
In 2006 Surinder became Chief Pharmacist of University Hospitals Southampton. He led and developed a high-profile award-winning team which many other hospitals aspired to emulate. During his time the team was cited by DoH as a beacon site in successfully managing challenges of infection control and VTE. Collaboration with CCG resulted in establishment of a pharmacist in rheumatology and gastroenterology clinics, optimising treatment together with the consultants. A subsidiary company of the Trust was also established to manage out-patients supplies of medicines.
Surinder was designated as an RPS Fellow for Distinction in Clinical Pharmacy and for Services to the Profession in 2008.
He retired from NHS in 2012 but continued to practice as an Independent Pharmaceutical Consultant, holding interim Chief Pharmacist positions at Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Robert Jones Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Queen’s Hospital Burton and Great Western Hospital, Swindon.
Surinder is a member of the RPS, UKCPA and GHP. As an Associate of GPhC, he is a member of the International Registration panel and Fitness to Practice committee.