High tech Pharmacy robots helping to dispense medicines in Doncaster have saved the service £300,000.
The Pharmacy Departments at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals have been extensively modernised and equipped with the latest high-tech automated ‘robots’ playing a key role in the dispensing and storage of pharmacy medicines.
The robots have also saved the Trust £300,000 by enabling stock to be managed more effectively, keeping track of when medicines are due to expire, and reducing wastage through expired medicines by almost 20 per cent.
The pharmacy staff are very happy with their new arrivals and have affectionately named them Zippy, Bungle and George.
Zippy is a single V-Max robot and is busily storing and dispensing medicines at Bassetlaw Hospital. Bungle and George are based at Doncaster Royal Infirmary pharmacy and they are a tandem V-Max robot.
Since going live a couple of months ago, the new V-Max robots have already made their mark and have speeded up the dispensing service for patients on the wards at both hospitals.
On average, medicines prescribed for inpatients are now dispensed and delivered to the wards in half the time it previously took.
The robots operate by receiving a request to process a prescription from the pharmacy staff via the computer. The robot arm whizzes along the shelves and selects the right medication. It then labels the package with the patient’s details and instructions on how to take the medicine and dispatches it through a system of conveyers to the member of staff who has requested it.
Andrew Barker, Clinical Director, Pharmacy and Medicines Management at the Trust, said: “The main driving forces behind this £1million development are the increasing demand for medicines dispensing and the need to reduce the waiting times for patients receiving their discharge medicines, and the new robots have certainly delivered these, plus a more secure and efficient service.”
This new pharmacy for people attending Outpatients and the Emergency Department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary opened in March this year.
The Co-Operative Pharmacy provides a much improved service to patients between 9am and 6.30pm on weekdays and Saturday mornings.
A delivery service is also offered to patients with repeat prescriptions and those who prefer not to wait.