£2.1m expansion to KGH pharmacy nearing completion

Some of the Pharmacy team beside the new �200,000 robot which sorts and dispenses items automatically

Some of the Pharmacy team beside the new �200,000 robot which sorts and dispenses items automatically

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Kettering General Hospital is in the final stages of a £2.1m project to expand and modernise its pharmacy department.

The work, which has included the installation of a £200,000 robotic medicines dispenser, will help the department to deal with the 11 million doses of medication it prepares and dispenses each year.

some of the KGH Pharmacy team in the hospitals old storage and dispensing area

some of the KGH Pharmacy team in the hospitals old storage and dispensing area

The refurbishment – along with new ways of working – means the department can move more medicines out to wards and departments quicker than ever and with a very high degree of accuracy and tracking.

KGH chief pharmacist Duane McLean said: “The pharmacy department has largely been unchanged for the past 20 years over which time it has seen more than a 50 per cent increase in demand for medication.

“We are delighted that the department has now been brought up to date in a whole host of different ways including the development of robotic dispensing.

“Benefits for patients will be that more pharmacy staff time is freed up to discuss medications with them and to support them preparing for their discharge.

Pharmacy support technician James Maxwell points inside the pharmacy robot  inside it a robot arm is automatically selecting and dispensing medications to waiting ward boxes.

Pharmacy support technician James Maxwell points inside the pharmacy robot  inside it a robot arm is automatically selecting and dispensing medications to waiting ward boxes.

“I would like to thank all of our team for their tireless efforts in making this refurbishment and transformation a great success.

“It has been a difficult period for us but the commitment of our teams has ensured that we have continued to provide a great service to the Trust while at the same time undergoing a period of very significant, and beneficial, change.”

As well as a new medicine dispenser, the project has seen a new controlled drugs safe installed and improved office space for staff.

The refurbishment will also put in place a new fit-for-purpose patient and staff waiting area, replacing the cramped reception currently used.

This will be completed by the beginning of March and will dramatically increase the amount of seating from just four seats to 16.

There will also be screens which will display useful information such as information about medicine and public health.

The new improvements will also include a confidential area where patients can have a conversation with pharmacists about any of their concerns.

Mr McLean said: “The new area will mean that outpatients and visitors here at KGH, who require medicines, will finish their visit with us in an environment which reflects the aims and values of KGH and the pharmacy department.”