State-of-the-art robotic technology has revolutionised the distribution of medicines to hospital and healthcare facilities in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
A new Pharmacy Distribution Centre, officially opened today by Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, has replaced 14 separate pharmacy stores and is now the single point for the distribution of all medicines used in hospitals and clinics throughout Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
The new centre, one of the largest and most advanced pharmacy distribution centres in Europe, is installed with the latest robotic technology and has modernised the way in which medicines are distributed to hospitals and other healthcare facilities across Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
The opening of the new centre has also resulted in over 40 specialist pharmacy staff, who were previously involved in the dispensing of medicine, now working directly with patients on wards allowing nurses and doctors to spend more time on direct patient activities.
In the centre robotic arms pick the appropriate medicines, which have been ordered electronically, to an agreed ordering schedule. With over 80,000 packs of medicines being distributed to approximately 4,000 destination points per week the centre is already attracting interest from other NHS colleagues across the UK and other health systems across Europe.
In addition, the centre also manages the homecare service which provides specialist medicines directly to 3,800 patients at home and who attend specialists clinics, not only in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, but also to patients from Lanarkshire.
Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing added: “By providing a central procurement and distribution point for all medicines used by hospitals and clinics in the area, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have been able to reduce costs and using modern technology has meant more efficient production and a reduction in errors.
“This fantastic, state-of-the-art centre has also ensured that over forty staff can now work directly with patients - contributing to the quality care experience and enhancing patient safety.”
Andrew Robertson, Chairman, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “Over the last few years we have been revolutionising healthcare facilities across Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the opening of this Centre is another step in one of the most exciting and ambitious NHS modernisation programmes ever undertaken in the UK.
“As well as providing a state-of-the-art facility, the centre incorporates the latest robotic technolgy which will speed up the dispensing process and ultimately improve the patient experience.”
Norman Lannigan, NHSGGC Lead Pharmacist, has been involved with the project since its inception and is delighted the centre is now fully operational. He said: “Pharmacy has much more to offer in the provision of direct care to patients than its traditiional activity of dispensing and distributing medicines.
“The scale of the operation within the Pharmacy Distribution Centre is unique within the NHS. The fact that it was fully operational within six months of opening is a great credit to our staff working in the centre who have fully embraced the new technology.
“The new technology at the centre has also allowed us to release staff from their dispensing and distribution activities and to integrate them in to ward based teams where they can use their knowledge and skills working with our patients to ensure that they get maximum benefit from their medicines.”
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