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Pharmacy services

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This page has information about the hospital pharmacy.

It tells you information about the services provided by the pharmacy.

Who we are

The Pharmacy Department leads the Trust Medicines Management agenda and provides a complete service to the whole Trust.

We are committed to providing high quality pharmaceutical care by ensuring cost effective purchasing, distribution and use of medicines.

What we do

The Pharmacy Department directs the way the Trust manages its medicines, and provides an intuitive and complete service to support this. The department is open 7 days a week and an on-call out-of-hours service is provided.
We aim to provide a high quality service to all patients and staff of the Trust by providing full information about medicines.

The Pharmacy Department leads the Trust Medicines Management agenda and provides a complete service to the whole Trust. We are committed to providing high quality pharmaceutical care by ensuring cost effective purchasing, distribution and use of medicines.
During the week, up to sixteen outpatient clinics operate at any one time providing services for over 300,000 outpatients per year. The pharmacy works in partnership with Lloyds Pharmacy to dispense outpatient prescriptions. The prescriptions are dispensed from a separate retail outlet on the mezzanine floor.

Patients have shorter waiting times for their prescriptions whilst having access to the same high quality pharmacy advice as they had previously.
The major acute services are based within the Royal, together with regional and national specialist services in Nephrology, Renal Transplant, Renal Dialysis, Ophthalmology, Haematology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Vascular Surgery.

Our services

The aseptic dispensing and manufacturing facilities are located at two sites within the envelope of the Pharmacy Department at the Royal:

The first site
This site is situated on the lower ground floor of the Royal, and consists of four clean rooms designed to facilitate the manufacture of intravenous infusions/injections, eyedrops and parenteral feeding solutions. Four isolator cabinets, situated in separate clean rooms, provide the environmental conditions that are required to enable the manufacture of products under license.

A second site
This facility is based away from the Pharmacy Department and is located in the Linda McCartney Centre. It consists of a clean room with two isolators set up for the production of chemotherapy.

The Pharmacy Department has a very public appearance in the dispensing of prescriptions but this is only one component of the work involved in delivering a modern hospital pharmaceutical service.

The operations of the Dispensary are managed by the dispensary manager, who has a team of staff including a senior technician, technicians, student technicians, dispensers, porters, receptionist and several pharmacists. Each inpatient, outpatient and discharge prescription is clinically checked and verified by a pharmacist with liaison with a prescriber where necessary, dispensed by a pharmacy technician or dispenser and then finally checked by a pharmacy technician, pharmacist or pre-registration pharmacist.

The dispensaries prepare over 4000 ointments, creams, lotions and mouthwashes per year, each one made to patient specific formula for a particular condition. Some 'exotic' items are supplied by Pharmacy e.g. leeches for removing haematomas and aromatherapy oils for use by trained aromatherapy nurses. The Royal Liverpool Hospital dispensary runs around 100 clinical trials (medication still in development) at any one time.

The Pharmacy Distribution provides a service which manages the supply of routinely used medicines to Wards, Clinics, Theatres, Emergency Department and ITU via a stock list. Each stock list is specifically tailored to meet the users needs and is kept under review by the dispensary manager, senior pharmacy dispensing assistant, ward technicians and ward pharmacist.

Wards are visited once a week but specialist areas such as the Emergency Department, Intensive Therapy Unit and Theatres are visited more frequently as their usage of medicines is much greater. This service provides a significant part of the medicines re-cycling scheme and clears the wards of surplus, unwanted stock. This helps to save the Trust hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.

Clinical services frequently review medication charts to ensure that prescriptions are safe and tailored to best meet patients needs. Our 'medicines management' approach promotes only the use of medicines that are safe, effective and economic.

Where adverse events do occur, pharmacists assist in both the investigation and the preparation of the report to the risk manager. Where necessary, pharmacists direct and participate in the training of medical, nursing and other staff in the safe handling of medicines. These adverse drug reactions (ADRs) can range from a mild rash to a life-threatening allergic reaction.

Recent pharmacist led reviews of prescribing have suggested changes capable of saving several thousands of pounds per year. These reviews are often in conjunction with the Medicines Information Unit and the Drugs and Therapeutics Committee. Pharmacists participate in and support ward based schemes for patient self-medication to give them increased independence within the ward or to prepare them for discharge after a long hospital stay.

The Pharmacy Purchasing Department is responsible for the timely, safe and efficient procurement of pharmaceuticals for our hospitals. The annual spend of the Pharmacy on medicines is £40 million. We source pharmacueticals by using national contracts set by the NHS Commercial Medicines Unit (NHS CMU) or by Trust specific contracts with suppliers negotiated for best value. We also purchase some medicines from overseas to treat various diseases.

Approximately 150 orders a week ensure that the Pharmacy is able to meet the daily demands of the hospital. Deliveries are safely checked into the Pharmacy and details of batch and expiry dates recorded before passing on for use or storage. The Goods Receipt Team handle around 50 deliveries every day.

The Pharmacy Purchasing Department is proactively working to meet the standards set by the NHS modernising supply agenda – part of which involves the use of electronic trading. E-trading has been introduced here using the NHS Messaging Service and we are working with all our suppliers to obtain as much buy-in as possible.

We are responsible for coordinating the dispensing process for the numerous commercial and non-commercial clinical trials conducted throughout the our hospitals.

Pharmacy staff work closely with Research and Development, investigators and research nurses, commercial sponsors and other involved parties to set up the medicine supply process for each clinical trial.

Dispensing and storage of medicines for clinical trials is quite different from non-trials and is subject to very strict regulations and accountability.

Staff are trained specifically to dispense and check clinical trials medication.

The Pharmacy is responsible for approximately 130 studies. From those in varying stages of set up to some which have been running for a number of years.

We have a Clinical Trials Team within the Pharmacy Department consisting of two pharmacists, two senior technicians, one technician and one administrator/dispenser.