The Trust

Pharmacy Dispensary

The dispensary process

Processing a prescription involves a series of checks at each stage of activity. These are necessary to ensure that each prescription is appropriate for the individual.

  • At reception- Your details are checked, and any allergies noted.
  • Clinical check- Is the dose appropriate? Are there any interactions with your current medicine?
  • Dispensing- Your medicine is labelled and dispensed for you.
  • Accuracy check- A final check is given to ensure that everything is correct.
  • Counselling- Your medicine is given to you and advice on how to take the medicines.


We dispense an average of 600 items every day (Monday to Friday). Average weekly number of items are 2,500 - 3,000 items.

Outpatient prescriptions represents 20% approximately of our total workload but in the main are from complicated specialities such as Haematology (unusual drug regimes), Dermatology (large amounts of various creams), Gastroenterology (drugs used outside their licensing) and Oncology (complicated Chemotherapy drugs) – this may increase the turnaround time of these prescriptions.

The agreed dispensary KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are as follows –

  • Outpatients – 80% within 20 minutes
  • Inpatients items – 65% within 60 minutes
  • Discharges – 65% within 60 minutes (At ward level – 90% within 60 minutes)

Multi-Disciplinary Team roles

Assistant technical officers - assist the team in all areas of the process, man the reception, dispense prescription, work in specialised areas, pick and supply Ward stock orders, check supplier orders and help with our robot.

Pharmacy technicians - Assist the pharmacist in all clinical and non-clinical roles, work at ward level, provide technical expertise, be responsible for medicine supply, provide dispensing, accuracy checking and counselling within the department and manage our robot.

Pharmacists - Clinically based at ward level, provide dispensary clinical check, assist in accuracy checking and when needed provide providing information about medicines to both patients and to the professionals who treat them.

Support Team - have an extensive administration and clerical support provided by team members throughout the department, specific areas being:

  • Purchasing of medicines
  • HR and office support
  • IT system support

Clinical trials

The Clinical Trials Unit - operates receipt and storage of trials, plus organisational support for trials governance, that is safe systems of dispensing and records keeping.

The team work very closely with both the Trust Research and Development Teams, and with national and regional research bodies.

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