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Published on 24 October 2014

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Designed for the future: the latest subsidiary trust pharmacy opens in North Tees

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust unveiled its new outpatient pharmacy, Panacea, with a little help from pharmacy design specialists, T3.  It is the latest NHS Foundation Trust to create a commercial arm (Optimus) to run its pharmacy, based at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust unveiled its new outpatient pharmacy, Panacea, with a little help from pharmacy design specialists, T3.  It is the latest NHS Foundation Trust to create a commercial arm (Optimus) to run its pharmacy, based at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.

T3 Pharmacy Design, which has created over 1000 interiors, has been responsible for some of the UK’s most imaginative and distinguishable environments in both community and hospital pharmacies.  T3 has worked with household names including Morrisons, Alliance Boots and LloydsPharmacy as well as many independent community pharmacies and the flagship pharmacy at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth hospital.

When the Trust decided to build a new pharmacy within their hospital site, they turned to T3 for help.  They wanted to create a modern pharmacy to serve patients and visitors within the main entrance area of the Hospital.

Chris Jones, managing director of T3 Pharmacy Design, said:  “The brief asked for a good up to the minute look and feel, something that you would normally expect to find in a high street community pharmacy rather than a hospital site.”

T3 came up with an innovative solution that met the client’s needs, by providing an efficient dispensing area for quick turnover of scripts and a sales area which gives good access to an impressive range of healthcare products and services.  Perhaps unfamiliar in a hospital pharmacy environment, a wide range of toiletries and OTC lines are on sale to patients, visitors and staff.

Chris continues:  “There was a great deal of work to turn this from what was a series of separate rooms into a bright new pharmacy making the use of the space available. I know the trust is delighted with the result and T3 has been a significant factor in bringing this project to such a successful conclusion.  It has all the benefits of a community pharmacy, but with the efficiencies of a hospital.

Chief executive of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Optimus board member Alan Foster said: “Becoming an NHS foundation trust gave us freedoms to start up commercial ventures. The trust is the sole shareholder of Optimus and all surpluses come back into the trust to contribute to patient care.

“Panacea is the new outpatient pharmacy where people who have had drugs and medicines prescribed in our outpatient clinics can take the prescriptions to be dispensed. We hope in future we can dispense all prescriptions because this would be very handy for staff and other visitors.

“In addition to being able to have their prescriptions made up patients will be able to buy the range of products you’d expect to see in any high street chemists and staff and other visitors will also be able to take advantage of the new facility.

The advantage of having the freedom to set up a venture like this is the money stays in the NHS. We believe this will be a major asset for the University Hospital of North Tees and it will be popular with patients, visitors and staff.”

Panacea has its own pharmacist and will employ its own staff.



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