The installation of automated dispensing at a UK hospital trust represents the biggest change in the organisation’s service delivery in more than 20 years, according to a senior manager.
Rob Yates, director of professional support services at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the £0.5m investment would allow automated dispensing for some 80% of prescriptions.
Automated dispensing systems are becoming increasingly common in UK hospital pharmacies.
It is claimed the robots improve accuracy, provide supplies to patients more quickly, improve stock control and reduce wastage.
Mr Yates said robots would be installed at two units within the trust, Chorley and South Ribble Hospital and Royal Preston Hospital.
He went on: “The technology allows overnight dispensing and we can even access the system remotely for out-of-hours supply.
“The robots use barcodes to identify medicines and we expect to have them up and running by July 2008.”
He added: “The streamlining of routine duties in the pharmacy will see more of our staff providing medicines management support at ward level to offer assistance to nursing staff and patients.”