New 24-hour drug robot at Worthing Hospital

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WORTHING Hospital has employed a new worker who never sleeps.

The newest addition to the pharmacy department at Worthing Hospital is a drug-dispensing robot, which works 24 hours a day to give staff instant access to 1,700 different medicines around the clock.

While the department has had a pharmacy robot for the last four years, the development means the majority of drugs can now be dispensed to ward staff at all times, compared to just 200 of the most common drugs.

The new machine will also increase the reliability and accuracy of dispensing the drugs.

Saffron Mawby, head of medicines management at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This latest development, giving patients those benefits around the clock, is a significant improvement to the service we can provide. Having key medicines available when they are needed is an important part of our patients’ clinical care and this new technology will help our in-patients get the medicines they need, faster than ever before, no matter what the time.”

The £20,000 system was bought by the Friends of Worthing Hospital, and will mean the trust will save on the expense of on-call pharmacy staff having to travel to hospital out of hours.

Lucy Shade, senior pharmacist at Worthing Hospital, said: “The machine brings real benefits in terms of speed, safety, and releasing pharmacy staff to spend more time on the wards during the day, seeing patients. This new improvement to our out-of-hours service will significantly improve the service to our in-patients at night and at weekends.”