Dispensing a prescription

IMAG0141 We dispense all types of prescription (except those supplied by substance misuse service), NHS GP, repeat dispensing, Dental, Nurse, Private, and veterinary. These can be electronic or paper based.

Your safety is our major concern, and dispensing the correct medicine, at the correct strength, in the correct quantity, with the correct instructions, and label, which is right for you and will not interact with all your other medicines is a risky process. To ensure your safety every prescription presented is firstly checked by the pharmacist. They may then ask to speak to you, to discuss, how and when to take/use it, give advice on possible side-effects and where to store it. They will check the medicine is right for you, against the other medications you are taking, and that the prescription is legally valid.  The pharmacist will generate a label and select the correct product, to be dispensed by the robot.

New Robotic Dispensing.  The prescription will then be passed to the dispensary team. The Robot will select the medicine and send it down a chute to the dispensing assistant or technician who will check the correct strength and quantity,  against the prescription, and then place the label on the box, ensuring the medicine, directions for use and quantity are the same on the label as on the prescription. The dispensed prescription is then passed to an accuracy checking technician, who checks again that the correct product is dispensed, at the correct strength, form, quantity, instructions, person, and is legally valid. They then place the item/s in a bag and pass it back out to the counter to supply to you.

The Robot is a big storage container full of shelves containing the boxes of medicines.  The robotic arm selects the medicines from the shelves using their barcodes and sends them down a chute to be labelled. 

An error found by any member of the team during this process is recorded, so we can learn by our mistakes. Very occasionally an error does manage to get through all three stages of our safety mechanism. Should you notice any error no matter how insignificant it seems, please contact the pharmacy and report. We can only learn and improve if we know, and learning about a small error occurring, may prevent a far bigger one from occurring in the future. We report errors to the NPSA (national patient safety authority) so that we can all learn nationally.

If you wish to make a complaint as a result of an error, please see our patient complaints procedure.

We are a small pharmacy and although this has an advantage that we can use whichever wholesaler we like, so we can source some medicines that are in short supply. We have the disadvantage of not being able to stock absolutely everything on the day. Our owing rate is about 2 in every 100 items dispensed. Medicines are expensive and go out of date in a short amount of time. We may have some of your medicine, but not all of it or not at all. We will do our utmost to source your medicine as soon as possible. Some manufacturers only use one wholesaler to distribute their drugs, and therefore the time to source is determined by that wholesaler delivery time. But we can source most medicines within 24hours and some within that day. If your medicine is urgent we will do our utmost to source within that day and will get the GP to suggest an alternative if necessary.

We will give you an owing ticket with a time to collect your medication, or you may prefer to have it delivered.

Emergency supplies

If you need one of your regular medicines in an emergency when you are unable to contact your doctor, we may be able to help. We must stress that this can only be done in genuine emergencies and it may incur a charge.

Medicine containers

All medicines are dispensed in child resistant containers unless you ask us not to. Please remember: keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children. Our pharmacist can advise you on safe storage of medicines.

NHS Unwanted Medicines service.

Please return all unwanted medicines to the pharmacy where we will dispose of them safely.