Fast track pharmacy for mums | Latest news

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Pharmacists pose inside the new satellite pharmacy set up in maternity

Fast track pharmacy for mums

The pharmacy team at Northwick Park Hospital is helping mothers and their newborns get home quicker by setting up a ‘satellite’ pharmacy in the maternity unit.

The initiative has helped cut discharge times from half-a-day to half-an-hour helping reduce transfer time between the delivery suite to postnatal ward as well as freeing up bed space.

The hospital’s main pharmacy deals with around 70-80 discharge prescriptions a day relying on porters to deliver them to the ward.

Staff found frustrated mums were often leaving without prescribed medications including antibiotics, painkillers and laxatives, as well as blood pressure medicines and blood clot prevention medication. 

Pharmacy technician Minal Patel said: “Clinical staff are busy so picking up discharge medication from the pharmacy is often delayed. This is is frustrating for patients who just want to go home.

"New mums and dads especially want to be in the comfort of their own homes to care for their new arrivals.

“Patient safety is a priority and not taking essential anticoagulation medication at home leads to an increased risk of patients being readmitted with blood clots which can be serious.” 

The satellite pharmacy allows all new patients to be seen by a pharmacy technician who checks their allergies, medication history and any prescription items that they have brought into hospital with them. 

High-risk patients are highlighted to the pharmacist who then makes sure there are no prescribing errors or concerns about medicines interacting with each other. 

The initiative has been a huge success with the midwives requesting the same level of service at the weekend. 

The trust has a further two satellite pharmacies set up in Acute and Medicine to improve the flow of patients leaving hospital with minimal delay.

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