University Hospitals Plymouth is planning a move for its on-site outpatient pharmacy to a larger facility, after demand for its services have grown by 25%.
The trust has revealed plans to expand pharmacy facilities so there is more space for staff and stock, a better range of services and an improved experience for patients.
The new facility will be 155 square meters and located in the multistorey car park, with the contract for running the new pharmacy currently out to tender.
Demand has increased in the past five years according to Chief Pharmacist Kandarp Thakkar who said: “We are serving a growing population in the region, including thousands of outpatient appointment visits each week who require complex medications. Recovery from the pandemic is putting further pressure on a range of services.
“A lot of the medications that you get in the outpatient pharmacy are not available at your regular high street pharmacy and therefore the solution to this is not so simple. However, the new facility will be double the size in space and gives us the opportunity to have more staff, better patient waiting areas, offer home delivery and improve patients overall experience and waiting times.
“We recognise there have been long queues at the pharmacy in recent weeks, so on behalf of UHP and our partners Lloyds Pharmacy, I want to offer our sincere apologies. The level of service and disruption is not something that we expect or want for patients and we’re very sorry to anyone who has been inconvenienced.
“The outpatient pharmacy demand has outgrown the space and the only solution to this for the long term is to have a new facility which we hope to have fully open and functional by October of this year. “I want to thank patients, relatives and friends for their patience and understanding, whilst the outpatient pharmacy is relocated to the new facility.”
The new facility will also have extended opening times during the weekends with Saturday and Sunday opening hours, which will benefit patients who are unable to attend during the week.
In the short term, UHP volunteers will be on hand to give people more information about waiting times at the pharmacy, temporary seating, as well as offer bottles of water for those waiting in hot weather. We are working closely with Lloyds Pharmacy to do everything we can to provide additional support for our most vulnerable patients.