UK’s largest medicine dispensing robot helps in vaccine rollout using Amazon-style technology. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are the only health trust to have such an advanced form of technology, it is responsible for supplying 2.1 million Covid jabs in Glasgow, with 72,000 Covid jabs processed per week.
The orders are placed online and it’s a high-tech production line that works 24X7 with the aim to have few errors where nearly 80 percent of the tasks are automated. The Pharmacy Distribution Centre carries around 10,000 lines of medicines, and 100,000 items are processed per week. The medicines are packed in blue boxes and later packed in vans to be transferred to the acute sites.
Earlier the team took delivery of a smaller robot that is refrigerated and takes care of medicines that require being stored at cold temperatures. Technology plays a key role, as the team provides medicines for hospital wards, other acute settings, care homes, and prison medical units.
According to Claire Aliyar, a chief pharmacy technician at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, “The team have been working really hard throughout the pandemic – especially at the very beginning, because it just happened so fast. We tried to get as much stock in as we possibly could before it all started and we did manage to get some but it was going out as soon as it came in.”
They also supply medicine to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, and the Inverclyde Royal Infirmary in Greenock.
Ms. Aliyar further said, “The team was fabulous, they increased their working hours and came in for extra days. They just rolled up their sleeves, all with the same purpose – to get medicines out for the patients at their time of need.”
The team had earlier conducted a small proportion of NHSGGC’s vaccine program earlier but nothing on this scale. The entire operation was massive and it required new warehouse space from scratch now they are supplying more than 70,000 doses each week – more than 2.1 million doses to date.
Aliyar added, “The more prepared we are, the less pressure there is in the wards and departments. It’s been a huge success. I’ve never worked with a team like this. We all look out for each other whether we’re having a good or a bad day. We’ll always be here for each other and the patients, making sure their medication gets to them when they need it.”