ROBOTS which automatically dispense medication is one of the features of a new pharmacy opened in Winchester.

The pharmacy is located inside the Royal County Hospital in Winchester and had its official opening on October 15 by Winchester and Chandler's Ford MP Steve Brine.

The new hospital pharmacy includes temperature-controlled environments and state of the art equipment including two robots which handle the safe storage, rotation and dispensing of medications.

There has also been investment in technology to allow for the tracking of medicines through the pharmacy and onto the wards.

The robots automatically generates stock order replacements and can be accessed by pharmacists from home to dispense emergency drugs out of hours, allowing specialist pharmacy staff to spend more time directly supporting patients.

Nichola Jones, chief pharmacist at Hampshire Hospitals, said: “We are incredibly excited to officially open the doors to our new pharmacy in Winchester, and I am really proud of the whole team who made this happen and dealt with the challenges the pandemic brought to this project head on.

“As well as the many benefits to our patients, we are delighted to also have improved training workspaces – enabling us to better support students and staff with face-to-face and digital learning.”

Alex Whitfield, chief executive at Hampshire Hospitals, said: “We are really excited that we are able to see this improved facility in action. The new pharmacy is part of our ongoing investment in the future of our hospital in Winchester.

“It has improved the environment for our pharmacists to work in and enabled us to bring state-of-the art technology to the trust.

“So much work went into the plans for the department, and I want to say a big thank you to all the teams involved. They managed to move the whole pharmacy across the hospital site, while keeping a full service open for our patients and staff.”

Steve Brine MP, said: “I am so pleased to see the trust deliver this new build, which brings to life the original plans drawn up to improve the previous dated facility.

“It was a real pleasure to cut the ribbon on the new robot that sits at the heart of the whole operation, and to meet some of the team - who are so obviously energised by their new working environment.

“From my time as pharmacy minister, I know the impact of hospital pharmacy services and their role in making the health and care system function. HHFT have used wisely the funding we were able to secure from Government.”

Click here to see a virtual tour of the new pharmacy.