LloydsPharmacy has been providing outpatient dispensary (OPD) services on behalf of the Royal Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust for the last ten years. This was the first partnership of its kind when it started in 2009 and has grown a lot ever since. So, what has it been like to work in there? We found out from pharmacy manager Phil Elliott.
“Having a really close working relationship with the trust, and mirroring their service as much as possible, has led to a better experience for our patients”
What made you want to work here?
I’ve been with LloydsPharmacy for 20 years. Starting as a student before becoming pre-reg and then a qualified pharmacist. I wanted to work here initially because of the opportunities available, particularly in terms of continuing my education in different areas of pharmacy. When the opportunity to work within a hospital OPD environment came up, it was perfect timing. I was proud to become part of such a strong partnership between the Trust and LloydsPharmacy.
What’s made you stay here for so long?
I’ve stayed for so long because the partnership has constantly grown which has kept things fresh. I’ve also been able to do a clinical diploma and prescribing qualification with the support of the company and the Trust here in Liverpool. It’s kept the job interesting and has forced me to expand my knowledge and not get stuck in a rut.
What changes have you seen during your time here?
The biggest change over my time here is the increase in the volume of prescriptions and clinics that we work with. It has grown from 300 items a week to 1875. Alongside this, the team have been able to build really good relationships with Trust staff which has helped us to manage the increase in workload without impacting on waiting times for patients.
What improvements have you seen during your time and how do you feel the patient experience has changed over the last 10 years?
One of the areas I wanted to improve when I arrived, was to have less patients waiting for their prescriptions. Over the last few years we have been able to achieve this. Thanks to our strong relationships, many clinics now send us prescriptions well in advance which means patients can come and collect them a few days later without having to wait.
I think the fact that I have done the clinical diploma and have also been able to spend time shadowing the Trust pharmacists, has meant that the patient experience has become more seamless between the hospital and LloydsPharmacy.
What do you think the future holds and what opportunities are there to improve things even more?
Over the last two years, we have taken on the dispensing work for six external clinics. This means that patients who can’t visit the hospital can now get their medication either delivered to their home or a satellite clinic closer to their home. I think in future that this will continue to expand, which will help patients who live a long distance from the hospital. It will also help to deliver efficiency and cost savings for the Trust.