Our pharmacy department is made up of approximately 70 people focussed on delivering a safe and efficient medicines service to our patients.
We continuously evolve our processes to ensure we meet the
demands of our patients and hospital staff in delivering high
standard medicines management services. The department is able to
provide structured training posts for both pre-registration
pharmacists and technicians including experience in patient
services (dispensary), clinical ward services, technical services,
purchasing and quality assurance. We have good links with
London pharmacy education and training, who provide additional
support to our trainees and qualified staff alike.
Ward-based clinical services
Our team involve pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in a range
of specialities, where we regularly visit wards, meet and talk to
patients, and support the ward nurses, doctors and other
professionals. We have pharmacists specialising in oncology,
surgery, advanced nutrition, renal medicine, cardiology and
respiratory medicine, anticoagulation, HIV/AIDS, anti-infectives
and medicines safety. A number of our specialist staff are
prescribers in their own right and provide advanced medicines
support to our patients. Some accompany consultants on clinical and
teaching ward rounds so doctors can turn to them for advice before
Our team of pharmacists review patient medication on a daily
basis for clinical appropriateness and patient safety. Supported by
our excellent team of Technicians we carry out detailed medication
histories upon arrival to hospital, medicines supply and
counselling for new medicines prescribed during your stay. As
medicine specialists we are available to all patients and staff as
an information service. This may include information relating to
dosage, route of administration, drug calculations, drug
interactions, drug side effects, and alternative treatments
The pharmacy dispensary team comprises about 30 staff who are
responsible for the dispensing and accuracy checking of at least
200 outpatient prescriptions, 40 discharge prescriptions and
inpatient supply for 20 wards every day. We are helped in our work
through the use of an automated dispensing robot and a prescription
tracking system, both of which help us to reduce waiting times.
Our dispensary service, which handles around 6,000 items a week,
helps to make sure patients get the best drug treatment
by advising doctors on drug therapy, making up special
formulations and monitoring prescriptions for accuracy and safety.
We participate in a number of medicine clinical trials for a number
We are open between 10.00 to 12.00 Saturdays, closed Sundays and
Technical services unit
All processes within our newly installed unit are quality
assured. The unit holds a manufacturer's 'Specials' Licence
and ISO901:2008 which allows the provision of services to other
trusts and organisations. The aseptic unit produces a
traditional range of batched and individual aseptically prepared
products. These include adult and neonatal intravenous nutrition
(TPN), pain relieving devices (PCAs), and a wide range of
ready-to-administer injectable medicines. One such product prepared
are Alteplase in 5mg vials for the renal dialysis unit. This allows
for better use of staff time, reduces wastage and has lowered
prices for our customers. Our intravenous chemotherapy
reconstitution unit provides on-demand chemotherapy
The pre-packing unit provides a range of ward and
patient-labelled packs of tablets, capsules and other dosage forms.
These are labelled to customer-specific requirements and include a
barcode for use in robotic pharmacies. Our radiopharmacy unit
dispenses radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic purposes.
Products are supplied to both internal and external customers,
and further information on all our services and products is
available on request.
Specialist cancer (oncology) service
Our service includes its own specialist pharmacy team and a
satellite pharmacy in the chemotherapy unit. We provide a clinical
expertise on cancer medicines to the chemotherapy and radiotherapy
units and to our inpatient oncology wards.
The specialist oncology pharmacists design and utilise
chemotherapy prescriptions in accordance with the Essex Cancer
Network approved regimens list. These are designed to uphold
the highest standard of medicines safety with these potent
medicines. All requests for chemotherapy undergo a rigorous
safety check according to local and national guidelines to ensure
chemotherapy administration is both safe and appropriate prior to
Quality Assurance (QA) department
Quality Assurance is housed in a brand new, purpose built
facility at the hospital. We are responsible for ensuring the
quality of all medicines manufactured, and distributed, within the
Trust. In doing so we ensure the doses we make are safe and fit for
use for all patients, by ensuring full compliance with the
requirements of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
To make sure we are doing everything we should do, and in the
right way, we are regularly inspected by the Medicines and
Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), a Government
agency completely independent from the hospital. We are also
audited every six months by the British Standards Institute to make
sure we comply with the standard set out in ISO 9001:2008.
The laboratory also provides services for several external
Trusts within the South East and East London. Services include:
- Providing microbiological and environmental monitoring of
Aseptic Suites (these suites make individual drug doses to be given
- Chemical analysis and documentation checks and controls of
aseptically prepared batches, non-sterile creams, ointments and
solutions, and extemporaneously prepared items
- Control and release of purchased unlicensed 'Specials'
- Safety and purity testing of medical gas pipeline systems
within hospitals (among other things this includes checking the
Oxygen and Air outlets at the patients' bedside)
For further information please contact us via email@example.com or
by telephone using the number at the bottom of this page.
Out of hours
An on-call pharmacist provides a responsive out-of-hours service
for hospital staff and patients during evenings and weekends. To
speak to the on-call pharmacist when the dispensary is closed,
please telephone the hospital switchboard.
Pharmacy technical services: 01702 385338
Pharmacy quality assurance: 01702 385340