Staff at the pharmacy at Bridlington Hospital are set to relocate to Scarborough.
The proposal put forward by the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will leave the hospital with a pharmacist on site for only two ‘half days’ a week.
It has been triggered after reviews of the pharmacy service at both hospitals found that the paucity of staff resourcing at Scarborough was leading to delays in getting medicines to patients, higher than expected error rates and a dissatisfaction amongst staff that they were unable to deliver the high level of service quality they aspired to.
The disaffection is mirrored at Bridlington, according to the reviews, because staff feel undervalued as the hospital’s pharmacy is
operating at significantly below capacity, meaning they focus on routine or low skilled work.
Concerns had been raised in Bridlington that hospital wards would need to use local commercial pharmacies to cover shortfalls in medication, and that the move could affect patient care.
But David Pitkin, Chief Pharmacist for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I would like to clarify that pharmacy services at Bridlington are not being reduced and we are not planning to make staff redundant.
“It has been apparent for a number of years that pharmacy services at Bridlington Hospital are under-utilised.
“This is due in part to the fact that Bridlington Hospital has an on-site dispensary, the license for which requires a certain level of staffing, however it is currently functioning at significantly below capacity.
“The pharmacy service will continue to be delivered at Bridlington Hospital.
“The way medicines are supplied will change, as they will now come from the dispensary at Scarborough Hospital, but we will continue to provide pharmacist and technician support in Bridlington. This is an approach that is used successfully at other Trust sites, and will not compromise the care given at Bridlington Hospital.
“This is a good opportunity for staff to develop, as it offers the potential to work as part of a bigger team, and in a wider range of specialities.
“This would also free up space on the Bridlington site which may be used for other developments, as well as making savings through running a single dispensary rather than two.”
Outpatient prescriptions would be transferred to another prescription type, an FP10, with City Healthcare Partnership, the social enterprise which run the hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit, seeking a dispensing contract for the Bridlington site.
Staff would come from Scarborough twice a week, for half a day, and provide a clinical service to the wards and maintain ward stock, discharge pre-packs and emergency cupboard levels.