A group of young patients from Birmingham Children’s Hospital helped launch a new outpatient pharmacy at a special pirate-themed event this week.
15 children and young people aged between five and 14 were given goodie bags by a swashbuckling pirate, at the ribbon cutting of the hospital’s Medicine Chest.
Dedicated to dispensing outpatient medication, the Medicine Chest is bright, modern and child-friendly and located opposite the main outpatients department, adjacent to the main entrance. The location makes it easier for patients and their families to collect their medicines before going home as well as give them the opportunity to speak with the hospital’s pharmacy experts about their child’s medicine.
The goodie bags included a game, colouring book, poster, puzzle and coloured pens and the children were treated to a tour of the Medicine Chest to see how prescriptions are processed - from drop-off to dispensing.
They had fun operating a special high-tech robot - the first of its type to be used in a paediatric outpatient pharmacy - which is used to quickly select the right medicines from the shelves. They were also given a demonstration of a new hand-held device which signals that their medicine is ready for collection. This small device allows families to get a drink or snack or visit the staff restaurant while they’re waiting.
Lucy Bateman, who is 12 years old and from Lapal in Halesowen is a patient at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Lucy who goes to Haybridge High School assisted with the ribbon and cake cutting at the launch.
She said: “I really enjoyed cutting the ribbon and the cake. The ribbon cutting was a symbol of new beginnings. It is going to be so much easier for parents to get their child’s medication before they go home.
“The best bit was seeing the robot swish up and down getting the medicines.”
It is anticipated that the Medicine Chest will dispense in excess of 45,000 outpatient prescriptions per year.
Chief Pharmacist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Anthony Sinclair, said: “The children had a lot of fun being inside our brand new Medicine Chest and to see for themselves what happens when they drop off their outpatient prescription. Paediatric medicines for seriously ill children are extremely complex.
“This facility is not only going to make the collection of specialist medicines much easier but it will also give families the opportunity to speak to our highly skilled staff about their child’s medication.”
The opening hours of the Medicine Chest outpatient pharmacy are Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm. The older pharmacy located in the basement of the hospital will continue to function, but primarily for inpatient medication.
More images are available on request.