Pharmacy robot unveiled at Basingstoke hospital

The pharmacy department at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital has been revolutionised thanks to the newest member of the team – Bevan the pharmacy robot.

Thursday 06 December 2018


3 - Members Of The Pharmacy Team With Bevan

The pharmacy robot handles the safe storage rotation, tracking and delivery of medicines within the department.

The Rowa Vmax™ Pharmacy Robot has an incredible storage capacity of 10,000 medications and can output up to 2,400 packs per hour, helping to reduce the amount of time it takes to dispense important medications as well as ensure a better working environment for staff.

Patients are already benefitting from the introduction of this technology at Basingstoke hospital, improving the way medicines are provided to the wards. This new technology means pharmacists are able to work on the wards, making sure that patient medication histories are completed and can be counselled on their medications ready to be discharged.

The new state-of-the-art robot was named following a staff competition, where five names were shortlisted and the pharmacy team were asked to vote for their favourite. Bevan, named after Aneurin Bevan, was the clear favourite as a celebration in the 70th year of the NHS and as a symbol of the compassion, care and dedication that is as true of the NHS today as it was 70 years ago.

Pharmacy robot Bevan is a welcome addition to the team, as it reduces the amount of time spent looking for and restocking medications. The robot can also store the expiry date of each medication ensuring that out of date medications never reach patients.

The robot knows to prioritise the dispensing of medication over the loading of the new orders and also restocks and tidies up at quiet times to ensure that the medications are stored in the most efficient way, even placing the most commonly used medicines next to the dispensing chutes.

4 - Inside The RobotBevan the pharmacy robot is important to meet regulations that are due to come in next year. Hampshire Hospitals is one of the first Trusts scheduled to trial the scanning of 2D barcodes using the pharmacy robot.  As from 2019, manufacturers will need to include 2D barcodes on their products with an individual identifier to prevent fraudulent medications entering the supply chain.

Future benefits of Bevan include checking medicine stocks remotely, which will support staff on the wards.

The Trust, which also runs Andover War Memorial Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Andover, are hoping to install a robot on to the Winchester site in the next couple of years.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive, who officially opened the robot as a small ceremony with pharmacy staff as well as other teams who were instrumental in installing the new technology in the hospital, said: “We are delighted to welcome Bevan the pharmacy robot to the team to help our brilliant pharmacy staff care for patients in the most efficient ways possible. The robot is a really positive addition for both patients and staff and we are looking forward to installing similar technology in our Winchester hospital within the next couple of years. 

2 - Alex Cutting The Ribbon

“It’s very fitting that the staff chose to name the robot Bevan in the year that we celebrate the 70th year of the NHS. We are incredibly proud of the compassionate care our staff provide every day in the spirit that the NHS was formed 70 years ago, but are excited to couple that with innovation and new technology to ensure we are always providing the best possible care for our patients.” 

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