PARAMEDICS in the south east will be the first to have access to a new high-tech medicine dispenser.
A ‘ground-breaking’ new approach to how medicines are being made available to frontline staff is being introduced by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb).
SECAmb is the first UK ambulance service to introduce a number of cabinets to stock and dispense medicines and controlled drugs to ambulance clinicians.
Eight Omnicell cabinets have been introduced across the trust to date. They are sophisticated dispatch systems currently used in many acute hospital trusts in the UK and internationally.
The Omnicell recognises the member of staff, what medicines they are permitted to use and allows them access to the areas of the cabinet where that stock is held.
The cabinet then registers how many medicines have been taken and/or returned, carry out stock audits and undertakes electronic restock ordering – just leaving specialist operatives to physically restock the cabinet as required.
The trust’s medicine management leader, Paul Cloves said: “The introduction of the new cabinets has been part of a massive overhaul in the way we oversee the management and ordering of medicines.
“This new system means better medicines management, tighter medicines controls and less paperwork for clinical staff, enabling them to spend more time doing the job they are trained to do - treating patients.”
A spokesman said it is hoped the introduction of the new system in parts of the trust, will reduce the time clinical staff spend checking in and out their controlled drugs, which in the past could take between 20 to 30 minutes.
The system will see the ordering and dispensing of controlled medicines being brought in-house rather than it being done through local hospitals.
Paul said: “SECAmb is leading in the way in this approach within the ambulance service sector, so much so that other services nationally are now following our lead.”