The Co-operative Pharmacy is moving into secondary care after being awarded a seven-year outpatient dispensing contract with Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Co-operative Pharmacy will open a purpose-built pharmacy at Doncaster Royal Infirmary in January 2012, to provide a service for hospital outpatients and the A&E department.
It is hoped the new pharmacy will reduce waiting times for outpatients and relieve the hospital pharmacy, allowing it to concentrate on inpatients.
Lloydspharmacy first announced its intention to move into secondary care three years ago and its outpatient dispensing scheme at Royal Liverpool University Hospital, which opened in February last year, was shortlisted for a 2010 C+D Award. Earlier this month, Lloyds announced that its pharmacy at the Royal Cornwall Hospital had significantly cut waiting times.
Boots opened an outpatient dispensing pharmacy at Royal Derby Hospital in July 2010.
Despite the move away from the traditional community setting, the Co-operative Pharmacy outpatient dispensing service would still be focused on providing a community service, said Mandeep Mudhar, head of business development.
"As a community pharmacy, we are committed to delivering a patient-focused service, in addition to helping the hospital make savings without compromising on quality," he said.
Partnering with a foundation trust was a natural alliance, said a Co-operative Pharmacy spokesperson. "They are based on the co-operative model," he said.
"Members of the community become shareholders and have a say in the running of the hospital, so there are a lot of similarities in the whole ethos and the way we operate as a result of that."
Over the next seven years, the Co-operative Pharmacy will be assessing the effectiveness of its move into outpatient dispensing. If it was a success, there would be "lots of scope for development" of dispensing services within the NHS, said the spokesperson.