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Lloydspharmacy trials hub and spoke dispensing model

Lloydspharmacy is trialling a hub and spoke dispensing model in north west England. The multiple has opened a dispensary at AAH’s Warrington depot, its pharmacy director Andy Murdock confirmed.

Pharmacies participating in the trial send scripts to the hub, where the medicines are dispensed and then returned to the pharmacies.

Mr Murdock said: “We’re trying to understand what pharmacists might have to do to create time and space to allow pharmacists and pharmacy teams to be able to deliver the new clinical world.”

Rival Alliance Boots had 13 “central dispensaries”, it reported in its 2007 preliminary results.

RPSGB head of policy and communications David Pruce agreed such models had “potential” to free up pharmacists’ time for clinical services, and called for a wider debate on them.

There was potential for independents to develop similar models, Independent Pharmacy Federation chairman Fin McCaul said, but added: “This will take a lot of co-operation.”

It was unclear from legislation whether pharmacists at hubs or spokes would be responsible for dispensing errors in such models, said Noel Wardle, a solicitor at Charles Russell. But clear SOPs would satisfy spoke pharmacists that accuracy checking had been carried out at the hub.

It would be “unreasonable” and duplicate work if spokes were required to recheck dispensed prescriptions, Mr Wardle added.

Lloydspharmacy was “very comfortable with the processes we have”, Mr Murdock said.

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