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Scottish pharmacy installs government-funded robot

Scottish pharmacies secured funding for robots as part of the Prescription for Excellence strategy
Scottish pharmacies secured funding for robots as part of the Prescription for Excellence strategy

A Scottish pharmacy has rebranded itself as a health centre, with the help of a government-funded robot.

The Scottish government enabled Cadham Pharmacy in Glenrothes to install the robot, ahead of its relaunch as Cadham Pharmacy Health Centre today (April 28).

The pharmacy secured the funding as a capital grant, which the government made available last year for pharmacies to buy robotics or scanning technology as part of its Prescription for Excellence strategy for the sector.

Owner Bernadette Brown said she was “absolutely delighted” to have received the funding for the robot (pictured) – the pharmacy’s second.

“This has been my dream for years, and will maximise the time all my pharmacists can spend offering minor illness consultations and chronic medication service reviews.”

“I also wanted to ensure the public has an insight into what the robot does behind the scenes, [so we have installed a] little window into it, which enables visitors to see what he is up to,” she added.

Ms Brown is assisted in clinics by two NHS nurses, she said, who deal with respiratory conditions and "common clinical conditions". "Our enhanced common clinical conditions clinic will hopefully encourage the public to use the pharmacy first."

Royal Pharmaceutical Society Scotland interim director Aileen Bryson said the new robot is a “welcome addition to a team who already work hard with a collaborative and holistic approach to patient care”.

Does your pharmacy have a robot?

john thompson, Pharmaceutical Adviser

The funding of robot by Scottish NHS is a good move and will allow the pharmacist more time to see patients which will keep them out of the more expensive options of GP surgery oe A+E.

Notice however it is an independent who is the pioneer and taking the risk on the new technology. When the multiples catch up they will use robotics to reduce costs not improve patient access.

The English NHS cannot afford to follow this route as the numbers are too large to justify the investment. They are hoping the current multiples will fund the technology or that a new entrant (Virgin healthcare? Amazon?) will push the technology forward.

s8chy P, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Wow, what a great service for the local population. SCOTLAND well done, it seems you care about your people more than that lot at NHS England

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I've always been a fan of technologies like this. If Scotland can do this, perhaps the rest of the UK should be emulating it?

Dodo pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Meanwhile, in England the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Keith Ridge is trying to close down 3000 pharmacies. The contrast is stark.

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