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The West Suffolk Hospital Pharmacy Department

Welcome to the pharmacy web site for the West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust, Bury St Edmunds, part of the Cambridge University Teaching Hospitals Trust.

The pharmacy department provides an integrated pharmaceutical service to the West Suffolk Hospital, a busy district general hospital, and also hospitals in Sudbury and Thetford as well as Community Units.

The main pharmacy is situated in the centre of the building on the main 'street' of the hospital where the services for wards, outside hospitals, clinics and outpatient dispensing are based.


The department also has an extension encompassing the pharmacy store and a small-scale production unit. Facilities are available within this unit for the provision of total parenteral nutrition and cytotoxic reconstitution together with any other special items that need to be manufactured for the patient.


The dispensing of outpatient and inpatient prescriptions is under the control of technicians with legal supervision from the pharmacist. The technicians are trained in other aspects of clinical pharmacy including patient counselling, drug history taking and clinical interventions. These suitably trained technicians will assist pharmacists working on the ward to fulfil their clinical role. Quality assurance, which has traditionally been pharmacist led, has changed to a technician led service. These changes have improved the promotion prospects for pharmacy technicians.

The pharmacy department employs about 50 staff including:

         Chief Pharmacist

         Clinical Services Manager

         Production Manager

         Medicines Information Pharmacist

         Formulary Pharmacist

         Near-Patient Pharmacist Manager.

We have senior technicians for the clinical, ward and production areas and a team of ward and dispensary based pharmacists and technicians. We also employ secretarial and clerical officers, storekeepers and pharmacy assistants who provide an important role within the whole department.

Near-patient Pharmacy

A number of our wards are provided with a near-patient pharmacy service that includes:

         Taking accurate drug histories

         Providing prescribing advice

         Discharge planning / counselling

         Nurse education

         Participation in ward rounds and ward team meetings

         Improving compliance with prescribing policies and hospital formulary

         Optimising re-use of patient's own drugs

         Supplying medication to wards

         Patient counselling

'One stop' Dispensing

We have introduced 'one stop' dispensing throughout the hospital. Patients are encouraged to bring all their medication from home that will be stored in a secure bedside locker, to ensure there is no break in treatment on admission. Any medication needed will be dispensed ready for discharge to improve efficiency.

Vacancies within Pharmacy

We have job opportunities for pharmacists willing to join our clinically orientated team and Clinical Pharmacy. Certificate training will be available to suitable candidates and can be extended to Diploma or MSc level. Technicians are welcome to apply as we are gradually increasing the ratio of technicians to pharmacists.

We have technicians and pharmacists from both Europe and Australasia. For further information ring us on (+44) 01284 713230 and speak to John Anthistle, Chief Pharmacist ().

Note: more information can be found in the Pharmacy Department section.


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West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust

Last Modified: September 2002