South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) has begun the rollout of a new generation of medicine-dispensing machines across its region.

The new Omnicell, biometric, automated machines, are an upgrade to the original units first introduced in SECAmb in 2014 and have been heralded for good medicine governance by the CQC. A total of 16 new dispensers are being installed at key sites across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Operational Team Leader, Tom Myle; Medicines Operational Lead Paramedic, Nick Deane; Chief Pharmacist Carol-Anne Davies-Jones and Medicines Systems Project Administrator, Sandeep Bajwa

As part of this investment, the Trust is also rolling out an electronic medicines governance system which includes electronic controlled drugs register at its sites which cannot host the larger Omnicell units – a move which will potentially see SECAmb become the first ambulance trust in the country to eliminate paper-based controlled drugs’ registers.

Clinicians will be able to use a dedicated Omnicell technology app, MedX, to log their management of medicines and allow SECAmb to trace and maintain good stock management and auditing of medicines including controlled drugs.

Chief Pharmacist Carol-Anne Davies-Jones said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see these automated cabinets being installed. They will ensure the continued safety and good governance of our controlled drugs (CDs) and medicines.

“By introducing the new software at sites which have previously not had the benefit of controlled drug electronic registry, we are freeing up clinicians’ time from manual stock management and auditing work – meaning they can spend more time attending to patients and supporting their colleagues. There are also financial benefits and environmental benefits to going paperless.

“Our Medicine Governance Team has done a fantastic job in making this happen and I would like to thank them for their hard work in delivering this important piece of work.”