Bertha the meds trolley has become a bit of a superstar on the acute floor at HRI – and having her there means our patients can get their take home medicines in around 10 minutes.

Acute Floor Pharmacist, Hayley Webster, told us: “Bertha has revolutionised things for the acute floor, and we can now label and dispense medications directly on the ward to avoid clinical staff having to go and collect them from pharmacy.

“The nursing team often come to us so we can help dispense meds so they can discharge patients as quickly as possible”.

The meds trolley has a stock of commonly used medications used on the ward that may not be included in the “to take out” (TTO) packs.

Lead nurse, Claire Speight, said: “Having Bertha has improved our patient flow massively, and it’s made it easier for the nursing team, especially as we are the furthest ward away from Pharmacy.

“It also means we now have more time to spend caring for our patients, which is ultimately improving their experience too of being on the ward. And now we're nearer to the discharge lounge it's even better. Plus our pharmacy team can give the patient counselling on discharge, explaining to the patient why they've been started on new medications and how to take it."

Traditionally, all meds are ordered through the Pharmacy department, and could take sometimes take time to be made up, as they are dealing centrally with requests from right across the hospital. 

Discharge Matron, Rachael Rae, said; "Having the meds trolley on the acute floor has been excellent for patient experience and flow, it means that patients can be discharged without waiting for main pharmacy to dispense the medication. 

"Not only is it better for those going home; it impacts hugely on patients waiting for beds as the patients are discharged earlier in the day meaning less waiting in a busy ED and treatment starts sooner for them."

Pictured left to right: Hayley, pharmacist Lisa Hodgson, pharmacy technician, Lisa Wilks, Claire and sister, Gemma Foreman