Robot installed at Flintshire pharmacy

Reporter:

Helen Davies

THE latest member of staff at a pharmacy is unlikely to ever be requiring a lunch break or holiday.


A robot has been installed at Hughes Pharmacy in Mold to help staff at the store dispense drugs.


The new addition to the team is part of a refurbishment to make the most of the space available in the store.


The dispensary has been moved upstairs while staff serve customers downstairs.
Jean Hughes, who runs the pharmacy, said: “The robot is in the dispensary upstairs to make the most of the limited space.


“This was a way of using the space we had very efficiently.
“We’ve not reduced staff because of it.


“Instead it’s freed up time for them to do more things.”


As drugs are delivered to the store, the robot reads their barcodes and checks them off on a list.


They are then put away by the robot according to their barcode.


When a customer comes into the pharmacy for their medication, the staff key it into the computer and the robot picks the stock out and sends it down to the shop via a chute.


“The chutes the stock comes out of are very dramatic looking spirals,” said Jean, 52. “We’ve had a fantastic reaction from patients.”


Jean saw the robot in another chemist and liked it so much she went to look at several others before buying one for the shop.


There is only one other robot in the whole of Flintshire, which is located in Connah’s Quay.


“It’s such as impressive piece of kit,” said Jean, who has worked at the pharmacy in the Daniel Owen Centre for 20 years.


The robot, made by a German company called ARX, has not been named by the staff at Hughes Pharmacy.


But Jean says it is now a valued member of their team.


She said: “We’re very glad we got the robot. We’re over the moon with it.


“I think we’re cutting edge at the moment so we won’t be buying any more for now.”

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