Robots help at pharmacy

Ryzard Cygan with one of the robots at work at West Elloe pharmacy.
Ryzard Cygan with one of the robots at work at West Elloe pharmacy.
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A pharmacy which opened in the 1990s to serve the needs of Spalding people is doing so now with the aid of remarkable technology including two drug dispensing robots.

A group of health professionals led by pharmacist Ryszard Cygan set up West Elloe Pharmacy next door when a doctors’ practice moved to West Elloe Avenue from the town centre 17 years ago.

Today their company has 28 employees and incorporates Knight Street Pharmacy in Pinchbeck, opened this summer, and a pre-packing centre as well as its busy main branch in Spalding.

Ryszard said: “We’ve always been quick to embrace new technology and we had one of the first dispensing robots in the UK.

“They are automated arms and between them they can be set to collect six separate orders from our stock at the same time. They are quite remarkable to watch at work.

“They speed up the time it takes us to dispense and enable us to carry more stock so our customers never have to wait for anything to be ordered.

“Our most recent new technology came this summer, a first in the UK. It’s an Italian machine that looks like a wall cash dispenser. It enables people to collect their prescriptions 24 hours a day any day of the year.”

The company’s pre-packaging centre was launched four years ago near Pinchbeck when the task of pre-packing drugs as a service to care homes outgrew premises in West Elloe Avenue.

The number of patients having weekly packages delivered at care homes or their own homes with instructions when to take them to reduce confusion has grown to more than 500.