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Pharmacy / Medicines management

Pharmacy services

Our pharmacy is located next to the Chemotherapy unit at Velindre. We provide a complete pharmaceutical service to the cancer centre.

A dispensing and clinical pharmacy service is also provided to Holme Towers and Marie Curie Centre in Penarth.

Our services include:-

  • Advice to patients and staff on safe and effective drug use. This takes place at various levels.
    • Direct advice to patients on their individual therapy including to outpatients when issuing their drugs, to in-patients during clinical pharmacy ward visits and by educating patients on oral chemotherapy agents in dedicated pharmacy run patient education clinics.
    • Advice to front line clinical staff about specific drug or patient problems either as a result of a direct query, when dispensing a prescription or during a ward pharmacy round.
    • General prescribing advice in the form of policies and procedures on drugs and therapeutics issues.
    • Advice to senior staff on medicines - related issues including statutory requirements.
    • Membership of various hospital committees to ensure pharmaceutical input in issues of patient safety, clinical governance and risk management. 

  • Non-medical pharmacist independent prescribers work as part of our teams, reviewing patients and assessing their suitability to continue with chemotherapy. The pharmacist independent prescribers prescribe chemotherapy and supportive medication for a wide group of patients including those with breast and colon cancers.

  • Lead for the maintenance of the electronic prescribing system, 'ChemoCare'. All chemotherapy regimens are prescribed electronically and it is our Pharmacy's responsibility to ensure that all drug regimens which are entered on the system are accurate and up to date. We also train all medical staff on it's use. 

  • Provide chemotherapy and supportive medication to Velindre Cancer Centre's outreach hospitals. 

  • Purchase, storage and distribution of all drugs, dry and specialised dressings, medical gases, food supplements and pharmaceuticals.

Chemotherapy Preparation Service

The majority of our work is in the preparation of over 25,000 items per year. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), have strict policies in how services are operated. Facilities, personnel and functions are all regulated. The MHRA require meticulous paperwork be recorded, relating to maintenance of equipment, evidence of drug stability (expiry dates) and documentation for each item prepared.
The work necessary to operate this is considerable. To an outsider it may seem overly complex, however, highly toxic chemicals are being administered to very frail patients. The consequences of even the smallest error could prove fatal. The MHRA have the power to close down any facility they not satisfied with.

Pharmaceutical Management of Clinical Trials

At any given time, approximately 80 trials can be going on with many more in the pipeline. Each trial must be assessed for workload and cost implications. Once a trial has been approved by the regulatory agencies, a detailed dispensing guide is produced. This ensures every detail of the process is covered. Each clinical trial regimen is then added to the ChemoCare electronic prescribing system. This ensures it can be safely prescribed and accurately dispensed in accordance with the regulations of the trial and of the governing bodies.

For more information on the pharmacy department, including training opportunities for Pharmacists, please visit (external web link).

Velindre Cancer Centre, Velindre Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff, CF14 2TL
Tel: 029 2061 5888