The overall aim of the Pharmacy Department is to ensure safe, effective and economical use of medicines and to support education, training and research.
The Pharmacy Department purchases, supplies and dispenses medicines for inpatient use and for some specialist outpatient areas within the hospital. The department provides chemotherapy for patients, prepared on an individual basis in the Aseptic Compounding Unit. The Clinical Pharmacists monitor prescriptions and provide advice and medicine information to medical, nursing colleagues and our patients.
The department consists of pharmacists, as well as pharmacy technicians and support personnel, who work together to assure patients receive the highest quality pharmaceutical care possible. There are over 80 staff members within the department who provide pharmaceutical services to two on-site pharmacies and to St Luke’s Hospital in Rathgar.
The Medicines Management Team consists of pharmacists, technicians, business manager, procurement and stores staff. The team sources, purchases, supplies, dispenses and distributes medicines for patients in the hospital.
Medicines management services are interconnected with and are complementary to the Clinical Pharmacy Service which ensures that what is delivered is appropriate for the patient. Both services work in unison for the safe, effective and responsible use of medicines within the hospital.
Emergency Duty Pharmacist
An out of hours pharmacy service exists for drug information and emergency supply of medicines for the hospital. Supply outside pharmacy opening times is strictly on an emergency basis.
Clinical pharmacy services are provided to acute and long-stay areas in the hospital. Clinical pharmacists work at ward level, as part of a multi-disciplinary team approach to patient care. Services provided include; obtaining an accurate history of the patient’s pre-admission medication, reconciling the medication prescribed for the patient during their inpatient stay, medication review and monitoring of therapy during inpatient stay, sourcing of unusual medicines and the provision of education on drug therapy.
The clinical pharmacist will aim to:
Specialist Senior Pharmacists provide information and guidance to the nursing and medical staff in specialist areas such as HIV and genito-urinary medicine, haematology and oncology, intensive care, cardiology, respiratory medicine, acute medicine, antimicrobial stewardship, medicine for the elderly, medicines information and psychiatry.
A comprehensive continuous education service is provided to undergraduate and post-graduate pharmacists. Clinical pharmacists also contribute to in-house educational programmes for nursing and medical staff.
The ACU manufactures individually tailored chemotherapy and biologic preparations for St James's Hospital patients. The ACU is equipped with modern isolator technology in a cleanroom environment. The cleanroom operates as a Grade C (European G.M.P.) environment whilst the aseptic filling and preparation are carried out within either negative or positive (Grade A environment) isolators. A comprehensive validation programme for staff and equipment is in place, according to international guidelines. The unit is staffed by qualified and trained pharmacists and technicians.
HOPe (Haematology, Oncology and Palliative Care Directorate)
St James’s Hospital is an OECI (Organisation of European Cancer Institutes) designated Cancer Centre. It is a tertiary referral centre for many oncology and haematology cancers.
Pharmacists working within the HOPe Directorate work in areas including the National Centre for Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation, the Haematology Oncology Day Ward, and a specialist oncology/haematology inpatient ward.
The HOPe Clinical Pharmacy Team is an integral part of the Haematology Oncology Day Ward in the hospital. The team is involved in co-ordinating clinics, verifying chemotherapy prescriptions and providing advice on all aspects of patient’s pharmaceutical care.
Along with verifying chemotherapy prescriptions, HOPe pharmacists provide a pharmaceutical review of inpatient drug charts on the electronic patient record and provide medication education to patients on discharge.
The Genito Urinary Medicine and Infectious Diseases (GUIDe) Pharmacy, an onsite satellite pharmacy located in Hospital 5, provides a comprehensive pharmacy service to all HIV, viral hepatitis, sexual health, and infectious disease patients under the care of the genito-urinary medicine (GUM) and the infectious disease (ID) service in the hospital.
The GUIDe Pharmacy team is the largest provider of medications to HIV positive patients in the Republic of Ireland. The team plays a pivotal role in the provision of both a pharmaceutical supply and clinical pharmacy service to greater than 2,500 HIV and Hepatitis C co-infected outpatients, in addition to supplying antiretroviral medications to patients attending the following offsite outreach clinics:
The pharmacy service also includes a clinical pharmacy service to inpatients under the care of the GUM and ID service, with attendance at consultant-led ward rounds and a daily clinical service to patients in Margaret Kehoe Ward (the designated GUM/ID ward). This involves educating both patients and physicians on new drug therapies and interactions, managing multi-drug resistant viral infections and compliance issues. The team also provides timely and essential guidance on toxicities including cardiovascular and renal complications.
Additionally, GUIDe pharmacists are involved in clinical trials and practice research within the department. They provide specialist medicines information and advice to both healthcare staff and patients.
The role of the pharmacy in relation to clinical research is to safeguard subjects, healthcare professionals and the Healthcare Provider Organisation (HPO), by ensuring investigational medicines are appropriate for use and are procured, handled, stored and used safely and correctly.
Each HOPe pharmacist is trained in Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and is responsible for the pharmacy elements of various cancer clinical trials. This includes trial initiation and set up, day-to-day management, record keeping, safe storage, dispensing and aseptic compounding and close-out of cancer clinical trials.