Pharmacy

How we can help you

We work together with doctors, nurses and other members of your health care team to manage your medicines. We make sure you receive the best choice of medicine, the right dose, the right length of treatment, the right combination of medicines and at the right time.

We also provide advice to doctors, nurses, patients and carers about possible side-effects of medicines and interactions with other medicines or food. This advice is particularly important if you are older, have a number of medical problems, or take a lot of different medicines.

We can help to minimise the number of medicines you take and medicines that could cause problems for you. If you have difficulty remembering to take your medicines we can provide advice to help you.

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Our team includes:

Pharmacists who have expert knowledge about medicines including potential side effects, dosing and interactions between different drugs.

Pharmacy technicians who assist with distributing medicines and make sure you medicines get to you when you need them.

Our store and administrative staff who manage our stock of medicines and help with distribution.

In addition to members of your healthcare team, we work in partnership with your local family general practitioner (GP), Prince of Wales Hospital and Community Health Services and local pharmacies.

It is important to keep a list of ALL the medicines that you take (including prescriptions medicines, vitamins, creams, eye drops, inhalers, patches, injections) and bring this list with you when you come to hospital. It is important to always keep this list up to date.

If you don't have a list, bring all your medicines in a bag, including any herbal or over the counter medicines.

If you are admitted into hospital you will be asked what medicines you take. This helps us to make sure you receive the correct medicine while you are in hospital and helps us identify any potential medicine related problems.

If you are allergic or sensitive to some medicines please let your doctor or one of the nurses know so we can document this in your medical record and make sure you are not given any of these medicines.

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    The nurses will give you your medicines while you are in hospital. You do not need to take your own medicines unless they are not available. Your nurse or pharmacist will let you know if you need to take any of your own medicines.

    While you are in hospital you may be given some new medicines to take and asked to stop taking some of the medicines you normally take. When you leave hospital the pharmacy department will only give you a small supply of any new medicines and medicines where the amount you need to take has changed. Only enough will be given to you until you can see your local GP. It is best to make an appointment to see your GP within 5 days of leaving hospital so that you can get prescriptions for any new medicines if you need them.

    When you leave hospital your pharmacist, nurse or doctor will explain what medicines you will need to take when you go home, how to take them, how long to take them for and how to store them safely. A medicines list is also provided if you need or ask for one.

    Information leaflets are also available on each medicine to help you understand your medicines better. You can ask your nurse or doctor to contact the pharmacist if you have any questions about your medicines or would like more information.

    If you want to see a pharmacist before you leave hospital, please ask the nursing staff to arrange us to visit you.

    Medicine names can be confusing. The active ingredient is the name of the chemical in the medicine that makes it work. The brand name is the name given by the pharmaceutical company.  There may be quite a few brands of the same medicine. The medicine you receive in hospital may look different to the one you receive at home because the hospital keeps a different brand in stock.

    When you leave hospital it is important to let your GP, community pharmacist and other health professionals know if any changes were made to your medicines while you were in hospital. If you were given a medicines list when you left hospital take it with you when you go to your GP and community pharmacist so that they can update their records. If you no longer need to take a certain medicine then take any you still have at home to your local pharmacy to be destroyed.

    If you need advice once you are at home, you can talk to your local pharmacist, or phone the hospital pharmacy.

    Please let us know if you need an interpreter. You can contact us telephoning the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450. Tell the operator what language you speak and then ask the interpreter to set up a telephone conversation between you, an interpreter, and the healthcare professional you want to speak with.

    We are a teaching hospital and you may be asked to be involved in research. You have a right to say no. If you do so, this will not impact in any way on the services we will provide.