A milestone has been reached in the building of a new £1 million pharmaceutical aseptic unit that will make lifesaving chemotherapy, intravenous nutrition and other ready-made injectable medicines, for the sickest patients in the county’s hospitals.
The brand new aseptic unit has been developed at Lincoln Science & Innovation Park and marks a further development in the ongoing relationship between the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Lincolnshire Co-op and the University of Lincoln.
The unit will provide ready to administer chemotherapy treatments and other lifesaving injectable medicines such as intravenous nutrition, intravenous antibiotics and cutting-edge medicines for clinical trials.
Paul Matthew, director of finance and digital for ULHT, officially declared the new unit complete with Ursula Lidbetter, CEO of Lincolnshire Co-op, Tom Blount, director of Lincoln Science & Innovation Park, and Professor Andrew Hunter, deputy vice chancellor for research and innovation at the University of Lincoln. The unit will now go through a period of testing to ensure the equipment is all working to standard, before it starts to deliver products later in the year.
In 2012, joint venture partners, Lincolnshire Co-op and the University of Lincoln, founded Lincoln Science & Innovation Park to create a world-class environment for science, research and innovation in the city.
The flexibility and infrastructure at the site has allowed the building of the pharmacy aseptic unit, which involved the creation of clean rooms and the installation of specialist equipment. The unit provides a sterile and controlled environment in which highly qualified staff prepare injectable medicines. The service is subject to high levels of regulatory control and quality assurance enhancing the quality and safety of the medicines. In addition, it releases nursing time to be devoted to patient care and enable care closer to home.
The new unit will increase physical production capacity and this will enable the Trust’s pharmacy team to support more patients and teams by creating a range of vital life-saving products that can then be transported across the county to where they are needed most.
Paul Matthew, director of finance and digital for United Lincolnshire Hospital’s NHS Trust, said: “The new unit offers a brand new purpose built environment for staff alongside the prospect of offering future employment in a variety of roles in this modern and well-equipped accessible location in Lincolnshire. The Trust has strong links with the University of Lincoln and are looking at a number of initiatives that combine courses and training that can be offered at the University with practical job experience and employment opportunities available within our Trust with the NHS.
“This project marks the first of our builds at the Science and Innovation Park and a successful partnership with Lincolnshire Co-op. With many new builds at each of our sites and the opening of units like this there are a lot of improvements happening across our Trust that will have a huge impact on the improvement of patient care and will provide better environments for our staff as well as patients.”
Ursula Lidbetter, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-op, said: “We’re proud to work alongside other local organisations to have brought this exciting project forward, demonstrating what can be achieved when we collaborate.
“The aseptic unit will deliver real benefits for NHS patients in Lincolnshire.
“The purpose of Lincoln Science & Innovation Park has been to grow our county’s technical skills and facilities, creating a community where innovation can happen. This is a great example of that in action.”
Tom Blount, director of Lincoln Science & Innovation Park, said: “Lincoln Science & Innovation Park represents a unique collaboration that has unlocked more than £30m of investment into the innovation ecosystem of Lincolnshire. We are proud to have worked with ULHT on creating this amazing facility, which not only contributes to growth opportunities within our health and care cluster but will have a direct and meaningful impact across the county.”
Professor Andrew Hunter, deputy vice chancellor for research and innovation at the University of Lincoln, said: “We are delighted to have the aseptic unit next to the University’s School of Pharmacy at the Park. It is another opportunity to strengthen our links with the Trust, which benefits the teaching of our students and offers them potential work experience and graduate-level career options.”