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Our services A-Z

Patients are at the heart of our Pharmacy service, which is wide ranging and cutting edge. As experts in medicines, our focus is to ensure safe, timely and effective use of medicines. We aim to deliver high quality care for our patients and service users.

Our highly trained team of pharmacy staff delivers a wide range of services which allow us to support our hospital's in delivering high quality care.

Our pharmacy services include:

Inpatient dispensary

This is where we dispense items for patients staying on our hospital wards. We process requests for inpatients, outpatients attending certain clinic appointments, discharges and local primary care providers i.e. hospices. We prioritise items for patients that are ready for discharge and urgent items needed for patients on the wards.

Outpatient dispensary

This service is run on behalf of CUH by Rowlands Pharmacy. Patients that have been reviewed in clinic may have items dispensed here. Alternative methods to supply medicines include postage and courier of medicines and requesting an item be prescribed by your GP.

Clinical trials dispensary

The pharmacy department supports the delivery of a wide range of clinical trials. A number of extra processes and checks are required when dispensing clinical trial medicines and we therefore operate a clinical trials dispensary for this purpose.

Clinical services

The pharmacy team cares for patients whether admitted as an emergency or for planned treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery. We look after everyone (babies, children, adults and the elderly) on areas right across the hospital including the Emergency Department, wards and critical care units where the very sickest patients are cared for. Pharmacists work alongside doctors to ensure medicine choices meet the needs of patients and are used safely. They apply Trust policies relating to medicines management. Pharmacy technicians ensure patients’ admission medications are checked, and new supplies made to ensure continuity and efficient discharge, be that to home or to residential/nursing care homes. Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians include patients and their carers in conversations to support all aspects of medicines use. This includes answering questions about medicines, supporting patients to take their medicines effectively and providing counselling about medicine taking.

Medicines Information

The Addenbrooke’s Medicines Information Service helps support the safe, effective and efficient use of medicines by the provision of evidence‐based information and advice. Our focus is on supporting individual patients with their medicines.

Medicines helpline

If you have any questions about medicines you've received from us you can contact our free and confidential medicines helpline, run by our team of specially trained, experienced pharmacists.

We're happy to take questions from a relative or carer of yours, but we can't answer questions if you haven't been treated at our hospital. We can only answer questions that relate to medicines that you've received from our hospital.

Some examples of questions that you might want to ask are:

  • When and how should I take my medicine?
  • Can I take other medicines at the same time?
  • Are there any possible side effects?

Please note that this medicines helpline is for Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) patients only, and is not an NHS-wide service. If you are not a CUH patient, then please contact your local hospital for advice.

Contact us

To contact the helpline call 01223 217502 or email the medicines information helpline.

The helpline is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

For advice relating to other medicines or your health in general, you should contact your GP or community pharmacist.

Technical services

This area of pharmacy is supported by a team of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and other skilled operators that have responsibility for the aseptic preparation of medicines. Such medicines include intravenous nutritional feeds, aseptic eye drops and chemotherapy. This team is often referred to as Pharmacy Prep (preparative) services. Technical services are also supported by the Quality Assurance team (QA). QA monitor, test and control the clean environment.

There are many other specialist pharmacy services provided for example ensuring medicines are ordered and held in stock, prepared in the correct form for treatments and that our systems meet quality standards.

Non-urgent advice: If you need advice

We can only advise you about the medicines that have been given to you at Addenbrooke's.

For advice about:

  • Medicines prescribed by your own general practitioner (GP) or other doctor, please contact them directly with any questions.
  • Your illness: again, ask your doctor - s/he will know your medical history.
  • Other people's medicines; they should ask their doctor.

We endeavour to give clear instructions for all the medicines dispensed, whether it is given on the label or a patient-information leaflet, or verbally. Sometimes, you might have further questions that you wish to ask about your medicines such as:

  • How and when to take them.
  • The effects of taking them with other medicines.
  • Whether you can drink alcohol with the medicines.
  • Problems that your medicines can cause.