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WOW – whizzy patient discharges

Posted: Monday 14 March 2016
Kelly White, Senior Communications Officer

The pharmacy department at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been working towards discharging patients home before noon by dispensing medication using a faster process to improve the patient experience

They have been piloting a new system for dispensing TTAs (tablets to take away) at ward level supporting the home before noon initiative.

The pilot has involved renting a Workstation on Wheels (WOW) as a mobile dispensing unit to improve turnaround times for processing. This has been made possible following the roll out of Wi-Fi to some areas across the Trust.

The pilot has been testing the WOW on level 4 of the main block at Watford Hospital and results to date show that for nearly half of the patients, TTAs are now completed in around 15 minutes, compared to around two hours previously.

The pilot has been completed as part of our Listening into Action programme, which is a programme designed to listen to changes needed and to make improvements to improve the patient experience.

Since the trial has been going so well, the Trust has now decided to purchase two WOWs, which will be arriving in the next few weeks.

Martin Keble, Chief Pharmacist said: “We intend to roll out this process for dispensing TTAs across other wards in the hospital as Wi-Fi becomes increasingly available. For many patients, the programme makes discharges a lot faster and helps to provide a better patient experience”.


  1. Wi-Fi is rolling out on all three hospital sites, which will benefit staff and patients. At Hemel Hempstead, it is appearing in QE block level 2 and at Watford in PMOK levels 3, 4 and 5. Work at St Albans hospital will begin soon until the roll out reaches all areas of all three hospital sites.
  2. For more information, please contact Kelly White, Senior Communications Officer in the Trust' Communications department on telephone: 01923 436 281 or email: info@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.
  3. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three sites at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. We are one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.