Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Starting from scratch - how to set up an oncology pharmacy service. (#370)

Bharti Tailor 1
  1. Hunter New England, LHD


To set up an oncology pharmacy service for Wyong Hospital to be co-located within the Cancer Day Unit (WCDU).


An oncology pharmacy service needed to be up and running at WCDU within 4 months of being given this brief. The service was being provided remotely from the oncology pharmacy at Gosford hospital up to this point.

An initial site visit allowed us to make an assessment of the space, what equipment is required and how to utilize the space with maximum efficiency. An isolator had already been purchased so that on site manufacturing of chemotherapy could take place.

Following on from this, liaison was required with carpenters, electricians, plumbers, IT staff as well as external contractors (such as a stainless steel company) to get the pharmacy space fit for purpose.

A scope of service document was drawn up which detailed manufacturing capacity and staffing resources required in order to provide a safe, effective clinical and manufacturing service. This was disseminated to all stake holders and users of the service.

Existing workflow processes were improved using LEAN methodology and Standard Operating Procedures written.

All necessary equipment was procured - ranging from shelving, drug fridges, computers to stationery items. A timeline was drawn up for completion of works, moving stock in, setting up the dispensing and manufacturing areas and planned opening date.


The target opening date of February 2015 was not met due to engineering works not being completed on time. There was also roof damage sustained during the storm of April 2015 and a family of possums had moved into the roof space above the pharmacy - both of which needed fixing. The pharmacy eventually opened on 6th July 2015.


We are now successfully providing a patient focused service which has received excellent feedback from all users.