Controlled drug storage project nominated for industry award

19th November 2020

A TEAM from the Welsh Ambulance Service have been nominated for a prestigious healthcare industry award.

The team of 10 have been shortlisted in the ‘Driving Efficiency Through Technology’ category at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards 2020 for their work on rolling out a new controlled drug storage system.

Business Administration Manager Helen Lumber, who is based in Swansea and who managed the project, said:

 “The Abloy Protec2 Cliq system is a secure, reliable and auditable safe-storage system for our paramedics and above to access and manage controlled drugs on our vehicles.

“The aim of the project was to improve patient response and care by eliminating the out-dated procedure of having a master key for controlled drug safes on each station.

“With Abloy, each qualified individual now has a personal issue electronic key and when they start their shift can scan it on station to register which activates the key for 15hrs and this means they can access controlled drugs on any vehicle.

“We have installed the system in 86 stations, 413 vehicles and enabled over 1,250 users.

“We achieved all this throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, which is incredible really.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be nominated for the HSJ award.”

It was around two years ago and with the vision of Chris Moore, Head of Medicines Management for Welsh Ambulance Service, that the project first began.

Chris said: “The existing system had been operating adequately for 10+ years, but was reliant on paramedics having to sign keys out and in every shift, and the time spent tracking down lost or missing keys had become a significant problem.

“The Abloy system offers us a much higher level of security.

“It also allows us to know who, where and when a particular safe has been opened.

“It was a relatively big project to install programming devices at every WAST ambulance station, fit new drug safes to 400+vehicles and issue 1250+ keys to paramedics, but the combined efforts of the Abloy Project Team ensured the project was delivered on time and within budget.

“Staff feedback has been particularly positive, with more than 80% of paramedics preferring the new system.

“The Abloy Project was a great opportunity to work with colleagues from ICT, Fleet, Estates, Operations, Clinical Contact Centres, Clinical colleagues and external contractors.

“It was an absolute pleasure to work with such a positive and supportive team.

“I am really proud of what we have achieved, and for the project to be announced as a finalist in the HSJ Awards is a fantastic reflection of the team’s effort.”

The HSJ Awards honour health boards, teams and individuals around the country who have made great strides to improve efficiency, best practice and patient outcomes.

They have been running for 40 years and are seen as the most esteemed accolade of healthcare excellence in the UK.

The winners will be announced at a virtual ceremony in March 2021.