Hub and spoke dispensing is where parts of the dispensing process are undertaken in separate pharmacy premises. Typically, there are many ‘spoke’ pharmacies to one ‘hub’ pharmacy. The concept is that the simple, routine aspects of assembling prescriptions can take place on a large scale in a ‘hub’ that usually makes use of automated processes. This means that pharmacists and other staff in the ‘spokes’ are freed up to provide more direct patient care. Currently it is only possible when the hub pharmacy forms part of the same retail business as the spoke pharmacy.
Some Northern Ireland representatives may have attended the hub and spoke engagement sessions which the Department of Health and Social Care held last year. The sessions were designed to seek views in order to help shape a consultation about proposed changes that would facilitate the use of hub and spoke between pharmacies of different legal entities.
The consultation, including full details of the proposals, and how to respond are available here .