North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s commercial arm Optimus has opened its first shopping outlet today.
Panacea, a relocated outpatient pharmacy which also offers high street pharmacy services to patients, visitors and staff has been officially opened.
The branding for Panacea was designed by degree students from Cleveland College of Art and Design in Hartlepool who are studying to work in the commercial world. The winning design was by first year student Sami Howe. Sami cut the ribbon to declare the pharmacy open today.
Chief executive of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Optimus board member Alan Foster said: “Becoming an NHS foundation trust gave us freedoms to start up commercial ventures. The trust is the sole shareholder of Optimus and all surpluses come back into the trust to contribute to patient care.
“Panacea is the new outpatient pharmacy where people who have had drugs and medicines prescribed in our outpatient clincs can take the prescriptions to be dispensed. We hope in future we can dispense all prescriptions because this would be very handy for staff and other visitors.
“In addition to being able to have their prescriptions made up patients will be able to buy the range of products you’d expect to see in any high street chemists and staff and other visitors will also be able to take advantage of the new facility.
“The advantage of having the freedoms to set up a venture like this is the money stays in the NHS. We believe this will be a major asset for the University Hospital of North Tees and it will be popular with patients, visitors and staff.”
Panacea has its own pharmacist and will employ its own staff.