PillTime, which is pioneering the use of daily dose pouches for medications, moved to new, expanded 26,000 sqft premises in Cribbs Causeway on the edge of Bristol earlier this year.
At the same time, it installed state-of-the-art robotics from German manufacturer BD Rowa, in a bid to significantly enhance future productivity and capacity.
Teething problems over Easter weekend saw PillTime struggling to seamlessly integrate all the new systems and processes while physically moving premises, affecting service delivery and customer support.
However, CEO Leighton Humphreys was supported by the expertise of Invatech Health, also based in Bristol, which was concurrently installing a revolutionary new Patient Medication Record (PMR) system Titan into the PillTime setup.
Tariq Muhammad, CEO of Invatech Health, is a former community pharmacist who has worked with independent pharmacies around the UK as well as larger online businesses, to integrate Titan into their workflows.
Alongside integration work, Mr Muhammad and his team supported PillTime with design, governance and pharmacy expertise as the company struggled to meet its usual high standards for dispensing medicines to patients.
Now PillTime is recovered and, with dispensations close to pre-move volumes and with greater shipping speeds available, it is ready to fulfil its potential for major growth.
“We had ambitious plans for our move but things turned out to be more complicated than we had envisaged,” said Mr Humphreys. “So we are extremely grateful to Tariq and his team of pharmacists for the support they provided.
“We thank our customers for sticking with us during this challenging period for our business and we’re looking ahead now. Titan will make a major difference to how we operate and grow, alongside the cutting-edge robotics and innovative pouching system which are unique at this scale.”
Founded in 2016, PillTime currently provides prescription medicines in daily dosage pouches to around 11,000 NHS patients across the UK.
Following the deployment of Titan, it forecasts 900 per cent growth in the next two to three years. It hopes to hit the 100,000 patient mark by the end of 2023 – a figure it says is still ‘only a drop in the ocean’.
Last year Invatech Health announced a further £950,000 loan from Innovate UK, under a programme to support game-changing innovations in the UK’s SME community.
Mr Muhammad, said he was pleased to support PillTime. “Having established our systems in the community pharmacy sector, we are now enjoying rolling out Titan Enterprise to innovative online pharmacy businesses,” he said. “We’re helping them process prescriptions safely at a speed which is unheard of until now.
“Of course It’s great to be collaborating with another innovative Bristol-based business which is looking to help transform the way that people manage and access their medication.
“Now all systems are fully operational, we are excited to see how PillTime develops over the coming months and years.”
Mr Humphreys said that PillTime’s offering of medication in easy-to-understand pouches provided a solution to several problems, from reducing the requirement for carers and nursing homes, while minimising hospital admissions through medication errors.
“There are far too many instances of medications being properly dispensed but incorrectly taken, leading to people not getting better as they should do,” he said. “In some parts of the world the pouching system has become standard because it’s foolproof, as long as the patient is fully aware. We want that to happen here, too. Our mission is cost savings to the NHS and a better quality of convenience and level of he