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Pharmacy Temperature Monitoring at Royal Berkshire NHS

Overview of Requirement

Royal Berkshire Hospital required rigorous pharmacy temperature monitoring to ISO15189 standards. This needed to be implemented across multiple sites where drugs are required to meet MHRA regulatory guidelines. Locations included Reading, Newbury, Thatcham, Windsor and Bracknell.


  • Deliver outstanding patient safety
  • Meet MHRA compliance requirements
  • Free up resources
  • Reduce cost

The Site

Royal Berkshire NHS is one of the largest general hospital foundation trusts in the country. While the main site is based in Reading, the Trust also specialise in providing:

  • Acute medical and surgical services to Reading, Wokingham, West Berkshire, Windsor, and Slough
  • Specialist services such as cancer, dialysis and eye surgery across Berkshire and its borders
  • Specialist centre for cancer, eye and renal (kidney) care for Berkshire and south Oxfordshire
  • Outpatient services at Townlands Hospital in Henley
  • Cancer and renal centre at the Royal Berkshire Bracknell Clinic

What was Needed – Targeting Enhanced Compliance

The system needed to integrate with existing central pharmacy temperature monitoring hardware and monitor temperature-controlled medicines on the wards. The new system also needed to manage a number of local and central geographic sites, offer scalability, future-proofing, and display all hospital site data onto a single and central web user interface.

In terms of alarm functionality, Quality Control required calls, SMS and email notifications to be delivered to the correct personnel responsible at each individual monitored location, so action to resolve temperature or system breaches could be taken accordingly.

Why Tutela Was Chosen

  • Competitive cost
  • 24-hour call centre facility
  • The benefits of 24/7 advanced real-time alarm coverage
  • Good experience with their existing Tutela system
  • Easy integration with central pharmacy monitoring

What was Delivered – Highly Secure Data Transmission and Storage

The sites are connected via dedicated IPSEC to IPSEC VPN for two-way data and alarm traffic. Because Tutela are licenced to VPN tunnel via the NHS network (BT-N3) Cat 5 cable is hardwired directly into the facilities ethernet ports. All data to and from the site travels directly through the secure VPN and is encrypted on both ends for ultimate lockdown.

The system is connected via the various trust networks back to the Tutela off-site server centre based in Fleet UK. From the Tutela server centre, all aspects of alarming, data gathering, audit trails and system data backup is managed.

Multi-Site Delivery and Roll Out

The Tutela Projects team carried out ISO17025 calibration, commissioning and QQ validation during each installation phase.

Comprehensive training was provided onsite to administrator-level access. Online training videos are also available to support more infrequent users of the monitoring system.

 What were the Results

  • 130 drug fridges in wards across the estate are now monitored, alarmed, and serviced by Tutela Systems.
  • The website users interface is the standard platform allowing multi-user, multi-tasking and simultaneous access to users assigned to the system.
  • A total of 13 WARPs with Ethernet Repeaters were installed across all the sites
  • Because Tutela is licensed to use the NHS N3 network for VPN connectivity, The Trust saved a large unnecessary cost by using Genesis 3 Ethernet repeaters rather than adding more WARP units

For further information, read the full case study here.

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