Services Database Automated Pill Dispenser – Pilot in the West Midlands Area (7 LPCs Involved)

Service ID



Please note this service was commissioned across the West Midlands area. Therefore, the following LPCs had the same seasonal automated pill dispenser service in their areas:

  • Coventry LPC (Coventry City Council replaced Herefordshire County Council after they withdrew)
  • Dudley LPC
  • Herefordshire LPC (were initially involved but the County Council withdrew due to resource issues) - now part of Herefordshire & Worcestershire LPC
  • North Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent LPC
  • Shropshire LPC (Telford & Wrekin area)
  • South Staffordshire LPC
  • Wolverhampton LPC
  • Worcestershire LPC - now part of Herefordshire & Worcestershire LPC

The service has only been added onto the Services Database under this entry to avoid duplication.

In September 2009, the West Midlands launched the first ever large scale pilot of an automatic pill dispenser involving eight local authorities and PCTs across the region. The pilot ran for 2.5 years.

Organised by the Joint Improvement Partnership for West Midlands, it was part of its bid to promote safe and appropriate technology to support the wellbeing and independence of vulnerable people and their carers.

The pilot followed research by Birmingham University, commissioned by NHS West Midlands, which showed the dispenser is already benefiting the elderly, and those with early dementia or Parkinson’s disease, and could potentially help others, such as people with learning difficulties or mental health problems.

The pilot tested the use of the electronic device as an aid for patients who have difficulty remembering to take their complex pill regimes. The aim was to raise awareness of the dispenser and show that it can improve the quality of life of users, and allow them to remain living independently at home.

The device went on trial for a six month period in different scenarios, including a hospital ward in North Staffordshire, and was tested on its appropriateness for various groups and its effectiveness and safety. The pilot surveyed users and carers taking part, and reported on compliance of medication taking, the drop out rates and any difficulties that arose. It also assessed the potential savings that could be made both for the NHS and local authorities by reducing the necessity of residential care or re-admissions to hospital.

Location of service

Coventry LPC


Other: Communities and Local Government (CLG) Capital Efficiency Fund & NHS West Midlands Innovation Fund

Method of commissioning


Source of funding


Service type

Medicines assessment & compliance support

Other organisations involved

Joint Improvement Partnership for the West Midlands, NHS West Midlands, Boots UK and PivoTell, the distributors of the dispenser.


Start date: 01/07/2009
End date: 01/01/2012




Not known


This service was available in the West Midlands area.