The last 12 months was probably the most challenging period that community pharmacy has ever faced, certainly in our professional memory. A combination of underfunding and the COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm for pharmacy owners, pharmacists and their teams. Yet those same people have been magnificent in their response, putting their patients and their communities before themselves. However, recompense for COVID-related costs remains unresolved and negotiations on additional funding within the CPCF 5-year deal show no progress and, whilst words of thanks are welcomed, they do not pay the bills.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we all think and act and it has accelerated changes in consumer expectations and behaviours. It has also changed the NHS’s view of community pharmacy and how it may use it in the future as an integrated part of primary care.
Through conversations and working in and with independent pharmacies it is clear that they and their teams are facing a number of critical problems around resilience, sustainability, capacity to implement new CPCF services and feeling out of control.
Pharmacy must find a way to take back control, to create the time, capability and energy to embrace and deliver these services, but also to develop their non-NHS service and OTC healthcare income to meet local market needs. Pharmacy owners can delay no longer, there is an urgent need to develop their own recovery plan. The time has come to work on the business, not just in it. The time has come to find more efficient ways of operating by analysing how things are done, by embracing technology and by exploring market opportunities.
The Pharmacy Complete Reset and Recover Programme has been developed by pharmacists for pharmacy utilising all our extensive knowledge, skills and experience and is designed to support all the required elements to help create an effective business recovery plan. Click on the link above to find out more and see how we can help you.