Government policy could lead to more Pharmacy2U disasters

Sandra Gidley: Online services take out patient interaction
Sector leaders have warned against plans to expand use of click-and-collect services

EXCLUSIVE

Government plans to push for more click-and-collect services could make room for more online pharmacies like Pharmacy2U, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's (RPS) Sandra Gidley has said.

The "biggest concern" is that the rise of click-and-collect services could result in a "big step in by organisations like Pharmacy2U", RPS English Pharmacy Board chair Ms Gidley told C+D. "We saw what happened when [Pharmacy2U] fell over at Christmas."

Pharmacy2U announced last December that it was experiencing “unforeseen, operational difficulties” resulting from its move to a new automated warehouse, meaning it was unable to deliver medicines to some patients between December 22 and January 11. It has since confirmed that its new dispensing facility is "working smoothly".

Ms Gidley stressed that online pharmacy services "take out the patient-pharmacist interaction". "We should be making more of that interaction," she added.

Government policy

The Department of Health (DH) recommended that more should be made of click-and-collect services, in its open letter to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) in December outlining its planned funding cuts. It described the current “online journey” for pharmacy patients as “slow and awkward”.

Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott said the lobbying group has seen nothing that would justify “diverting a smaller budget away from frontline services” to pay for “an accelerated rollout of online tools”.

Although there is a lot of potential in click-and-collect services for patients, Pharmacy Voice had seen no data from the DH that patients want this service expanded, Mr Darracott said.

“We hear from patients that the core value community pharmacy offers is a face-to-face interaction,” he told C+D. “We can’t improve the service community pharmacy offers by diverting funding away to pay for peripheral things.”

"Not what patients want"

National Pharmacy Association (NPA) board member Mike Hewitson also said click-and-collect is not a priority.

“I don’t think it’s what patients want,” he said. “They’ve made an assumption that people in other retail environments like click-and-collect, but that misses the fundamental point that pharmacy isn’t just a retail environment.”

 


How do you think about the government's push for more click-and-collect services?

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19 Comments

P M, Community pharmacist

cut locum wages now

M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

Maybe your right £33 per hr to put stock on shelf. Lol HAHA

P M, Community pharmacist

and label  ... reduce wages to around £15 per hour and the cuts will be paletable..

P M, Community pharmacist

cut locum wages now

Neeraj Salwan, Superintendent Pharmacist

I like how the C&D plant M Elnemy has massive dislikes on all of her posts but keeps spouting out rubbish for maximum reaction lol- well done C&D

Chandra Nathwani, Community pharmacist

Do you have any evidence of this. Emails or tweets or tapped phone calls etc. because if it's true then that gives me a reason to stop my subscription to C&D.

 

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

Neeraj, do you think PM is also a C&D plant ?

Neeraj Salwan, Superintendent Pharmacist

I like how the C&D plant M Elnemy has massive dislikes on all of her posts but keeps spouting out rubbish for maximum reaction lol- well done C&D

Naresh Chauhan, Community pharmacist

M Elnemy - 85% Rx deliveries - at an average of £3.00 per delivery if costed properly. Interesting.  And do you then visit at all these patients at home to offer MUR ,NMS and other services?

S Morein - no CP is averse to modernisation and new technology. However, remote pharmacies will make the 'brick and mortar' pharmacies unviable to the detriment of the service to the elderly, young mothers, etc. There is more to community Pharmacy than just dispensing as you are aware. In my locality 95% of the patients have not registered to order Rxs on-line, even though it was rolled out 3 years ago.

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

Bear in mind that you have to get written permission from the CCG for each MUR that you would like to carry out in a patient's home - and that is if the patient wants you to visit them in the first place!

M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

are you the same ppl who said 100hr pharmacys need to do 6000 items to break even? LOL

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

Elnemy and Morein will be labelled trolls.........

S Morein, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

No wonder the profession is in such a turmoil when luddites and people who do not want to modernise the profession are in positions of power like Gidley. The idea that the outdated model of only bricks and mortar pharmacies providing services in the 21st century electronic age is frankly laughable. If the profession is to survive it needs to grasp the challenges of change with both hands. There maybe some bumps on the way like P2U Xmas fiasco but failure to embrace technology and changing modes of delivery will inevitably lead to the demise of the profession

M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

a pathetic tactic by  a lobbying group to try and protect its members who are clearly concerned by the rise of online pharmacies....

M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

Online pharmacy has broaden the number of ppl who can now open a pharmacy. More and more carehomes are using online pharmacies as the service given by the big 3 goes down hill... 

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

“We hear from patients that the core value community pharmacy offers is a face-to-face interaction,” he told C+D. “We can’t improve the service community pharmacy offers by diverting funding away to pay for peripheral things.”

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I respectfully suggest that Mr Darracott, of the self proclaimed and mysteriously funded, "Pharmacy Voice" asks large multiple to STOP their FREE delivery services which in some instances can account for upto 50% of ALL items dispensed.

S Morein, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

If patients value "face to face" they will access that service. If patents value a pure delivery service then they will access that too. Why should choice be denied to the patient who effectively pays?

M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

nationally 75 % of rxs are repeat meds........

85% of my rxs are deliveries....only 15 % are collections......

Is this another tactic to prevent new comers joining the gravy train that is Pharmacy ownership...

John Urwin, Community pharmacist

Wow, 85% deliveries! I guess no-one is going to accuse you of adding much "pharmacist value" to the dispensing process?

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