Pharmacies in Health Centres
According to the C&D, as many as 20% of pharmacists could be considering moving their business into a health centre over the next 5 years based upon a survey by Lloyds TSB.
Pharmacy Consulting Ltd (PCL) have been involved in various projects in which pharmacies have been considering a move into a nearby Health Centre. Amongst the many learning lessons so gained, the importance of establishing and maintaining goodwill between the pharmacist/pharmacy owner and the GPs cannot be understated. Whilst it is possible to develop goodwill without a shared commercial interest, without doubt a shared commercial interest does tend to foster both parties working well together for mutual benefit
Looking forwards, the new 2012 control of entry regulations will affect relocations into health centres as the concept of a neighbourhood and the concept of a minor relocation are both set to disappear. It would be wise to take professional advice from organisations like PCL, who are keeping close to the new regulations, before submitting a relocation application, once the new regulations come into force, which a PSNC source believes could be as early as July 2102.
The location of the pharmacy within the health centre can have a massive influence upon the commercial success of the pharmacy, and the size shape and orientation of the pharmacy space are all also important. If the relocated pharmacy is expected to be very busy with prescriptions, then automating the pharmacy from day one is a good idea, and will probably be cost justified. PCL has been involved with several such projects with ARX in particular
The design of the pharmacy should also be focussed upon optimising customer service, as well as upon optimising operational efficiency-with or without automation.