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Finding our feet with a new revenue stream

Farah Ali, general manager at Warman-Freed, Perrigo’s learning pharmacy, provides a real-time insight into how they found the right partner to hire their consultation room, benefitting both the local community and their bottom line

Space is at a premium in a community pharmacy at the best of times. When things are tight, however, all areas should be looked at to see if they are paying their way.

5 November 2018
We’re keen to generate new revenue streams and everyone agrees that we could definitely make more of our consultation room to introduce new services to the pharmacy. We decide on something with the added benefits of incurring no additional cost in terms of training or hiring more staff. We just need to focus our efforts on finding a suitable healthcare professional whose service complements our existing offering. The challenge is on!

12 November 2018
I have reviewed the team’s suggestions. It seems it will be trickier than we originally thought. We need to find the right person, factor in any implications to our existing insurance policy, and make sure we put the right contract and terms in place. I am buoyed by a team brainstorm though, which has helped to identify potential services based on our local health needs. We decide that in our area podiatry services are limited and NHS access is poor. It’s a service that could benefit a large cross-section of our local population. But how do I find the right podiatrist?

14 November 2018
I have put a poster in the window, advertising that our consultation room is available for hire. I have briefed the staff and encouraged them to give my details to anyone asking about the consultation room. I hope this works!

2 December 2018
The poster has been up for a few weeks now, and nothing. Maybe it won’t be so easy to find someone after all? But just as I am feeling disheartened, and the poster has come down, a member of staff hands me the number of a podiatrist who is keen to use our consultation room. I call straight away.

7 January 2019
My meeting with the podiatrist was really encouraging. I’m sure he can build a really valuable podiatry service here, but as it will take time for awareness to spread, we agree to start in a few weeks time with a couple of clinics a week. That gives us time to arrange the contract, and establish a plan of services and a clear revenue target, develop promotional material, and brief the staff. I’m hoping we can get going properly in a few month's time once we agree what a successful partnership looks like. I need to weigh up the pros and cons of the relationship, and we need to make sure it represents a true commercial opportunity too.

6 March 2019
We are live! The service is underway and I’m excited and nervous in equal measure. We will hold our first six month review at the end of August...

Valuable lessons

To hire out the consultation room sounded like an easy step, but I’ve learnt some valuable lessons along the way:

  • Get to know your local health needs, so you can decide which opportunities support the local self care agenda
  • Be proactive; finding the right healthcare professional or service can take time, but being really clear on the opportunities you want to pursue can focus your efforts
  • Be clear on what you want to achieve with your partner. Aim for something that results in a positive outcome commercially and for the community
  • Double and triple check that the right contracts and insurance are in place, or that the new services lines up with your existing policy
  • Have regular meetings and check‐ins
  • Review and monitor progress against your success criteria
Warman-Freed, Perrigo’s learning pharmacy: supporting self care from the frontline

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