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  • setting up 100hour pharmacy

    Hi,
    I am a dispensing GP in Lincolnshire. I am waiting to hear whether a 100hour pharmacy application will be approved for my surgery. I have a number of questions that I would be grateful for any answers to.

    What are current average locum rates in England for weekdays, evenings and weekends?
    Are locum pharmacists easy to come by?
    What is the average salary/terms of employment for a pharmacist and superintendent pharmacist?
    Which are the best locum agencies to use if they are needed?
    Am I likely to struggle to find pharmacists willing the work the hours needed for a 100hour pharmacy?
    What percentage of practice scripts do "in surgery" pharmacies tend to secure?
    What software systems are used in pharmacies and what do they cost?
    Where is the best place to advertise job vacancies?

    Any answers would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

    Hi there,
    Cant answer any of your business questions, but locum rates are around £23-£25 ph during the day and up to £30 in the evenings or weekends. There is always a shortage of locums, but this is set to improve as we take more European pharmacists and thanks to the increase in the number of schools of pharmacy. Best thing is to advertise in the Pharmaceutical Journal because we all get this PJ Online, website of The Pharmaceutical Journal.

    If you go on their website you will also see adverts from locum agencies. You will probably need to pay a superintendant pharmacist anything from £45-50K pa, and your best bet if you want to make the venture successful is to offer input into medication review, formulary development and pharmacist led clinics, this way the pharmacy will be integrated into your practice and offer services that keep customers from going elsewhere for their prescription. It will also ensure continuity of prescribing and dispensing and make the whole process run relatively query free and optimise budgeting. I have used a variety of systems, and personally I like Analyst best as it has a touch screen and is simple for a locum and new techs to pick up.

    Good luck,
    Jen
    MUR

    Major Underestimation of Resources

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

      If you are a dispensing practice, ie a rural area, you will know more about your patient's idiosyncracies than a "townie" like me. However, I would point out that unless you had a low rent , which you may or may not have as it's your surgery, staffing a pharmacy for 100 hours is ruinously expensive. You may or may not be able to staff it adequately from the number of pharmacists you have living locally. If you need an agency and they get pharmacists who live a long distance away you will have agency fees plus mileage to pay on top.

      You can only "suck it and see". Like all businesses there is an element of risk involved which, unless you knew you could dispense about 10,000 items a month I would advise you not to take.

      I can't imagine many proprietor pharmacists being prepared to discuss the business plans they follow in an open forum. I may be prepared to discuss it in "pm" but I would want to know where the nearest pharmacy was to your practice before doing so.

      I am sure you understand as I can't see you being forthcoming on an open forum like this in advising a group of pharmacists how best to operate an APMS contract near you?
      http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmbyj0XFUhA

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      • #4
        Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

        I think the only questions left unanswered by pussycat were 2 out of the last three, with 100hour pharmacies what tends to happen is the normal pharmacist works 9am-7pm on normal weekdays, then a different pharmacist takes over from 7-10pm, and on the weekends whatever the hours are can be taken by different pharmacists, best thing to do if offer a job share where two pharmacists share say 40 hours each and the other 20 could be done by a regular locum etc...

        About the software, I find the link system to be quite handy for independents, and it's quite easy to learn too....witht he cost, well, the systems are normally installed on a finance plan, where you pay cost of installation and a "maintanence" fee which together comes to about £350 per month (not sure about this figure though)
        We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams and God damn we are that good

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        • #5
          Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

          Originally posted by Jen the 3rd View Post
          Hi there,
          Cant answer any of your business questions, but locum rates are around £23-£25 ph during the day and up to £30 in the evenings or weekends. There is always a shortage of locums, but this is set to improve as we take more European pharmacists and thanks to the increase in the number of schools of pharmacy. Best thing is to advertise in the Pharmaceutical Journal because we all get this PJ Online, website of The Pharmaceutical Journal.

          If you go on their website you will also see adverts from locum agencies. You will probably need to pay a superintendant pharmacist anything from £45-50K pa, and your best bet if you want to make the venture successful is to offer input into medication review, formulary development and pharmacist led clinics, this way the pharmacy will be integrated into your practice and offer services that keep customers from going elsewhere for their prescription. It will also ensure continuity of prescribing and dispensing and make the whole process run relatively query free and optimise budgeting. I have used a variety of systems, and personally I like Analyst best as it has a touch screen and is simple for a locum and new techs to pick up.

          Good luck,
          Jen
          what kind of hours would the super have to work?
          Kemzo the pharmacist forumly known as kemzero

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

            i'd guess the super-intendent would be the main pharmacist, i.e. full-time so 40-45??? but abviously s/he'd be the boss, so can decide if s/he wants to work more hours.
            We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams and God damn we are that good

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            • #7
              Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

              1. Pharmacist should be willing to get involved with local PCTs enhanced services

              2. All PCTs have a Pharmaceutical needs assessment-best to find out what these are and pitch your business case etc on this

              3.Pierremont Pharmacy- Broadstairs, has recieved excellent reviews, it might be worth checking out his podcasts for ideas.

              4.Try to get a pharmacist manager and book regular locums to cover odd hours , different locums are NOT good for business
              Kemzo the pharmacist forumly known as kemzero

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              • #8
                Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

                Why not try to find a pharmacist as a business partner for your new project? He/she will develop the business, and you will guarantee a permanent working pharmacist who has got your (and his business) at heart.

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                • #9
                  Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

                  A useful source of advice on this sort of thing is Gerry Green, of Green Pharmacy Consultants. Green Pharmacy Consultants

                  I've no commercial association with him, although he's an old acquaintance, but I do know that for many years he has earned his living by giving advice on this sort of thing, and is a regular speaker at Conferences on all things contractual.

                  I've no idea what his charges are, but as the advert says, I think he's worth it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

                    [QUOTEWhy not try to find a pharmacist as a business partner for your new project? He/she will develop the business, and you will guarantee a permanent working pharmacist who has got your (and his business) at heart. [/QUOTE]

                    when it comes to money, I cant believe how generous doctors are with giving shares etc... to their colleagues e.g. when a doctor leaves a practice (normally through retirement), they hire a salaried GP and if s/he's any good they offer a partnership to them, pharmacy owners on the other hand are so greedy they dont pay you a proper wage never mind offering you a share in the business.

                    Imagine if alongside the managers job, pharmacist were also offered a small stake in the pharmacy e.g. 10-20%, then the pharmacy would be run as efficiently as possible, benefiting both the original owner and the manager. oh, happy alternate universe!!
                    We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams and God damn we are that good

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

                      Originally posted by SolomonQ
                      Imagine if alongside the managers job, pharmacist were also offered a small stake in the pharmacy e.g. 10-20%, then the pharmacy would be run as efficiently as possible, benefiting both the original owner and the manager. oh, happy alternate universe!!
                      Keep your chin up, it has been offered to me before now (wrong hours for me to commit to at the time, sorta wish I'd put up with it for 6 months or so until things changed now).
                      Employed again... paid holidays! Yipee

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                      • #12
                        Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

                        There are precedents, Alan Lloyd who originally set up Lloyds before AAH bought him out used to give 40% which was paid out of future bonuses. It didn't work as he was left with a selection of managers of differing ability who he ultimately bought out.

                        Doctors at present do not have to pay goodwill to buy into a practice. Consequently it costs nothing to buy a partner out when things go wrong (unless there is property involved). However a pharmacy proprietor who has to buy premises/lease and stock as well as pay around £1m for goodwill is going to "give" 20% to a manager because........?
                        http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmbyj0XFUhA

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

                          £1m for goodwill is going to "give" 20% to a manager because........?
                          I dont mean give 20% for free, I mean allow the manager the option to buy into the pharmacy, so for a pharmacy worth £1M, the pharmacist is allowed the choice of buying upto 20% of the pharmacy.

                          In a similar situation, why dont GPs just get salaried doctors, pay them x amount and keep the rest of the profits, by offering partnerships, they actually lose out financially.
                          We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams and God damn we are that good

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

                            Fair point Solly.

                            GPs I know would look to offer a partnership to a salaried GP only if they knew he/she could increase the practice income and thereby pay for himself. Also many practices who bought premises under the old "red book" cost rent scheme will never actually pay off the loan. The "rental" they get from the PCT only pays off interest. Consequently partners are required to replace retiring partners to take on the debt! Not all salaried GPs are offered partnerships.

                            My own experience as a young manager who was offered a 10% of a business I worked for was a) raising the money:- if you have less tha 50% you actually have no say in how a business is run b) valuing a minority stake in a private company is impossible. They aren't easily traded on eg the stock exchange and future income is decided by the majority shereholders. Consequently, if you were in a situation where you wanted to leave who would buy your shares? There is no onus on the other shareholders to buy back your shares at a price you believe to be fair. Litigation in such a situation is prohibitively expensive (both sides pay their own costs) and could well be a lot more than the value you ultimately achieve for your shares.

                            As GPs can't trade the goodwill of their practices (the list is the NHS's not the GPs) and only usually get involved in property transactions it is much easier to get into and out of partnerships.

                            I am not saying that a situation as you describe would not work Solly, indeed it may well work in many cases where there is significant trust and respect on all sides, I am merely pointing out possible reasons as to why it may not work out. If you had the cash for a 10-20% stake my advice would be to look for your own opportunity and put that money down as a deposit.

                            What you are describing in your own situation of course is very different and a model that many pharmacists long hoped would emerge. As I am in business with GPs I can say with certainty that they value pharmacist's professional and business skills very much. They also value the fact that pharmacists approach a problem differently and it strengthens the partnership. There will be countless opportunities in the NHS as the commissioning agenda gathers pace and you will be well placed to take advantage of them. Good luck!

                            PS GPs can access PCT training budgets so grab anything you can to improve your clinical skills. I believe the day will come when you don't need the GPs!
                            http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmbyj0XFUhA

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: setting up 100hour pharmacy

                              hmm, nice reply Mr TS, I do understand what you're getting at,

                              also I was thinking what if the pharmacist leaves but wants to keep their stake, it might be hard to get rid of but the return is alot better than any other investment, for little work. In this case the company would be be unable to offer the next pharmacist the same stake, so there could be some contractual agrreement that the stake be attached to the manager's job, but thats all going to be law and complicated.

                              a) raising the money:- if you have less tha 50% you actually have no say in how a business is run
                              but atleast in such case you feel that you do have the right to have a say in how the business is run, and in a multiple pharmacy setting, you can actually stand up to the regional manager about targets etc... and also the staff would respect you more because you're not just another employee but part owner of the business, the company might in such cases leave the responsibility of recruitment for the pharmacy to you.

                              As I am in business with GPs I can say with certainty that they value pharmacist's professional and business skills very much.
                              The GPs i'm dealing with dont seem to know the exact role of a pharmacist, they have the impression it's all about dispensing (i think you call it pick, lick and stick) and to sell otc and P medicines, but abviously it's up to me to change that impression if I get the chance.
                              We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams and God damn we are that good

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