I have worked in primary care for 18 years, prior to this I started my pharmaceutical career in independent pharmacy. I have many years' experience of Dispensary Management and Business Management and have seen many changes in this time which have changed the way dispensary operates. I also deliver training sessions relating to Dispensing Practices. Over the last year we have faced many challenges with the Covid pandemic. Working within a fast-paced primary care setting, we are familiar with change and evolving. This has certainly been put to the test over the last year, adapting initially on a daily basis to change. Life as we knew it has changed and we have new ways of delivering a high-quality service to our patients.I’m sure you have all now settled into the new “normal” with your Dispensary Teams. You may have had to re-visit Standard Operating Procedures due to the changes within your Dispensary. If you haven’t, I would suggest you may want to re-visit these and make changes as required to incorporate our new ways of working.You will by now have a network of volunteer’s who have been collecting and delivering to shielding patients and you may have started to or increased your volume of home deliveries. This is also a good time to audit any patients that may be eligible to have medications dispensed by the practice but have opted for a distance Pharmacy to have their medication dispensed and delivered. The service patients have received from distance Pharmacies throughout the pandemic has not been of high standard, we have had many patients contact us because they have run out of medication/not received their medication. This may be an opportunity to offer these patients a delivery service, this will increase Dispensary income and provide much needed resources for the practice.We have actively promoted managed repeats (EMIS names these as automatics) to enable us to manage our workload and relieve pressure on the Dispensary Team. Not only is this a good way of managing your workload, but patients also have less contact, thus not putting additional pressure on the team and their medications are ready and awaiting collection or delivery. We have also found the text service invaluable and have used this to notify patients that their medication is ready to collect. This cuts down the volume of incoming telephone calls from patients. Allowing the team to focus on other tasks within the Dispensary.
I am a chartered certified accountant and an Associate Tax Adviser. I have over 12 years’ experience working as an accountant both in practice and industry. I am passionate about helping clients and making them tax efficient.
Professor Peter Shah is a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at University Hospital Birmingham. He is Honorary Professor of Glaucoma at the Centre for Health and Social Care Improvement at the University of Wolverhampton.