At the beginning of this week the Board and I met to discuss and sign off our strategy for 2020, including our vision and mission statement. Below are the AIM vision statement and our key strategic objectives for 2020.
Our Purpose is: to represent the interests of AIM members and offer them solutions that help them succeed in their businesses and in their professional practice.
Our Vision is: to be the sector leader in representing and supporting independent contractors with multiple pharmacies and bring the smaller pharmacies on the journey with us.
Our Mission is: to achieve our vision in a timely manner by having robust strategic objectives and business plan, collaborate with others in the sector, the industry, partners and stakeholders.
Our key strategic Objectives for 2020
- Advocacy and Representation - to be the voice of the independent multiples and be the leader in community pharmacy sector
- Member and Partner support - support for various membership categories and for partners
- Commercial viability - (AIM and for members)
- Digital agenda
Underneath each strategic objective there are a number of key tactics and focus areas for 2020 and the relevant timelines.
As an organisation we have a strong belief in what we stand for, have a vision and a robust strategy to deliver on our vision and play a key leadership role in the community pharmacy sector. Over the coming months we will be focusing on a number of topics that are important to our members with the view to seek the best possible outcome for you and for the independent sector generally.
- Branded generics
- Prescription direction
- Workforce issues (please see further notes below)
- Mergers and closures (please see further notes below)
- Hub and Spoke – the legislation on Hub and Spoke model is currently under review and will be amended. To this effect, AIM is establishing a working group to analyse the practicalities around this model, including costs, workforce, equipment and so forth. Our members are invited to express their interest should they wish to take part in the working group.
Members are very welcome to contact me if they need any further information. Our key focus areas for each quarter and the progress toward these will be communicated with members and stakeholders on a regular basis via our newsletter and quarterly AIM events.
Workforce issues in the sector
In the previous newsletter we highlighted that in order for us to make effective representation on workforce related matters, such as recruitment of staff, retention of skilled staff (including pharmacists and technicians), we would be grateful if our members could provide us with the following information by filling in the below survey monkey. All data will be completely anonymous. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HHX937N
AIM has representation at PSNC and we regularly receive updates from our representatives about the key discussion areas from PSNC meetings. Attached is an update presentation from Jay Patel covering some of the most recent topics discussed at PSNC. There include updates on:
- The new contract
- Pharmacy Quality Services
- Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)
- Community pharmacy representation
Mergers and closures – AIM position
With the current issues around funding many pharmacy contractors are exploring the topic of mergers and closures. Multiple pharmacy owners could save costs by merging and closing pharmacies that are in clusters. However, pharmacy owners are reluctant to make regulation 26A applications.
A survey conducted by AIM revealed that most members would like to merge and close pharmacies but had not made any application because of worry someone else would apply for a new contract following the closure, or because of worry that a new Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment would identify a need for a new pharmacy following a successful close & merge. From the perspective of DHSC, presumably clustering is still an issue. Pharmacies need to cut costs.
With the above in mind we have written to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to pursue a change in the legislation. This has been met with positive response from DHSC.
NHS funding is insufficient to support the current number of pharmacies.
- Pharmacies are currently closing or likely to close through attrition, and closures are unstructured.
- Pharmacies in clusters could engage in planned closures if they felt secure in making merge & close applications without worrying that closure would be followed by an application for a new contract made either opportunistically, or as a result of a new PNA identifying a gap.
- Almost all 100-hour pharmacies are in clusters, rather than where there is a need for extended hours of service.
- Pharmacies could additionally engage in planned closures if they could relocate a 40-hour pharmacy to the site of a 100-hour pharmacy and close the 100-hour pharmacy.
- Many will find unattractive the idea of enabling pharmacies that took advantage of the 100-hour exemption to close following relocation of a 40-hour pharmacy. However, the economic climate for community pharmacy is very different now to what it was in 2005. Now, the issue is not the profitability of community pharmacy, but its survival.
AIM proposals for future action
The Pharmaceutical Services Regulations should be amended to:
- Prevent applications for new pharmacy contracts within 800m of a site where there has been successful merge & close application in the preceding 5 years.
- Revoke regulation 31 of the Pharmaceutical Services Regulations.
Members can read further about this by opening the attached document.
NHS England has reported a busy first week since the launch of this service with over 9,200 pharmacies registered to deliver the service and over 7,500 referrals from 111 in the first 5 days.
AIM is a member of the Urgent Care Delivery and Implementation Group (UCDIG) and as such we have the opportunity to feedback our member’s experiences in regards to CPCS and shape the future of urgent care delivery. Please do not hesitate to share any feedback you may have about this service with me.
There are currently two Director positions available on the AIM Board. The AIM Board meets six times per year. Members who are interested in joining the Board can send the expression of interest to Diane and me.
I hope you find this newsletter useful. Please get in touch should you have any thoughts or questions about the topics outlined in this newsletter.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the AIM conference on 29 October in London.