LloydsPharmacy became the first community provider of commissioned outpatient services at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals in 2009 and financial and activity pressures in the NHS, plus demands to improve quality, have accelerated schemes to outsource hospital pharmacy outpatient dispensing (OPD) services ever since.
Outsourcing OPD has helped NHS trusts to reduce waiting times and contribute to cash savings as well as—crucially—releasing their pharmacy experts to focus on medicines optimisation. Current VAT regulations allow medicines dispensed to hospital outpatients by third party providers to be zero rated. Funding released creates the potential to improve the patient experience through changes to the outpatient pathway.
However, according to Celesio UK’s head of healthcare operations, Adam Crampsie, this is not the only driver for trusts. He says: “It’s no surprise that pressures in the NHS have become even greater than they were eight years ago, but the review of operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals by Lord Carter suggests that the solution to getting the best value out of the NHS budget lies in operational change.
“Lord Carter’s recommendations say that in order to maximise efficiencies, infrastructure services should be delivered through collaborative or shared service type-models, suggesting that such services do not always need to be delivered by NHS employed staff.
“Partnerships between community pharmacies and hospital trusts offer a broad range of benefits including long-term financial benefits and a more streamlined service. Patients benefit from reduced waiting times and they appreciate an environment more akin to their local community pharmacy whilst still benefitting secondary care trained staff providing high quality counselling. Freeing up hospital staff time to help improve adherence and reduce waste could speed up discharge and deliver real, tangible cost savings ward by ward."
David Pitkin, chief pharmacist for York Hospital, said: “Challenging traditional models of care and understanding how healthcare providers can work together allows us to maximise efficiencies. Bringing an external provider like LloydsPharmacy into the hospital setting allows hospital staff to be redeployed to do what they do best, providing clinical support at the bedside.”
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LloydsPharmacy has around 1,800 pharmacies across the UK. These are based predominantly in community and health centre locations and include 277 LloydsPharmacy in Sainsbury’s branches. The company employs over 19,000 staff and dispenses more than 150 million prescription items annually.
LloydsPharmacy is part of the Celesio Group; a leading international pharmaceutical wholesale and retail pharmacy company.
With strong brands and about 37,000 employees, the group is active in 13 European countries (thereof with own operations in ten countries; Celesio manages operations in two countries and participates in a joint venture in one country). Every day, the company serves over 2 million customers – at more than 2,150 pharmacies of its own, at about 300 managed pharmacies and at over 4,500 participants in the brand partnership schemes. With 107 wholesale branches in Europe, Celesio supplies more than 50,000 pharmacies and hospitals every day with up to 130,000 pharmaceutical products.
McKesson Corporation, San Francisco, USA, is the majority shareholder in Celesio AG. The company acquired more than 75 percent of Celesio AG shares in February 2014. McKesson provides solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. McKesson is a Fortune-500 company and currently ranking #5.