The challenges

We partnered with the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) to address the challenges facing Community Pharmacy around the recent government cuts despite a demand for additional services. In order to help their members survive and grow alongside increasing expectations from the Government and consumers, a need to take pressure off A&E and GP surgeries, and a business imperative not to increase the wage bill, Velresco embarked upon a carefully packaged programme of studies utilising our specialist software v-Flow in a pilot programme for the NPA.

How we helped

We looked at the whole operation of eight pharmacies (a 'whole systems approach' in technical speak), mapped and analysed core processes and everything which could impact on them – from IT systems to store layout, leadership to equipment and so on. We also carried out studies on each of the Pharmacists to see what potential there was to free up Pharmacist time, to focus on value added extended services.
Alongside capturing 1000's of data points, we ran a simulation exercise to engage the participating members in the 'art of the possible' which made them much more receptive to the recommendations when presented. This gave them far higher confidence that change could be delivered successfully.

For more information on how to attend one of our ‘Staying ahead in times of change’ 1 day courses, click here.

The results

As a result of the exercises and our observations we identified:

  • There is potential for each Pharmacist to delegate an average of more than 40hrs of work per month
  • More than 60hrs on average of spare capacity exists within the dispensary operation to allow for this delegation
  • A list of actionable recommendations which could be utilised by all members of the NPA, 'Top Tips'
  • Specific feedback and recommendations, relevant to each participating Pharmacy, which gave rise to even more capacity beyond that mentioned above which was for the top tips alone!

Freeing up resource would result in the teams being able to deliver better customer care, as well as meet Government targets for delivering additional services to customers such as Medical Usage Reviews (MURs) and New Medicine Service (NMS) appointments – which also generate revenue.

The benefits

Why not see what the participants had to say for themselves:

"It's been a pleasure being involved in the NPA subsidised pilot Dispensary Study programme aimed at identifying hidden capacity. I and the team at Pharmacy Care Plus were particularly impressed at how quickly the Velresco team were able to comprehensively understand the essence of our business operations both through the relationships and trust they built with our staff and the quantification of how we are delivering our core offer. I was particularly excited about the magnitude of identified 'time' savings, amplified by the practicality of their recommended solutions. We are in the midst of prioritising the opportunities Velresco recommended, some of which have already been implemented. Furthermore, we are delighted to advocate that others would benefit greatly from the approach that Velresco has delivered with us and we are already in further discussions with them about how we can reveal even more opportunities from other parts of our business operations" Dev Shah - Chairman, Pharmacy Care Plus

"Each session turned out to be a fun, team-building workout that resulted in a number of small changes that we implemented immediately and have proved to be of value already. The sessions enabled my staff to show what they knew about how to do things and to look again at issues they often thought might need improving if only there was time." Julie Horslen - Owner, Prestwood Pharmacy

"Velresco were a delight to work with. They have a very friendly and personable approach which our staff grew to really trust. I felt they really valued each member of staff's worth to the company, and carried out objective analysis on where we can tweak things to get the most out of each other. The information presented to us at the end of their study was incredibly informative, with diligently studied quantitative values to back up their recommendations. All the while, the data was easy to analyse, and well summarised at the end. We have already used many of their recommendations in our branches, and have learnt from their team-building workshops how best to understand the ways in which the branches can improve capacity, without a reduction in manpower.
I would highly recommend Velresco to any community pharmacy chain that wishes to streamline their business, improving efficiencies and capacity, while keeping the staff on side and singing from the same hymn sheet." Krishan Modi - Head of Procurement, Jardines

"In a very short space of time, the results credibly reinforced what was working well, what we thought was working well and more excitingly a raft of practical opportunities to release more capacity than even we imagined. In my opinion, it's essential that others experience this short intervention which I think marries up perfectly, the link between insightful operational data and the opportunities therein to profoundly impact anybody's pharmacy operation. There is no doubt that their recommendations will have a positive effect on our business, we now need to set aside enough time to implement properly which I would certainly seek assistance from Velresco with in the future. The NPA have definitely found a gem in Velresco" Fin McCaul - Owner, Prestwich Pharmacy

Implementing changes

Implementing change is notoriously difficult to do effectively. We believe in engaging with staff to allow them to arrive at their own conclusion that change needs to happen. In our experience this leads to change being implemented faster and more effectively, making it much more likely to have a lasting impact.
We run a unique simulation workshop for teams – which had a profound impact– allowing them to see the art of the possible and gathering their input and ideas. We find that even the most change-resistant of delegates leave energised and full of enthusiasm for the future.

Our solution – and it could be yours too

As specialists in delivering innovation and change at pace with decades of experience, we realised that the task of carrying out operational audits like the one we did for the NPA without the use of our v-Flow tool would take at least twice the time and money!

So using our performance improvement expertise, we have designed and refined our unique data capture and visualisation tool, v-Flow. Simple to use, the cloud-based tool can rapidly assimilate huge amounts of information, making analysis and reporting as simple as clicking a single button.

You don’t have to be a specialist to use v-Flow. We’ve trained internal team members and licensed them to use v-Flow in their own on-going improvement projects, as well as in validating benefits gained as a result of any recommended initiatives.