17 years ago I started to work at a pharmacy called Parks Chemist, which had just been sold twice in the previous three years. When I started there the shop was averaging about 2100 prescription items a month and during my three years there as a manager, we managed to increase our prescriptions to about 2500 items per month. Thankfully the proprietor of the business at that time did not take heed to any of the suggestions that I had given to him.
I bought that Pharmacy in Oct 1998 and within seven months we had a prescription turnover of 4200 items per month. When I bought the business it had a turnover of £245k per annum, we have just posted a turnover of £1.25m in March 2011 and our projected turnover in March 2012 is expected to exceed £1.5m. Also, I can say that our five most experienced members of staff have a total of over 69 years of experience of delivering care from our pharmacy and yet we have an average age of only 36 years.
We have had our share of challenges, in 2001 the local PCT decided that they wanted to shut the surgery across the road and move all of the patients to a practice that was a 0.75 mile down the road. At the time this surgery accounted for almost 70% of my business. I was one of the co-founders of the Leicester patient’s group and through our activities, we were able to keep the surgery open. Last year the PCT have invested £1m into that practice and have doubled the size of the premises.
I have recently invested £500k to rebuild my pharmacy and during that time we had moved to a much smaller premises around the corner, we grew from that premises, whilst the surgery across the road was being refurbished they had moved the practice to the health centre a mile down the road our business grew. We have had 100-hour pharmacy open down the road, we have grown.