Ravi's Blog: a stressful process
I cannot believe the transfer process of buying the pharmacy mentioned in previous blogs is still ongoing (since May) – If only C+D had an award for the longest ever pharmacy transfer process, I'd be a shoe-in.
Every week seems to bring with it another hurdle. These have been shared between my solicitors, vendors solicitors, the banks solicitors, PCT, insurance brokers, wholesalers etc. The bank, however, (which I had to choose because they were partners of the Wholesaler-Guarantee scheme) has caused me the most aggravation.
After months of unnecessary to-ing and fro-ing the bank finally agreed the loan, but was told "I must quickly obtain life insurance and assign it to them so that they get paid if I died" (cheers! but understandable), however I've now given up tussling with them over the overdraft.
I'm fed up with trying to explain to the bank that the only business that I know of that can bankrupt you from growing too quickly, is community pharmacy. I explained that the item numbers are climbing at a steady rate, but if I introduced a nursing home contract for example item numbers could jump overnight. I would therefore need to pay the wholesalers for these medicines yet only to be reimbursed later by the NHS. By ‘growing' too quickly I could actually shoot myself in the foot; a larger overdraft would therefore be needed in case of success not lack of cash due to ‘failure'. But they still did not agree with my explanation or proposed figure and offered £10,000 less overdraft than what I think I need.
Also, given that I am technically only the employed pharmacist/locum in the pharmacy up until transfer, I thought the current owner would be happy with the extra remuneration they now receive monthly because the monthly items are 1,000-plus greater than when I joined.
However, the extra time taken to do build the business means I have less (or no time) to do anything but dispense surgery collecitons and waiters, do dossette boxes and answer phone calls, let alone do MURs. But this is what the vendor seems to only care about. Since it is not my pharmacy yet, I cannot increase staffing levels to account for the extra work, so have to stay up to two hours after work to clear any back-log.
I have been warned that if MUR figures are not increased, transfer may be delayed. The longer the transfer process drags on, the better it is for the vendor (due to the greatly increased monthly items), and so it seems I have to find time on top of everything mentioned (as a pharmacist and purchaser) to now do more MURs in case they are tempted to delay transfer intentionally. As if I didn't have enough stress.
I definitely underestimated the stress in buying your own pharmacy business at this present time, whilst working 6-days as a full time pharmacist and trying to increase the business without any extra help. Thankfully I haven't a wife yet to answer to (and possibly stress me out further) when I have to stay quite long after work to clear up the back-log of scripts / dossette boxes. A drop in efficient service would lose me the patients gained.
I'm sure I had more hair in May...
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