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Lloydspharmacy responds to claims new PMR is causing patient backlogs and cancelled locum shifts

Lloydspharmacy’s new PMR system has been experiencing technical issues and is causing patient backlogs, as well as prompting some locums to refuse to work in the branches operating the new functionality, C+D readers have claimed.

A Lloydspharmacy spokesperson told C+D last week (September 23) that the multiple is “listening to all feedback” it has received regarding the new system “and acting on it appropriately”.

See the multiple’s response in full below.


From Compass to LS Retail


Last year, C+D revealed that Lloydspharmacy had begun rolling out a new patient medication record (PMR) system – LS Retail – across all its branches in Wales, with the aim of implementing it into all its British pharmacies in 2021.

LS Retail – implemented to replace the 20-year-old Compass system – is currently live in 33% of Lloydspharmacy’s branches in England and Wales, a spokesperson for the multiple told C+D last week.

However, C+D readers have raised concerns, claiming that the new PMR has been rolled out without adequate training for staff and has been plagued with technical issues and bugs, leaving many branches struggling with queues of patients and disgruntled customers.

According to one anonymous source, locums are refusing to work in some branches where LS Retail has been implemented until all staff have received extensive training and the bugs are fixed.

The Lloydspharmacy spokesperson said: “We have had lots of positive feedback from pharmacy teams who are reaping the benefits of the new functionality LS Retail provides, which includes automated ordering and enhanced safety features.

“However, we appreciate that any new system brings with it new challenges as it is rolled out, and we are listening to all feedback and acting on it appropriately.”


“Comprehensive training” for all staff and locums


Responding to the claims of staff not being adequately prepared for the new PMR rollout, Lloydspharmacy stressed: “Comprehensive training on how to use the new dispensing system is offered to all retail colleagues with an absolute minimum of six weeks’ notice.

“This includes self-directed training via e-learning modules, a test and play system that gives colleagues the opportunity to practice using LS Retail before it goes live, and daily virtual demos that are scheduled three times a day, five days a week including Saturdays, to offer as much flexibility as possible for colleagues to attend the sessions.

“We also have trained regional champions and a dedicated user support team who are on hand to support with any queries.”

The spokesperson also stressed that locums have access to the same support team, can access training materials via its locum system Venloc prior to any shift, and can tune into daily virtual demos.


Part-closures and regional manager vacancies


Last month, Lloydspharmacy superintendent Victoria Steele said the multiple had been forced to adopt a “part-closure policy” on some occasions because of a dearth of trained pharmacists across the UK.

C+D understands that Lloydspharmacy currently has up to 16 area/regional manager positions vacant.

While the multiple did not confirm the exact number of vacancies, it did say there are “some vacancies within our retail network which we are currently working hard to fill and welcome applications”.


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