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Well blames flat pharmacy funding as it outsources office roles abroad

Well Pharmacy will move “some” support office functions to a sister company outside of the UK while it battles against “economically testing times”, the multiple has told C+D.

No more than 10 people across both of Well’s support centres – in Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent – will be affected by these changes, the multiple confirmed today (November 23).

None of these people are pharmacists, the multiple clarified.

Amid “steeply rising costs due to inflation” and the challenges presented by England’s flat community pharmacy funding deal, Well “needs to be even more cost-efficient to ensure sustainability of service and supply for patients and customers”, it explained.

However, the multiple will explore “all avenues to avoid redundancies where possible” during this time, it noted.

The changes are expected to begin in February 2023, extending through the summer period.

All colleagues whose roles are affected have already been informed, and a period of “full consultation” has begun, the multiple confirmed.

Well started moving some roles offshore earlier this year, the multiple told C+D.

 

“Difficult decisions to ensure growth and stability”

 

A Well spokesperson told C+D that the multiple wants to continue being “a strong and stable business, providing vital healthcare services to millions across the UK”.

In doing so, “we have had to make difficult decisions to ensure growth and stability during these economically testing times”, they added.

“We will be supporting those impacted, as we recognise how difficult this news can be.”

Read more: Well tempts overseas pharmacists with £8k support package and training offer

It comes after the multiple confirmed to C+D last week (November 18) that it has begun offering overseas pharmacists a relocation support package worth up to £8,000 as well as “bespoke training”, in an effort to grow its UK workforce.

In September, the government unveiled the funding deal for years 4 and 5 of England’s Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, following “tense” negotiations that began in February between the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, NHS England, and the Department of Health and Social Care.

While it waived £100 million in excess margin for pharmacies in England, it did not budge on the £2.5 billion a year in funding it agreed with PSNC as part of a multi-year deal in 2019.

 

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