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‘Really proud’: Welsh Well pharmacy bought by 29-year-old pharmacist

Young pharmacist Anna Matthews has bought her first pharmacy just six years after qualifying, she told C+D.  

A pharmacy previously owned by multiple Well in Nantyffyllon, Maesteg, reopened as Nanty Pharmacy last week (September 25) under the new ownership of Anna Matthews, who is 29 years old and qualified as a pharmacist in 2017.

Ms Matthews was just 28 in January when she got a call from owner of Caerau Pharmacy in Maesteg Jonathan Lloyd Jones, who said he was interested in becoming business partners.

“It was quite surreal”, Ms Matthews told C+D this week (October 3). “I was thinking ‘Oh god can I really own a pharmacy at 28?’”

After deciding to go for the “fantastic opportunity”, Ms Matthews found a pharmacy for sale “just a mile up the road” from Mr Lloyd Jones’ pharmacy through specialist business consultant Pharmacy Seekers, she said.

Ms Matthews, who was a pre-registration pharmacist at Well before managing a Well branch and then moving into independent pharmacies, said it was “great” be able to buy a property from the multiple where she first started her career. 


“Over the moon”


Despite some “delays” and a scrapped completion start date, the purchase was eventually completed on September 22 and Ms Matthews started trading on September 25 as Nanty pharmacy, she said.

“I'm over the moon, I am really excited. [But] I'm impatient as well, I'm having to stop myself from coming in early and staying too late,” she told C+D.

“I know it's going to be really stressful [and] a lot of work. I mean, I've stayed late every night this week. And I know it's going to be really hard slog going forward,” she added. “[But] there's something different when it's yours, it's like your baby.”


Onwards and upwards 


After running her own pharmacy for a week, Ms Matthews told C+D that “you could spend your life preparing” and “everything will [still] go wrong…but it's still been fantastic”.

“I'm really proud and I'm really excited”, she said, adding that she was “looking forward to growing the business” and has “loads and loads of ideas”.

In addition to essential services, Nanty Pharmacy is currently also offering emergency medicine supply, flu vaccinations, a common ailments scheme and a contraception service.

Ms Matthews said that she is also currently in the process of getting the premises registered to be able to provide independent prescribing services as she is herself an independent prescriber.

“I would be able to see patients for a variety of conditions”, including urinary tract infections (UTIs), ear infections and skin infections to start with and expanding into other areas such as contraception in the future, she added.

“Looking into the future”, Ms Matthews said that she will “definitely be looking into the private services sector a little more as well”, adding that she already offers “period delay” and private flu jab services and could “potentially” offer a travel vaccination service.


“Championing independents”


Ms Matthews said that it was “really special” and “so exciting” to be opening her own independent pharmacy at a young age.

She said that “the dream” for “most pharmacists” she knows is to have pharmacy of their own, as “it means a lot more than just being part of a corporate”.

She also stressed that her team is “championing independent pharmacies” as the “village community pharmacy is needed now more than ever”.

“I have a special interest in mental health, so I think having that personal touch really goes a long way,” she told C+D. “I think that's really special and I'm excited to have that in this community now”.

Ms Matthews also said that she wants her new pharmacy to “work together” with local GPs, optometrists and dentists.

“We're just very excited about helping our patients in the community and working together with the healthcare providers that are already here, to make sure that we were doing the best we can with what we've got in these tough times”, she added.

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