In the third of a weekly series of diary entries, pharmacist Ginny Henderson of Whitworth Pharmacy in Middlesbrough describes what it's like to work through a pharmacy refit
The first day was awful. The worst thing was coming in on Monday and finding new homes for everything. I walked in and cried. But it was just a case of getting used to it and we love it now. We had already planned a new workflow, but it's very different in practice. Because it changed so much, we couldn't do what we used to do. We couldn't do all the deliveries and all the collections in one little space, so we had to spread out.
We're much happier now. The main thing over the summer was the air conditioning. We'd never had air conditioning before and it's lovely during the hot summer. Everywhere is cleaner than it was before and we've got CCTV now so it feels safer.
The back of the dispensary had a really old carpet with years of dirt. We had a bench space in the middle which we had on breeze blocks from years ago and there were old bookcases from Ikea all around the shop. The new pharmacy is much cleaner and nicer, and I love having white shelving everywhere rather than a mix of different colours and ages.
We've also got much more useable space. Everything used to be in boxes and shoved in the stockroom, but now we've got really useful areas we can put stock. You wouldn't believe it was the same space; what the builders have done by using a different layout is incredible.
Our stockroom now has room to hold a lot of the stock we used to have to keep in the dispensary. It's also handy for all my paperwork and to store the MDS. It's a nice spot for us to have tea in as well, which we didn't have before.
We've got a brilliant new scheme to provide self-help books on prescription. We used to have them on display at the front of the pharmacy, but the area looked so scruffy that patients wouldn't bother with it. Now it looks professional, so they'll take a leaflet.
It's definitely worth having a refit because I think you get viewed differently by the customers. They always liked to come here to see the staff, but now they come to have a look, to see what's new and if we've got a different display up. It's just a nicer area to be in.
It's the same for us working here. You're not tripping up on mucky carpets and it just feels nicer. There's also the add-ons: the air conditioning, the CCTV, extra shelving and the cubbyholes for storing medicines. It's definitely been worth it, but maybe I wouldn't have said that at a few points along the way.
Click here for the Refit Diaries home page
Click here to read part 1 of the refit diaries
Click here to read part 2 of the refit diaries
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