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Boots: All 2,500 branches will benefit from pharmacy transformation

Richard Bradley: No plans to install express lanes beyond the 600 stores already selected
Richard Bradley: No plans to install express lanes beyond the 600 stores already selected

Every one of Boots’ 2,485 branches will benefit from the multiple’s transformation strategy this year, director of pharmacy Richard Bradley has told C+D.

Boots unveiled plans last week to transform its pharmacy offering, including a free online prescription service via the Boots app and website, “express” collection lanes in 600 of its branches and a secure prescription locker trial in two pharmacies.

When asked by C+D whether there was a risk that stores not receiving “express” lanes or lockers could be neglected by the multiple, Mr Bradley stressed that the additional rollout of a bespoke pharmacy management system across every branch in the UK means “every store is getting some form of the transformation”.

The new computer system will manage every branch’s stock replenishment, patient records and compliance with EU scanning law the Falsified Medicines Directive, Mr Bradley told C+D in an exclusive interview yesterday (May 30).

This means “every single Boots store” will experience a “significant part” of its transformation strategy, he added.

“Two minute” express lanes

Boots unveiled its “express” pick-up lanes model last week, with a “promise that customers can pick up their prescriptions in two minutes or less”.

But Mr Bradley explained to C+D that two minutes is “an internal ambition really”.

“If you’re coming to collect something that is already ready, why wouldn’t we have a goal of doing it on time for you?”

The 600 branches selected for this model are “of a certain size” with “the right number of colleagues on the counter”, he continued.

Boots has previously trialed the model for up to six weeks in 30 of the multiple’s top branches – where it received a “positive response” – and there are no plans to expand it beyond the 600 currently selected, it told C+D.

Beauty transformation

Earlier this month, Boots also announced plans to transform its beauty offering, which includes the installation of self-selection cosmetics areas in 2,200 branches, and updating 24 stores with “trending zones”, “discovery areas”, and live demonstration spaces.

“No major programme of closures”

Following claims by Sky News earlier this week that more than 200 Boots stores could close over the next two years, Mr Bradley reaffirmed that there are “definitely no plans [and] no major programme” of closures envisaged.

Has your Boots branch received an "express" lane?

C W. Technician,

I welcome any investment in Boots.  I worked for Boots in the 80s & 90s and have watched the stores getting extreamly shabby with little investment.  My local Boots is dirty, small and the ceiling tiles are ready to fall down, even the uniforms look grubby.  I wait ages for simple prescriptions for other products I go to Superdrug.  Make the stores smart, bright, modern and a plesant place for the staff to work in.  Dont get me started on the window dressing!   

Community Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Translation....Mass staff cuts as we try to squeeze in as many self service points as possible...Can't get on with tech ?...Tough comes the uncaring corporate reply...,try a poundshop,same stock just £1....I have a prediction...Also coming the 'new robot dispensing machine we call Barnie at scan your script, Barnie picks the cheapest generic and sends it down a shoot to you where you go eco friendly and fill your own bag....Apologies for any errors but that'll be firmly blamed on the minimum wage paid Barnie fillers who we'll sack immediately as they've been employed under 6 months....Where are the 'old' staff go that used to chat and welcome us and make us want to return you ask ??They all died of stress related illnesses under the Tories before they were finally ousted to go back to their mansions in the South East.Rest assured though as there's plenty of cheap labour out there at the moment to take advantage of whilst we maximise profit for the this space...Boots mismanagement goes on...B...S

Peter Smith, Student

You don't need to translate. Pharmacists know what is going on. Everyone else can figure it out by looking at the photo.

Ronald Trump, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Boots should be legally forced to disband their monopoly and sell to individual pharmacists to give them a chance of owning their own business and making a good living. Then Boots can just focus on Beauty and meal deals.

I had a dream...

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

As it’s quite clear a lot of the ‘news’ Coming out of Boots is smoke and mirrors, lies and propangada I think you have to ask questions of publications( C&D) that provide a platform for them to propagate this rubbish.

Is there a conflict of interest and ties that are not made clear? Editor should surely answer?

Peter Smith, Student

Anyone with half a brain can make their own inferences from the way certain companies and organisations operate. The constant denials are wearing thin, the truth will come out at some point, and the liars and clandestine relationships will be exposed.

What is the cost of lies? It's not that we might mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we are no longer able to recognise the truth. As a pharmacist and as a student, I was lied to from the minute I picked up a university prospectus. "A great future", "world-class teaching", "links to industry" and "a career for life" they promised. Lies, lies and more lies.


R K, Pre-reg Pharmacist

Not sure how many people know but this guy lives in ireland and gets a plane to and from nottingham on a weekly basis. Got told during a training day by a senior member of staff. Lives in a totally different world doesnt have a clue what its like to actually be in a store 

John Cleese, Production & Technical

Not relevant. Next?

Lucky Ex-Boots Slave, Primary care pharmacist

*This comment has been deleted for breaching C+D's community principles*

Career Miss Take, Locum pharmacist

I would dearly love to have had the opportunity to read your comment 

Peter Smith, Student

I've got a screenshot of it.

Peter John Walker, Manager



Peter Smith, who by his attachment claims to be a student, how can any pharmacy student have git such a jaundiced view of our profession. If Peter you are truly a student then our profession is not right for you. I have been a member of the RPS

for nigh on 50 years and can truly say I am proud and honoured to be a pharmacist. Your somewhat negative view in life as a pharmacist does you no credit. If you want to change the profession get onto the various Boards and do something positive rather than gripe from the sidelines. Making hollow noises using social media is easy. If you really do feel strongly get involved and be just a little more positive and you will start to enjoy life?



Community Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Get real....the march of the multiples has led to appaling work conditions and stress levels for pharmacists...PDA formed as a result of mismanagement....Independents being the only sanctuary of real pharmacy practice and disappearing by the hour as good people retire....

C A, Community pharmacist

Impressive that you've been a member of the RPS for 50 years, when it has only existed for 9ish years.

Peter Smith, Student

I was a pharmacist for many many years and had to leave the register because of health issues directly associated with the working conditions in community pharmacy today. I am not a student - there was not a suitable option when creating my account.

I have a new job, nothing to do with pharmacy and am now enjoying my life more than ever.

If you're proud and honoured to be a pharmacist, then I suggest you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

What is a "hollow noise"? If you don't agree with my opinions, which I have come by from the experience of working in over 75 pharmacies and 7 hospitals during my career, then please ignore them.

I don't mean any disrespect, I am sure there are pharmacists out there who enjoy their job and have had a rewarding career, but unless you've had your head buried in the sand for the last 15 years, you would know very well that you are very much an exception to the rule. Look at the comments here and the responses to them. Pharmacists are sick and tired of being treated like garbage.

What a surprise - there is NO "Peter Walker" on the register.

Lucky Ex-Boots Slave, Primary care pharmacist

I'm ashamed to be a member of the RPS and will not be joining again. It's well known of its incompetence and doing nothing at all to stand up for the profession. If there is a chance I'd definitely vote to derecognise this useless body. For anyone thinking to do pharmacy may as well go study something else. This profession is rotten to the core and has 0 future. I simply cannot see where your pride and honour for being a pharmacist come from.

Peter Smith, Student

I'm sure that any "transformations" being implemented by this chap are purely there to cut costs right down to the bone, at the expense of the long-suffering staff and customers. Every pharmacist in the UK should understand what is going on here.

*This comment has been edited to comply with C+D's community principles*

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

More and more propaganda from the same old motley crew........

"Mr Bradley reaffirmed that there are “definitely no plans [and] no major programme” of closures envisaged".

Right well that's that then. Wonder what all the fuss was about?

Oh yes - hang on, didn't I read something?

Guess they will be saving all that money without any plans of a major closure programme.

Julie Friday, Accuracy checking technician

So are they likely to close some stores or not??

Lucky Ex-Boots Slave, Primary care pharmacist

I'm not even worried because they definitely will. Boots cares about nothing but money and they will do everything and anything for it. I never regret quitting this shambolic and shameful company. 

John Cleese, Production & Technical

Does it make any sense at all to have a Boots, and a Your Local Boots, a few doors down from each other? Of course not. What do you expect them to do? I'm surprised they haven't done this before now.

"The shops - which are in areas where Boots has more than one store - are under review for possible closure."

Julie Friday, Accuracy checking technician

Especially when there are four Boots ( two main stores and two Your Local Boots) three of which are in five minutes walk of each other and the other one within fifteen minutes walk of the other three in therror same town. It is pure greed.

Lucky Ex-Boots Slave, Primary care pharmacist

Anyone else sick of listening to these "great plans" by Richard Bradley? What's the point of rolling out an online app while most surgeries, if not all, already have one in place? 2 minute pick up - this WILL be an epic fail mind my words. They simply don't have enough staff to make this happen, not to mention 90%+ stores are behind on their scripts. And where do you find staff to man the express lane? More staff manning this = less staff in the dispensary. Don't forget they have gotten rid of all HCAs and "rebrand" them into Pharmacy Advisors. 




Community Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Dickie Bradley...Speed dispensing = Dangerous and unprofessional promise....Can you imagine a,lawyer,dentist rushing to hit such a timescale....Not on your Nelly..Treat professionals professionally and stop devaluaing the job of supplying dangerous medicines safely...Part of a pharmacists role...

Snake Plissken, Student

Spot on with Boots new App very likely to be a catastophic fail for them. I know of one particlar CCG rejecting any requests made by external Apps like the one Boots are promoting that will "transform" the way their pharmaces operate.

As stated, the GP practices in said CCG will only accept patient request through NHS approved apps like Evergreen Life, Patient Access..etc. 

If all CCG follow suit, then what a waste of money and time with the Boots pharmacy "transformation".

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