Quality payments 'making a difference' to Boots staff and patients

Richard Bradley: Funding behind commissioned services must be matched to the workload involved
Richard Bradley: Funding behind commissioned services must be matched to the workload involved

Boots is "already seeing" the impact quality payments are having on its patients and staff, the multiple's pharmacy director has said.

The Quality Payments Scheme – introduced alongside the pharmacy funding cuts in December 2016 – is helping “the profession take small progressive steps on the journey of improvement”, Boots pharmacy director Richard Bradley told C+D at the Pharmacy Show earlier this month (October 8).

With around 25,000 dementia friends at the multiple, a growing number of asthma referrals, more pharmacists accessing the summary care record, increasing numbers of healthy living champions, and an increased focus on patient safety, Boots is “already seeing quality payments make a difference”, Mr Bradley explained.

“We're seeing that in the feedback from patients,” and in the “change and development of our people”, Mr Bradley added.

“As a profession we have done a really good job of getting to grips with the changes fairly quickly,” he said. “[I want to say] a big thank you to the Boots pharmacists who have engaged brilliantly.”

Earlier this month, NHS England confirmed that since April, 10,985 pharmacies across England received a total of £31 million under the Quality Payments Scheme. England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge “welcomed the excellent response” from community pharmacists for “mak[ing] the most of their valuable clinical skills”.

“Responsibility” to patients and employees

As the “biggest community pharmacy” business, Boots has a “responsibility” to help create a sustainable future for the sector, Mr Bradley said.

Mr Bradley – who was appointed pharmacy director at Boots in September 2016 – is feeling “the right amount of pressure” to help Boots pharmacy teams adapt to the challenges.

“After being a successful company for 168 years, you do feel a responsibility to make sure that success continues both for our patients and our people,” he told C+D following his Pharmacy Show session entitled ‘time for change’.

Benefitting the whole profession

Boots has “a good history of innovation that has benefitted the whole profession”, Mr Bradley added, referencing the sore throat testing scheme, which is currently being piloted across the UK, and a mole-scanning service, which the multiple rolled out this year.

Boots is also continuing to collaborate with Lloydspharmacy, Rowlands and Well on the Community Pharmacy Future project, which aims to develop services that will “hopefully get fed into the next round” of national commissioning, Mr Bradley said.

“As we’re seeing the future of the NHS evolve, it is clear the solution will be provided at a local level,” he explained.

For Boots specifically, Mr Bradley said “it is about giving our people the confidence and the tools to investigate locally and to build relationships locally”.

As pharmacy’s role in the wider NHS develops, it is important the whole profession “knows where we are going” and that “the time to deliver [services] and the funding behind them is clearly matched to the workload involved”, he added.

Following his session at the Pharmacy Show, Mr Bradley also told C+D that Boots is "looking forward" to discussing supervision of pharmacies in a "responsible way".

16 Comments
Question: 
How has the Quality Payments Scheme impacted your staff and patients?

Chemical Mistry, Editorial

You proud of how your company Richard behaved in this case Copy and paste the link This is where the sympathy should lie watch and learn http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/36e0533d-9eb1-4137-b131-9576789eb0e2? Hello in=18:59:21.Especially the regulator comments 

Mark Boland, Pharmaceutical Adviser

and mine!

Rubicon Mango, Academic pharmacist

Since 2007 to Jan 2017, Boots have avoided paying £1.21 billion in tax to the HMRC using various loopholes and means to shunt money into offshore accounts. Whilst all legal and none of us like to pay any more tax then we do, one has to ask why then does the government allow this practice to happen. The answer is the elite agenda. Basically the HMRC, the government, companies like boots, the gphc, the nhs. They are all in it together. Whenever there are threats to cut NHS services or threats for pharmacies, why is it always the staff that are out fighting and protesting, never the large companies or the management of the NHS. Boots are running the grand scheme and directions the way Pharmacy is going. So Mr Bradley, please spare us the lies, we are not your robotic drones in one of your boots stores, we are educated people, we know your agenda. There is no patient safety here, it is not even about money, rather political power and control. That is the grand scheme of things.

John Smith, Locum pharmacist

Why isn't Richard wearing a tie? He looks rather unprofessional. A Boots pharmacist would never get away with such a misdemeanour.

 

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

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

Rubicon Mango, Academic pharmacist

Only a robot wears a tie.

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

As you're an academic pharmacist, I'll forgive you. In community pharmacy the tie is more or less compulsory.

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Usual Boots propaganda given a platform by C&D

Chemical Mistry, Editorial

Community pharmacy future project sounds ominous first I heard about this is the chemist and druggist going to get them to elaborate on this?

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

All I know is that most Boots pharmacists are at their wits end with staff shortages and I don't envy them either.

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Wow, that’s a whopping average of about £2822 per pharmacy, almost £500 a month! What is this impact Mr Bradley is talking about? Does Boots pass that payment to those people who earned it?

Meera Sharma, Community pharmacist

So, how is the impact on staff being measured - "taking small progressive steps towards the journey of improvement" says nothing at all! As pharmacists, feeding into consultations also classes as "taking small progressive steps towards the journey of improvement"!

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Just remember that those small progressive steps are driven by the whips of the AMs. I feel for any employed Boots pharmacist - the pressures you are under to achieve the quality payments must be intolerable.

'Boots is also continuing to collaborate with Lloydspharmacy, Rowlands and Well on the Community Pharmacy Future project, which aims to develop services that will “hopefully get fed into the next round” of national commissioning' - add 'and will be the most profitable for us' to that sentence and it'll be nearer the truth. Why is there no consortium of independents on this project??

Tony Schofield, Community pharmacist

The quality payments are a joke. All pharmacies should have been involved in this sort of activity before being obliged to be. This is not something I would have been crowing about but I suppose as it’s Boots the gullible Public will believe they are getting something special. As for the payments themselves, I am too polite to commit my views to paper.

Dave Downham, Manager

What a load of BS.

Frustrated Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Took the words right out of my mouth!

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