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'I've had no salary for 3 months due to 24% payment drop'

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Wainwright's Chemist is "running on fumes", says owner Sultan 'Sid' Dajani
Wainwright's Chemist is "running on fumes", says owner Sultan 'Sid' Dajani

A Hampshire contractor has not paid himself a salary for the last three months because the drop in his government payments was double what he expected.

Sultan ‘Sid’ Dajani, owner of Wainwright’s Chemist in Bishopstoke, suffered a “23.9%” loss in payments between January and March 2017, compared to the same period last year, despite seeing dispensing volume rise, he told C+D exclusively yesterday (June 7).

As a result, he has not paid himself his pharmacist’s salary, to “maintain goodwill” among his staff, said Mr Dajani, who is also a Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English board member.

Mr Dajani said he is “lucky” he receives income from other businesses, although he works full-time as a pharmacist.

The next stage will be staff cuts, he added. If that happens “the car will have to be down to one wheel rather than four, it won't be safe”. The pharmacy is “running on fumes”, he said.

“Every time I attend a RPS meeting I'm losing money”

Wainwright’s Chemist is largely dependent on 13 NHS-commissioned services, including tests for hepatitis, blood glucose and cholesterol, he said.

It is difficult for him to leave the pharmacy at any time because other staff and available locums are not qualified to conduct the tests: “Every time I attend a RPS meeting I'm losing money.”

“In the past, whenever we've had claw-backs and we've argued that independents are disadvantaged, we've been told it's swings and roundabouts. We're usually on the wrong ones.”

Mr Dajani’s pharmacy is in a “very needy village” with “social inequality”. His pharmacy’s work is “NHS-heavy”, as there is little demand for private services, and if “we close down, the patients will be even more deprived”, he said.

He applied for the “near-miss” review process for the Pharmacy Access Scheme in December 2016. However, he has not yet had a reply from the Department of Health, despite having asked three times for a response.

"I've got my tin hat on and I'm going to try and weather the storm," he added.

This article was updated on June 9 at the request of the interviewee.

16 Comments
Question: 
How is your pharmacy coping with the funding cuts?

Jim L, Locum pharmacist

If you're taking 3 wheels off the car I don't think you should drive it.

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Sultan Dajani, Community pharmacist

LThanks for your comments everyone. I'm stating the facts and while not paying myself a salary or even dividends, I'm protecting staff and maintaining services to patients. It is my only pharmacy and while I do have other investments outside pharmacy, I'm not expecting to keep running at a loss. The only reason I do currently is because of all the hard work I put in it, the pride I have for the profession, the hope it will get better, loyalty to my staff and patients, the fact it's been running since 1953, the love of the day job (voted Britains Best Pharmacist) and the Goodwill. Also hanging on to see if the cutbacks we do will make a difference as will a successful PhAS appeal, manage to commission more services and start more private services. 

Less pharmacies = More locums= lower rates. We are all inextricably linked and that's the nature of community pharmacy.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

There are no guarantees in life or in business - we must endure the ups and the downs. I'm sure Mr Dajani has done well enough over the years on balance. Spare a thought for the recently qualified graduates struggling on £15/hr locum rates who will never own their own business and will be paying off their college loans for many years to come.

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

No thought will be spared as they're needed in increasing numbers to keep driving down costs for contractors/multiples.

R A, Community pharmacist

Between 1845 to 1852 the Irish endured the potato famine the Irish people had two options open to them: 1) emigrate to USA/Canada/Australia for a riskier but potentially more rewarding future or 2) stay in Ireland and weather out the storms.

The Irish that emigrated to USA/Canada/Australia despite the initial hardship they had to endure acquired a more prosperous future for their descendants if not for themselves. Whilst the Irish that choose to stay in Ireland endured a pretty poor living standard for a long time. 

If we apply the same allegory to pharmacy it is very unlikely to improve but even if it does it will not be for this generation of pharmacists. Most of us would be better off finding another vocation and those who wish to weather out the storm will face the same fate as Mr Dajani or Altaf Vaiya I hope you guys have deep pockets because boy will you need it!.

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

I very much doubt either of those tow are in dire financial straits. Don't be so gullible. Save any sympathy for newly qualified

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Sid is free to remove himself from the list of NHS contractors, and concentrate on receiving more income from "other businesses". Am I wrong in thinking that being a contractor is a voluntary thing?

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

I would stake my house on it that 'Sid' is doing just fine and certainly won't be removing himself from any list. 

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Very sad situation that Sid's income has been badly reduced. Good luck!

Sultan Dajani, Community pharmacist

Hi, dividends can only be taken out if there's a good gross profit and there isn't any at the moment in this quarter and indeed a loss will incur if a pharmacist is paid

 

Hadi Al-Bayati, Locum pharmacist

I'm not sure how people can put a thumbs down to this comment when he has only stated a fact??

More importantly Mr Dajani - sell/close and move onto better things. Good luck

N patel , Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

hi sid     ignore the jealous and ignorant  blowhards who troll this site ... probably a lot of c.ntispted failures.. keep up the good work... always look forward to reading your articles in the pharma press

 

 

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

He's The contractor so can take a divident as he sees fit. This gentlemen is most certainly not on the breadline.

 These smoke and mirrors stories are amusing. This article would have more weight if it was a salaried employee/ locum complaining of no salary for 3 months.

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

OMG!!! thank you so much for clearing this up, you're so smart when it comes to business Ilove, looking forwards to hearing many more of your well informed opinions.  

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Typically all opinions not to your liking are deemed worthless. You're not Theresa May in disguise are you? Similarly arrogant and has just had her comeuppance served to her.

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