Funding 'attrition' leads PCT Healthcare to close two pharmacies

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Peak Pharmacy, Nottinghamshire closed last month. Credit: © 2017 Google, image capture: April 2016
Peak Pharmacy, Nottinghamshire closed last month. Credit: © 2017 Google, image capture: April 2016

Pharmacy chain PCT Healthcare has blamed “continuing attrition” for its decision to close two branches last month, resulting in three staff redundancies.

The chain – which according to its website has 64 branches – made the “difficult decision” to close Peak Pharmacy in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, and Brennans Pharmacy on Latimer Street in Leicester (see map below) on October 6, CEO Peter Cattee exclusively told C+D this week (November 21).

While both pharmacists and four staff from across the two branches were “redeployed”, three members of staff were made redundant from the Latimer Street pharmacy, Mr Catee said.

The closures were a result of the “cumulative pressure” on “historic businesses which have probably delivered more service than profit”, he explained. “At some point the stuff on the periphery of the estate becomes more vulnerable to the cuts at some branches than others.”

“Once they become loss-making, then if you own a group, there's little justification for continuing to trade them,” he said. “It's better to try and remove the overhead cost and transfer the business to the next nearest branch.”

Mr Cattee said the closures are “part of the rationalisation of the network”, and PCT Healthcare has other branches “not too distant” from the two that have closed.

“The density of pharmacies in both these areas is sufficient for the local population's needs,” he added.

No future closures

PCT Healthcare has bought around 60 pharmacies in the last two and a half years, he added.

Mr Cattee stressed there “definitely” would not be further closures, “over the next year”.

Last month, Lloydspharmacy’s parent company Celesio UK announced it will cease trading in 190 “commercially unviable” branches across England. See the locations of Lloydspharmacy branches confirmed to be either closing or up for sale here.

37 Comments
Question: 
Have any pharmacies in your area closed as a result of funding pressures?

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

I feel I have to defend Sunny here. PCT Healthcare's profits after tax, reported, for the year ending 2016 was £6.604 million, compared with £1.177 million for year ending 2015. Their profits have increased by 560% in this one year. My conclusion: this is a cost cutting exercise, closing unprofitable stores, and have nothing to do with "funding attrition". Please bear in mind, the NHS is not here to prop up contractors' profits.

What are the directors of PCT Healthcare trying to achieve here trying to portray that things are hard for them? Make the people whom you made redundant think it is the NHS's fault? Please say.

C&D, please, next time if you want to write a piece like this, just do a little bit of homework. The question I am asking should have been asked by you, before publication.

And Gerry, we are talking about Leicester ...

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Let's wait for the sheep to defend the facts you've pointed out.

Dave Downham, Manager

Profit was affected by an one off accounting transaction of £6.5m that increased profits. Hence, the underlying profit before tax was £500k. Or less than £10k per branch. Also, the year end was November 2016, i.e. immediately before the cuts hit.

Baaah!

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

'One off' profits are still profits - try asking HMRC to ignore that and see ... I'd love to have an 'one off' lottery jackpot win too!

Why don't you stop dispensing those prescriptions if the drug tariff price is lower than the supposed wholesale price?

Dave Downham, Manager

If you cared to try and understand the accounts, you would have noticed that HMRC have ignored the one-off transaction.

Sue Per, Locum pharmacist

Hi Jonny, other things to note are that the directors remuneration was £473,000, up from £431,000.00 from previous year., also the goodwill is amortised over a period of 10 years, resulting in lower reporting of nett profits by £2.8m,Therefore in real terms the nett profit was approx 8m,  In these days with ever increasing goodwills, due to contract limitations the company makes a health profit of over 8m, and the locums and employee pharmacists have to put up with a decrease in remuneration in real time.!!

***

Time to abolish control of entry, and practise payments*

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

  

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Thank you Sue, I was going to mention that and other things as well, but afraid to make it too complicated, e.g. the Cattee's received rent from their own company because they rent out the properties they own to themselves, they also have other businesses (Peter Cattee is director of some 40 companies according to companies house) like Insurance (Loyds corporate capital member), care companies, pharmaceutical wholesale, property/rental companies etc etc ... the empire is broken into small pieces, some companies do 'small business' accounts, so the public don't see the full picture. But they think the NHS is not funding their chemist business enough.

Another point to note is their P & AJ Cattee (Wholesale) Ltd, a pharmaceutical wholesale company, reported profits after tax of £3.276 million for the same year, and I bet you they sell to their own 'other' retail chemist companies ... still not enough renumeration for the Cattees and they made 3 people redundant!

I hope C&D now realised that their article is totally discredited. Would Thomas Cox like to respond?

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Mr Thomas Cox ... any response?

Dave Downham, Manager

If you don't like the article, you could always try the Daily Mail.

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

PCT are laughin to the bank . They hv decreased their overheads by over £70,000 by no longer employing the Pharmacist and staff and doubled the Rx volume which were got from prescription directing to their other pharmacy hence doubling its value. Don’t you love control of entry of pharmacy . The rich get richer and the poor poorer 

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

PCT has bought 60 pharmacies in the last 2.5 years - with leverage - this may only be the tip of the iceberg - more to close soon even those in health centres!!!

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

prescription direction? this is only the beginning - from recent PSNC meetings I think there are going to be much worse things on the horizon

A Hussain, Senior Management

I hate prescription direction with a passion but it relies on a GP surgery being complicit as they control where scripts go.  Simply trying to retain your custom is just good business practice.

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

Work ethic LOL!!!! You missed the point...... our hard work in pharmacy has landed is in this position - we are a victims of our own success 

S Patel, Superintendent Pharmacist

.....

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

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

S Patel, Superintendent Pharmacist

Do you have a job? why you my calling my pharmacy must have got to you! Not bad actually it is taking off using independent prescribers and doctors so actually helping pharmacies to make money got investment, not bad for a spouting new superintendent LOL! called work ethic! Thanks for calling our pharmacy aswell and one other thing is that you didnt withold your number thats a rookie mistake. i have your number :) thanks wolverine, when i am in trouble will call the marvel superhero

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

.

S Patel, Superintendent Pharmacist

No hard feelings, we will call truce!

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Sad day that it has come to this stage....

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

here we go.....another 2700 to go and that figure of 3000 closure becomes a reality!!! So glad this news is coming out so the government can see that choice and accesibility is going to be reduced. 

Sue Per, Locum pharmacist

If they open up the market, choice and accebility will improve, and standards will improve!!

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

 

TH

 “It's better to try and remove the overhead cost and transfer the business to the next nearest branch.”

THATS CALLED PRESCRIPTION DIRECTING !! 

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

Honestly...!!!

Charles Whitfield Bott, Pharmacist Director

NO IT'S NOT!

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

OH YES  it is....!!!!!!!  

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

Panto season is here!!!

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

Let’s be honest guys ...Leicester has too many high street pharmacies....

Chemical Mistry, Editorial

Due to many Asian owned and family business so are unlikely to close unlike multiples similarly in many big cities such has London and Manchester.

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

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

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