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Selected Lloydspharmacies to be transformed into ‘healthcare centres’

Lloydspharmacy will announce the locations of its first three 'healthcare centres' in the next month
Lloydspharmacy will announce the locations of its first three 'healthcare centres' in the next month

Lloydspharmacy is planning to transform selected branches into ‘healthcare centres’, offering specialised services such as cancer treatment injections.

The aim of the centres will be to “provide an alternative for patients who may not like the idea of...traveling to hospital every week for treatment, but also want to keep their home life separate from their health issues”, Jill Pritchard, head of speciality pharmacy at parent company Celesio UK, said yesterday (November 4).

Examples of services on offer

Ms Pritchard listed specialised medicine collection, subcutaneous injections, infusion clinics, and testing and screening as examples of some of the services these centres could offer – although the offering for each premises would depend on local needs.

Depending on the individual service, it will either be delivered by nurses from Lloydspharmacy’s Clinical Homecare business – which operated under the Bupa Home Healthcare brand until it was acquired by Celesio UK last year – or by pharmacists themselves.

Lloydspharmacy listed vaccinations and “oncology medicines use reviews” as potential services pharmacists could deliver in these centres.

One of the first services to go live in the centres will be Herceptin injections for the treatment of cancer, which will be delivered by a trained oncology nurse. Patients accessing this service will also have access to medicines management guidance from the pharmacy team, Lloydspharmacy said.

Only branches with two consultation rooms will be considered for delivering subcutaneous injection services, Ms Pritchard added, so as not to “detract” from the services offered to these pharmacies’ existing primary care patients.

Celesio UK speciality director Ruth Poole pointed out that Lloydspharmacy currently has 70 premises that meet this criteria, although “many more” have space to add a second room.

The multiple expects NHS trusts to be one of the “core” sources of funding for its healthcare centres, but it is also prepared for clinical commissioning groups and manufacturers of specialist medicines – such as injectables and cold chain products – to be involved in funding, Ms Poole added.

Three pharmacies selected

Ms Poole told C+D the multiple “doesn’t know“ how many of its approximately 1,500 branches it will rebrand as healthcare centres, as the model will “not be suitable” everywhere.

“Most of the services will be delivered within the Lloydspharmacy store using additional consultation rooms, but for infusion clinics and more complex treatments, a new space will be constructed to accommodate the service,“ the multiple said.

Some of the pharmacies selected will be fully rebranded as Lloydspharmacy healthcare centres, while others will have signage inside to alert patients that they have been “enhanced”, Ms Pritchard explained.

The company has already picked three of its pharmacies to adopt the healthcare centre model: one in north-east England; another in the Midlands; and a third in Manchester, which will offer early cancer detection screening.

Lloydspharmacy will be recruiting patients for these centres “over the next four weeks”, and announcing the locations of the sites – and the NHS trusts funding them – at some point during this period, Ms Pritchard confirmed to C+D.

While Ms Pritchard said it is Lloydspharmacy’s “preference” to locate the health centres within existing branches, it also prepared to build dedicated premises if needed.

Ms Poole said there are “early plans” to build a bespoke centre in the Midlands.

In October, Lloydspharmacy announced it will cease trading in 190 “commercially unviable” branches in England. See the locations of 15 of these branches here.

What do you think about Lloydspharmacy's strategy?

PoPeYe- Popeys Car Wash, Community pharmacist

This just in....selected Lloydspharmacies to be transformed into 'poundshops'.

Mr CAUSTIC, Community pharmacist

below find the side effects of Herceptin


redness or irritation at injection (IV) site,

stomach or abdominal pain,

nausea and vomiting (may be severe)

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

If Lloyds have the capacity to employ nursing staff in this manner in a few locations then good for them. This is about making retail space pay and what is wrong with that? Independents must look to maximise their premises and use their consulting rooms when otherwise not in use in a way that dovetails.

Rubicon Mango, Academic pharmacist

Its privatisation, however it is dressed. If they were offering the service for private patients, then thats upto them. If NHS patients are using the service, its privatisation to which the NHS is slowly getting eroded. It's immoral and wrong. Your tax has paid for the NHS, your tax has paid for the staff training and equipment used, in the end, the end goal is the elite will profit. Exactly what has happened to many services in this country.

I urge people to look at the end goal and bigger picture. This is not about saving money or recouping costs, this is pure greed and control.

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

By that arguement, GPs are a privatisation of the NHS, as are Pharmacies, Dentists or any contractor who provides a service paid for by the NHS. At the end of the day, they are all businesses. One persons "greed and control" is anothers business acumen

Rubicon Mango, Academic pharmacist

Look at the state of the services they offer then? I rest my case

Rubicon Mango, Academic pharmacist

Bravo Lloyds, bravo!

Whilst other companies and government agencies are covertly implementing changes of privatisation and syphoning money towards the elite, I must admire your transparency.

Do not dress this in any way, but this is simple a form of privatisation. Am sure next, lloyds will have area managers advocating targets to the specialist nurse to ensure so many people in the local community must be diagnosed with cancer and then treated at our centre. Furthermore look to attain tax payers money for their 'oncology medicine reviews' about how important compliance is and pharmacists can be magically trained upto a specialist level using a CPPE module.

Then waiting times will be implemented for the specialist nurse in regards to the rate at which the cytotoxic drug can be administered. Management don't want to know about the vascular effects these drugs can have, its the 'get them in, get them out' policy.

We should as a profession and as the UK population be up in arms about this, but we shall hear the usual tripe from fellow pharmacists about upholding patient safety, clinical governance, non-target driven, clinical services. This is a blatant and open method of privatisation.


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