A document sent out to Well employees, seen by C+D, revealed the company’s plans to axe 374 non-pharmacist manager jobs in a bid to have a pharmacist manager in all pharmacies “wherever possible”.
Affected colleagues will enter a 45-day consultation period with the multiple between August 17 and September 30, in which “alternative options” will be highlighted, including technician dispensary and pharmacy assistant roles.
As part of the restructuring, Well has created a new “area operations manager” role, which opened for applications yesterday and will be open to former non-pharmacist managers.
Area operations managers will “take some of the management work” from the pharmacist managers, so they are more free to “get the right balance between leadership and professional aspects of the role, the document said.
Where the existing pharmacist in a branch can’t or doesn’t wish to take on the pharmacist manager role, Well intends to “explore the options available”, including having one pharmacist manager to cover two sites, or appointing a pharmacy technician, who will be “paid an additional supplement”.
"Stronger clinical leadership"
A spokesperson for Well said the proposals will “provide stronger clinical leadership in all 760 UK-based Well pharmacies, and enhanced career opportunities for the pharmacists in [its] organisation.”
“Our insight evidences improved patient and customer experience and performance with this structure,” it added
Well said it is “committed to do everything [it] can to support impacted colleagues at this challenging time”, and will “highlight the alternative options available to them within Well, including the newly created area operations manager positions, as well as technician dispensary and pharmacy assistant vacancies”.
The changes will make it the “first large chain to have pharmacists leading all [its] pharmacy operations”, it claimed.