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Well: Multiples must unite to secure national minor ailments

John Nuttall (left) is "deeply disappointed" a minor ailments service was not commissioned

Well CEO John Nuttall says a "stronger voice" is needed to explain the service's value to commissioners


The multiples must join forces to secure a national minor ailments scheme, Well CEO John Nuttall has told C+D.

Mr Nuttall said he was "deeply disappointed" that a national scheme was not commissioned as part of the 2015-16 funding settlement in July. 

The multiples need to work together to create a "stronger voice" to engage with stakeholders and explain "what we are trying to offer", he told C+D at the opening of a rebranded Well pharmacy in north-west London last week (September 9).

There is already enough evidence to demonstrate the need for more nationally commissioned services, said Mr Nuttall. He highlighted a collaborative project between the four largest multiples to support patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and those on multiple medicines in Wigan and the Wirral.

"We took it to the NHS and they didn't commission the service. It means we need to start asking questions about how we are representing ourselves," he said.

Having a single representative body would be one way of giving the sector a "clear voice" and speeding up the "slow progress" towards greater engagement with the rest of the health service, Mr Nuttall added.

NHS England told C+D in July that the minor ailments negotiations with PSNC collapsed because they could not agree on a “price, specification and service model”. 


Does pharmacy need stronger representation?  

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Leon The Apothecary, Student

I would be keen to see these multiples provide a much better working environment and contract to the hard working pharmacists, technicians, dispensers and healthcare assistants that work in their stores. A number of these have less than stellar reputations.

Ann Stacey, Pharmacy technician

I agree more staff before somebody makes a mistake that could be fatal.

Alia Arif, Locum pharmacist

A national minor ailments scheme would take the pressure off the NHS especially during the winter months and out-of-hours.

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

NO ! just buy it!!!!!!!! Are you seriously telling me people where you live and work, can't afford a pound or two for some medicine, but will fork out £2 twice a week for a lottery ticket?!! OK I'll be nice, lets start a 99p and £1.99 range of Minor ailment medicines, or even £2. You can have a go on the lottery, OR you can pay £2, save the NHS some money, and take some RESPONSIBILITY for yourself and the sprogs you created. What is this country coming to?!?!?!?! Let's start a campaign. "NO to MAS!" And just incase I'm accused of grinding the poor into the dirt, lets take the 3 or 4 most expensive items, e.g. Hedrin, chloramphenicol drops, etc and make them the only exclusive ailments we can treat. I really do not understand that people can pay 30 or 40 or 50 a month on mobile phones and lottery tickets and other non-essential stuff but expect the tax payer to fund some cheap useful medicine. .................................... Come back Maggie. All is forgiven!!!

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

No they must not since it is waste of money the dh can use the money more wisely. The multiple just wants another money stream since they paided well over the odds for the coop chain and now trying to recoup the money since now only realising there mistake!!!!

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

Agreed. A 10 minute consultation to give paracetamol liquid to some mother with an iPhone, dripping in designer clothes and goods, who couldn't manage to swindle her way past a fire-breathing receptionist for little Tarquin's "cold". Just BUY IT love!!!! And Well, well they get a £3 consult fee for a 49p product and the pharmacist gets a massive queue of unhappy punters who have had to wait!!! Everyone is unhappy, well apart from Well and Mommy of Tarq. !!

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

Minor ailments is seen as an easy cash cow for them and independents. From first hand experience I know it's abused almost everywhere I work. In fact most times the patient hands in a list of requirements and the counter assistant gives them back a bag full of goodies. No need to see the pharmacist as they're too busy conducting clinically useless MURs in the broom cupboard.

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