N Ireland independents told to think differently
Independent contractors should think differently about their business if they are to remain profitable, delegates attending Numarkâ€™s Northern Ireland conference were told yesterday.
Numark managing director John Dâ€™Arcy told members that: â€œWe want to work with pharmacies to deliver profit growth. If you follow the customer and give them what they need, thatâ€™s the route to profit. Profit is not a dirty word.â€
Northern Ireland pharmacies have not had a national contract in place for several years and funding is in the balance as Community Pharmacy Northern Irelandâ€™s third judicial review against the government awaits the completion of a cost of service inquiry (COSI), due by March 18. Mr Dâ€™Arcy advised members involved in the COSI to take full account of all their costs, because independents traditionally under-reported these figures.
Mr Dâ€™Arcy warned that the funding situation could get worse. Referring to recently proposed cuts in England, he said: â€œHowever it looks now, itâ€™s going to look a whole lot worse next year.â€
Members attending the conference, held at Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast, were told of the benefits of belonging to Numarkâ€™s six-pillar programme, which includes:
â€¢ Profit growth
â€¢ Customer excellence
â€¢ Unique IT solutions
â€¢ Cutting-edge training solutions
â€¢ Providing leadership
â€¢ Pharmacy-led health services.
IT solutions were particularly important in the current environment, said Mr Dâ€™Arcy. â€œThe right solution for a pharmacy now has to be an all-encompassing IT solution. The more you can do with IT the more head room you can create for your business.â€
The government wanted pharmacy to undertake more clinical work, and pharmacists needed to engage with this. â€œThe longer you take to get into that process of clinical engagement, the harder you will find it to get involved.â€