Peak Pharmacy invests £20m to create hub and spoke facility
By Neil Trainis
A pharmacy chain with 150 branches is investing £20m to create a hub-and-spoke operation, saying it wants to persuade independent pharmacies to join the facility once it is built.
Under Project Horizon, launched by Chesterfield-based Peak Pharmacy, work has started to build a centralised hub at Markham Vale, a 200-acre business park in Derbyshire that sits next to the M1.
The hub will sort prescriptions using robots and automated systems and deliver them to Peak Pharmacy’s branches for collection the following day or directly to patients’ homes. The chain said the facility will be able to handle over 400,000 medicines and other prescribed items every month.
The hub is expected to open in April next year and Peak Pharmacy said it will accommodate up to 100 staff “with the potential to grow into a 24-hour operation in future.”
The chain, which is owned by PCT Healthcare, said it was building the hub “in response to caps in Government funding which mean that pharmacy businesses are having to be more efficient in how they handle prescriptions.”
“Centralising the process will free up local pharmacists and Peak Pharmacy staff to provide other services for patients, such as vaccinations, blood pressure checks and healthy living advice,” the chain said.
On making the facility available to other pharmacies outside of its own business, Peak Pharmacy said it “is planning to be in a position to offer a centralised dispensing service to other independent pharmacies which don’t have the resources to develop their own centralised service, should the legislation allowing this change in the near future.”
However, when Independent Community Pharmacist asked the chain where in England it intended to approach independents to work with its hub and how much it would charge them to sign up, Peak Pharmacy said it could not go into any more detail.
“These are ambitious plans for our company, staff and customers, in the face of a rapidly changing pharmacy landscape,” said Peak Pharmacy managing director Joe Cattee.
“This will be transformational for us. We’re investing now to future-proof our business, so that we can continue to provide great local customer service which means so much to us.”
He added: “We’re inviting other pharmacies to contact us now, so we can show them how our hub can benefit them too.”
Pictured (left to right) are Peter Cattee (Peak Pharmacy founder and director), Darryl Dethick (head of business transformation) and Joe Cattee (managing director).