Business Development: Sainsbury's Pharmacy
The pharmacy division of J. Sainsbury plc operates over 250 pharmacies in the UK, primarily based within their retail stores, and this number has steadily grown. The business had an ambitious growth target of doubling its pharmacy revenues over the next three years and needed to identify new growth opportunities to deliver this.
In April 2011 Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, one of the largest UK healthcare providers, made a decision to outsource the provision of its outpatient dispensing service and homecare pharmacy service to a third party provider. Linked to was the potential to develop an integrated retail outlet to sit alongside the hospital outpatient pharmacy. Following an initial ‘Request for Expressions of Interest’ five companies were invited to submit detailed proposals. Sainsbury's Pharmacy was one of these.
Tracey worked with the retail and pharmacy divisions of Sainsbury’s to develop an innovative new business model to enable the business to successfully enter into the hospital outpatient dispensing and homecare pharmacy market. She led the development of the detailed tender response and provided support to establish a formal strategic alliance with Healthcare at Home, a leading clinical homecare company whose strengths complement those of Sainsbury's. Key areas of work included:
- Development of an outline specifications for high quality, safe and operationally efficient outpatient and home pharmacy services in the short-to-medium term;
- Vision as to how the proposed service models would evolve over the next 5 to 10 years to become a pharmacy 'hub and spoke' network;
- Development of an attractive 'win-win' retail proposition that complements the pharmacy proposition;
- Identification as to how the proposed service would support the local health economy deliver on a challenging QIPP agenda;
- Proposed performance management framework, including key performance indicators and targets, to monitor and support improved service delivery;
- Development of a proposed clinical governance framework.
In December 2012, Sainsbury's signed a 10-year partnership agreement with Guy's & St. Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust to take over the management of the Trust's two outpatient pharmacies.
"This is a very exciting partnership and we're really looking forward to working with the Trust. We are confident that patients will enjoy the benefits of Sainsbury's managing the outpatient pharmacies. We plan on opening the pharmacies seven days a week and for longer hours. Alongside the outpatient facility Sainsbury's will provide a full community prescription dispensing service." Mike Coupe, Sainsbury's Group Commercial Director
"We are pleased to be working in partnership with Sainsbury's to deliver our outpatient pharmacy dispensing services as we believe this will bring a number of benefits for our patients, as well as staff. The pharmacy services will be open for longer hours each day, and at Guy's the new service will make it easier for patients attending the Urgent Care Centre to get their prescriptions dispensed before they leave the hospital.". Ron Kerr, Chief Executive, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
In July 2014, Sainsbury’s opened its first combined convenience shop and community pharmacy on the Guy's hospital site, a format it is keen to roll out on hospital sites across the UK, using the business model developed as part of this work.