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Alitam has announced that it has merged with clinical skills training provider MHRx to upskill UK pharmacists so that its chain of community pharmacies in the UK can diagnose and treat minor medical ailments “quickly and safely”.

This is a second merger deal announced by the group that has 100-plus pharmacies, just days after its merger with Pharmadoctor to “radically transform the UK and Ireland’s community pharmacy sector” into a truly preventative healthcare system.

Following the merger with MHRx, Alitam will now be providing a career development platform for its pharmacy teams, which also include nurses and other healthcare professionals.

MHRx’s training incorporates every aspect of general practice alongside relevant topics including making appropriate patient consultation records in line with NHS guidelines.

This, Alitam believes, will allow community pharmacies to carry out formal diagnoses, formulate differential diagnosis plans, and perform full clinical examinations.

According to the founder and CEO Feisal Nahaboo, mergers such as these will lead to “a healthcare revolution predicated on building the world’s first truly preventative healthcare model”.

At the centre of this transformational, multi-billion-pound ‘Pharmacy of the Future’ project is Alitam’s effort to build a specialised group of pharmacies, rolling out medical and wellbeing services nationwide.

The company said: “Patients will be able to access a wide range of 60 clinical services including minor aliment walk-in clinics, men’s and women’s health checks, weight loss, a travel clinic, ear irrigation, hair loss treatment, aesthetics, and phlebotomy tests. Crucially, this will enable them to access urgent medical care without the need to wait for a GP or hospital appointment.”

Nahaboo said that redefining community pharmacists as the nation’s de facto front-line healthcare provider is essential to reducing NHS waiting lists for routine treatments, which currently stands at a record six million and is predicted to rise to eight to 10 million within a year.

Describing the old healthcare model as “a dying breed”, Nahaboo said: “I have a job on my hands to fundamentally help pharmacists see their future business in a very different way. The UK is a first-world country that should have a medical system built on prevention rather than cure.

“We are burdening the tax system by funding a national health system that is unnecessarily, and increasingly, becoming unwell due to a blockage of medical service support.

“The past model is a dying breed and pharmacists have a real opportunity now to rely less on NHS and HSE income and to focus on improving the nation’s health through examination and diagnosis services.

“I have the backing of thousands of pharmacies, and together we will realise our vision and play our part in improving our nation’s health.”

He added: “Pharmacy is changing. For me, it’s the number one industry to back because the scope of growth is huge. Losing reliance on dispensary is a big step, but one that will be highly rewarding for pharmacists and their communities in time to come. I understand that change unsettles people, and recognise that it will take some time to put infrastructure and personnel in place to best deliver medical services.

“However, the support teams from MHRx and Pharmadoctor makes this roll out that much easier. I’m looking forward to working with MHRx and Pharmadoctor, and will be adding additional partners via mergers, whilst I also plan to agree terms with a number of proactive and forward-thinking pharmacists looking to represent Alitam in their locality.”

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