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Making sustainability profitable – Exclusive insights from the Director of Priory Pharmacy

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Prabjaudt Channa tells Dineshwori Longjam how his pharmacy has benefited from implementing Titan PMR workflow and adoption of renewable energy sources…

Sustainability also brings financial benefits to businesses. This has been proven by Prabjaudt Singh Channa, Director of Priory Pharmacy.

Prabjaudt is a proud winner of the Sustainable Pharmacy of the Year 2023, awarded by Pharmacy Business in association with Teva UK. Prabjaudt thanked the award organisers for acknowledging the importance of sustainability within the sector and for recognising his modest endeavours to reduce environmental impact and safeguard future generations.

“I just felt really happy and proud of this recognition because originally when I set myself down on this path, I didn’t really think anyone would be that bothered about the small changes that we were trying to make and the impact,” says Prabjaudt.

In addition to his family’s background in the field, his passion for chemistry also drove him to pursue a career in pharmacy. He finds being a pharmacy contractor enjoyable because it allows him to be flexible,  pursue various interests and shape his professional path.

Prabjaudt graduated from Keele University in 2012, and began his career at Boots, where he found the way pharmacy was practiced “a bit constrained.” Driven by his desire to establish a different approach to pharmacy practice, he bought his first pharmacy (Blenheim Pharmacy) in 2014 in Luton, when he was just 24 years old. In July 2021, he purchased his second pharmacy, Priory Pharmacy, which is located at 8 Carlton Parade, Orpington, Kent. He later sold his first pharmacy to focus on developing the new one.

Advantages of embracing sustainability

Priory Pharmacy has taken significant strides towards becoming environmentally friendly and greener through strategic initiatives like the implementation of Titan PMR workflow, and the adoption of renewable energy sources.

Asked what inspired him to turn towards sustainability, he says: “While I am not a huge eco Warrior, I’ve always been quite interested in sustainability and technology and how we can bring those elements together.”

“I think it is very important in business that you think of the legacy we leave behind, and doing business in a way that isn’t damaging the environment.”

As awareness of environmental concerns increased, he began contemplating ways to innovate and create a positive impact, ultimately turning his pharmacy into a role model for other eco-conscious contractors to follow.

By integrating the Titan PMR workflow, they’ve achieved an impressive average of 74-76 per cent paperless operations, leading to significant savings in energy, toner and paper. This has had a huge impact on the business in terms of cost.

Prabjaudt shares that going paperless has notably improved their workflow and enhanced the team’s productivity while ensuring a cleaner dispensary environment. This shift has resulted in substantial financial savings, potentially saving them 1000s of pounds in toner costs.

His commitment to sustainability extends beyond digital transformation, Priory Pharmacy has embraced renewable energy by installing a 7kW solar panel array connected to a Tesla Powerwall. This innovative energy solution has rendered them completely off the grid and self-reliant during summer, even achieving 46 per cent self-sufficiency on cloudy days.

This initiative offers three primary benefits: firstly, it drastically reduces reliance on fossil fuels, thereby reducing carbon footprint and promoting cleaner air; secondly, it protects a business from the volatility of energy prices, ensuring stable and sustainable energy for business operations; and finally, such systems offer significant financial savings, particularly during challenging times.

Pointing to the escalating energy costs for businesses in recent years, Prabjaudt emphasises that mitigating these expenses is vital to safeguard the future of the business.

Deploying solar energy and installing the battery at the pharmacy turned out to be quite expensive, costing Prabjaudt around £18,000. However, he anticipates recouping this investment within five to six years.

Prabjaudt is looking at expanding the solar array in the next few years. He is also prioritizing recycling efforts and is currently in talks with their waste contractor, Veolia, to explore the possibility of managing their waste in a slightly different manner.

He strongly advocates for eliminating tokens, stating that it would significantly reduce paper waste and unnecessary administrative burdens for the NHS. He urges Community Pharmacy England (CPE) to press the NHS to reconsider the necessity of printing tokens, arguing that it should not be mandatory.

Priory Pharmacy goes greener with Titan PMR workflow and solar energy

It’s time to take the plunge

Prabjaudt advises pharmacy contractors to carefully evaluate their PMR contract options, especially during renewal. Currently, Titan is the primary provider demonstrating paperless capabilities. However, there are emerging competitors in the market worth considering. So, he urges contractors to remain mindful of these developments.

While the initial investment in solar and battery storage may seem high, Prabjaudt assures that the payoff will justify the expense, especially for those intending to continue operating their pharmacies for a long time.

“Now is a good time to take the plunge as the systems are becoming cheaper and more alternatives are coming to the market,” he adds.

Priory Pharmacy has grown massively in the last three years under the leadership of Prabjaudt. When he purchased it in 2021, it was dispensing 1,000 prescriptions a month, now, they are handling 12,000 items per month.

His success mantra

Prabjaudt largely attributes the significant business growth to having Titan, which enabled them to run a safe, efficient and clean pharmacy.

He has also redesigned his shop to maximize the workflow and expand the capacity for additional services.

“We’re very careful with our buying, we use Drug Comparison for that, and that helps,” he points out, adding that they also rely on private work, with travel vaccinations and ear microsuction being the two biggest services.

“The sector is desperately underfunded, but I have to be positive and try to move forward. And that’s the ethos I follow,” he adds.

Though he acknowledges that there are workforce challenges, including recruitment difficulties, Prabjaudt considers himself lucky to have a supportive team and recognises their indispensable contribution to the success of his business.

“I really try my best to look after my team. And thankfully, they’re really great. And I couldn’t do any of this without them. And, you know, they’re looking after me and my business.”

Prabjaudt with his pharmacy team

Moreover, Prabjaudt maintains a strong connection with his patients, many of whom he knows on a first-name basis.

As the director of the Southeast London Pharmacy Alliance, Prabjaudt is actively involved in efforts to secure more locally commissioned services for pharmacies, aiming to benefit contractors financially while delivering positive outcomes.

By 2026, all newly graduated pharmacists will be prescribers and Prabhjot thinks that would be the biggest fundamental change in this profession.

This is how Prabjaudt enjoys his leisure time

When Prabjaudt is not working, he cherishes spending quality time with his one-year-old daughter. He finds immense joy in parenthood, saying with a smile, “Watching her learn to walk is both amusing and heartwarming.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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