As we host our fifth annual Pharmacy Business Conference as virtual event on the evenings of Nov 24 and 26, Mike Holden introduces an exceptional line-up of speakers who will be sharing their expertise with you…

There are many external factors which continue to impact on and understandably concern community pharmacy, some of which are outside your control or even influence. These include the ongoing funding challenges and the supply of flu vaccines to name but two.

In my recent articles I indicated some of the actions you can take as a pharmacy owner or manager that are in your control. I also discussed that by focusing on the challenges and opportunities that are in your control, you can change what you do, how you do it and, most importantly why you do it. The requirement to develop your own recovery plan is an increasingly critical business and professional imperative for pharmacy owners. Not changing is too chancy an option.


Change is a constant in business. However, when faced with the exceptional events we are experiencing, pharmacy owners and managers must take a hard look at their business and recognise the need to review their approach through and beyond these challenging times to remain as sustainable as possible.

This requires a systematic approach by:

1. Focusing on visibility which includes knowing where you are now
2. Gaining control, both personally and within your business, and determining where you want to be
3. Building agility into everything you do and knowing how to change the things that will make a real difference through:

  • an effective and empowered team
  • a recovery plan which is service-led and based on market opportunities
  • how you engage with your community and key local stakeholders.

This is why we have designed the content of the two Pharmacy Business Conference sessions as we have.

Conference 2020
Session 1

Here, through two separate presentations, we will hear the expectations of NHS England and the ambitions of PSNC that are, in part, creating the imperative to change how community pharmacy operates and the role it will play in healthcare.

Both Matt Hancock and Jo Churchill have acknowledged the magnificent response that community pharmacy has made to the Covid-19 pandemic and the critical role we play in the NHS Flu Vaccination programme. Matt Hancock also stated that he wants to move more healthcare services into pharmacy and to pay for it.

We hope that whoever represents the government and/or NHS England and Improvement on the night (difficult to finalise this in advance, particularly in the current climate) that they back this rhetoric with some concrete commitments to developing pharmacy services and funding.

Simon Dukes, PSNC’s chief executive, and his team remain committed to deliver a good deal for contractors, one that works for all so we will listen intently to his ambitions, plans and current frustrations.

The presentations will be followed by an informative, and probably entertaining, interactive debate involving registered online attendees with a number of pharmacy owners and representatives including:

  • Reena Barai, independent contractor and NPA Board member
  • Aneet Kapoor, independent contractor and chair of Greater Manchester LPC
  • Mike Hewitson, independent contractor
  • Simon Dukes, PSNC CEO
  • A representative of NHS England and Improvement

Session 2

In the second session we will focus on what that means for you as a pharmacy owner or manager. This will involve a number of short and interactive presentations from people who have either already started to change why, how and what they do for a sustainable future or who know how this can be supported. These topics cover:

  • The learns that have come from operationalising the flu vaccination service – Sanjay Ganvir, services director at the innovative Green Light Pharmacy Group
  • How utilising technology for virtual consultations can support better outcomes for patients and pharmacy – Sunil Kochhar, consultant pharmacist and owner of Regent Pharmacy in Kent
  • How you can create the time and capability to develop a business plan – Deborah Evans, pharmacist and managing director of Pharmacy Complete
  • Why identifying efficiencies and improving productivity can support the delivery of more services – Andy Chilton, director at the Velresco Group

Our intention is to provide you with the insights and some tips to begin the essential process of planning your own future, one which is both sustainable and professionally rewarding.

We will then bring together the learns from both sessions in a second interactive debate involving registered online attendees with key stakeholders including Simon Dukes from PSNC and Mark Lyonette from the NPA.

Michael Holden is chair of Pharmacy Business Conference and Associate Director at Pharmacy Complete.

If you want to share your stories and/or experiences with us, please send an email to [email protected]