The Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) and senior official of NHS Property Services (NHSPS) had a meeting on August 18 to review the rent policy for health centre pharmacies.
Earlier, the association had sent a letter to NHSPS that was signed by pharmacies from across the sector, including single independents, pharmacy groups and members of the Company Chemists’ Association.
The letter outlined concerns about rent reviews and the impact of it on the co-located health centre pharmacies.
Dr Leyla Hannbeck, CEO of AIMp, said: “We outlined that whilst in the past, the norm established by the industry, was to base rents for co-located pharmacies primarily based on patient list size, (and taking account of a few other factors), the industry now needs to revise the basis on which rents are determined for co-located pharmacies.”
The association, on behalf of the pharmacy sector, met the CEO of NHSPS and two of their senior directors (director or property management and their finance director).
At the meeting the association and representatives highlighted the changing landscape of community pharmacy and described the significant financial pressure that the sector is currently under. The NHSPS in turn described the challenges they were facing and outlined their willingness to work with the sector to ensure they operate based on facts and fairness.
Dr Leyla added: “We felt the meeting was very positive. Both parties had the opportunities to listen to the challenges we were all facing and had the opportunity to suggest a way forward. We were encouraged that the NHSPS team listened and agreed to support us by discussing the challenges and solution offered with other stakeholders. We agreed to set up a follow-up meeting the coming weeks.”
NHSPS CEO Martin Steele said: “We were pleased to have a positive discussion with AIMp and its members and we are continuing to work with stakeholders across the pharmacy sector to understand the challenges they face. Our purpose as an organisation is to work with our customers to enable excellent patient care, and to provide best value to the NHS.”