Due to growing patient demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, Well Pharmacy has doubled its online capacity.

While the chain was seeing approximately 3,000 patients a week before the pandemic, the figure reached nearly 6,000 a day by late March.

“It was clear that patient behaviour changed almost overnight,” said Gill Stone who leads Well’s Digital Pharmacy.

“You just need to look at the numbers. Back in January, we dispensed 42,000 items and had around 400 customer queries a day… but in April the volume of items nearly doubled to 80,000 with up to 2,000 customer queries in a day. This wasn’t just a busy time, it was like nothing we, or the profession, had ever seen before.”

To manage patient expectations, the chain had to pause new sign ups and introduce a waiting list for patients wanting to register.

“We responded to this massive surge in demand, with additional resource in our Customer Service Team to provide support for our patients and by introducing an additional shift to deal with patients’ orders – effectively doubling our capacity,” Gill continued, adding: “With so many patients still shielding and in isolation, we’re not expecting this demand to drop off anytime soon as we all adapt to the new world we find ourselves in.”

The company said now with the waiting list cleared, it’s back to business as usual for the online pharmacy team – “who are now focussed on delivering a quality pharmacy service to our new patients and exploring new service opportunities for all our patients.”

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