In the UK’s third national lockdown, the country has found hope in the national rollout of the Oxford University / AstraZeneca vaccine, begun on Monday 11th January. In the fight to drag the nation back to her feet and back to work, Prime Ministers old and new have called again on the NHS and her pharmacies and now the armed services, to enter the fray in the fight back against the Coronavirus.
Community pharmacies under pressure
Last week former Labour prime minister Tony Blair published a paper for the Institute for Global Change. The paper described the need for the current government to expand the COVID-19 vaccination programme to,
“all pharmacies regardless of their size.”
– Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister
Beyond the normal function of dispensing medicine to their community, local pharmacies have spent the winter delivering vital flu vaccinations and critical supplies such as handwash, sanitisers and PPE. Local chemists have continued to find a way to operate amongst social distancing measures, in cases even adopting door policies to limit the number of patients and patrons in store. They are now being called upon again to carry the fight back against Coronavirus, playing what Boris Johnson called,
“a potentially vital role”
– Boris Johnson, Prime Minister
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Johnson went on to praise the knowledge, professionalism and safety standards of local pharmacies. (Watch Prime Minister’s Questions here).
Currently the largest vaccination programme in the world
In an effort to beat the virus and restore the nation the UK, led by the UK Vaccine Taskforce, has pre-ordered more vaccines per capita than any other nation on earth. 357 million vaccinations, provided by seven suppliers – enough for five doses per person.
With more than 200 pharmacies currently approved to deliver vaccinations and more being assessed daily, pharmacists in the vanguard of the programme have described their pride in playing their part.
“Throughout the organisation, we are not only excited but very proud to be able to assist in the national effort to fight COVID-19,”
– Jaswant Jeers, Deputy pharmacy superintendent, MW Phillips Chemists
Working capital is more vital for pharmacies now than ever before
To deliver what the government has described as a 24/7 rollout of the vaccination, pharmacies need the working capital in place to work at the optimum level. A working capital facility offers pharmacists the ability to access cash as and when they require it.
Running out of cash is a danger for any business scaling up their activities in the face of a change. This is not only a business concern, but with the national spotlight on the vaccination programme, local pharmacies need to be attuned to their own mental health and that of staff, all of whom are under enormous pressure. A cash buffer in the business – even if not used – can help to alleviate some of that worry and pressure. A proportion of the money can also be used to support staff members and ensure that they remain resilient and able to cope in this incredibly stressful time.
The opportunity to drawdown as little or as much of the fund from month-to-month will be vital, as pharmacies play their part in the national vaccination programme.
Why use Woodsford RxBridge?
Woodsford RxBridge has many years of experience in supporting UK pharmacies and can help a pharmacist to immediately access up to 4x their monthly NHS revenue to meet working capital needs.
In the current climate, pharmacies are understandably seeking access to working capital, for example:
– Prepare their business for the safe delivery of the vaccination programme.
– To stockpile essential medicines ahead of a surge in demand caused by the pandemic and the flu.
– To cover the costs of PPE and improvements to the pharmacy.
– To cover the potential additional extra hours for their staff.
– Acquisition of other local pharmacies.
A Woodsford RxBridge facility offers a tailor-made solution for the challenges that a lot of pharmacy businesses are facing.