The following article was first published in the January 2017 edition of Viva Lewes magazine:
Directory Spotlight: Debbie Baker of St Anne’s Pharmacy
Karen Smillie and I opened this place in July 2005. There was about a year of preparation; you have to prove why your pharmacy is necessary and desirable in a particular location.
Local independent pharmacies provide a personalised service. If we know you and your medical needs, you don’t have to go through a whole explanation each time you visit.
Every pharmacy receives some government funding to help cover their overheads. The Department of Health wants to save money but, instead of looking at performance and local competition, they’ve simply announced a 12% funding cut for everyone.
One in three pharmacies is expected to close. Over two million people signed a petition asking the government to reconsider; there was a debate in parliament but they went ahead with the original plan from 1st December 2016.
The General Pharmaceutical Council inspects all pharmacies every three years. We got a ‘good’ grading, which puts us in the top 10%, so we were over the moon with that.
Pharmacies generally hold around £20,000 of prescription stock. We buy all the drugs ourselves. We only get paid when patients bring us a prescription.
If you have any questions about your prescription, just ask the pharmacist who’s dispensing it. We’re always happy to offer advice about any medicine we’re supplying. Sadly we don’t get paid for helping people with prescriptions they’ve picked up from the supermarket.
Interview by Mark Bridge
50 Western Road, Lewes / 01273 474645