In my latest move as Alitam CEO, I’ve entered into a strategic partnership with Pharmadoctor in order to deliver walk-in, GP-type clinical services to the public within weeks. Thereby addressing the chronic shortage of accessible healthcare within our communities, and relieving the burden on the NHS. I’m delighted to have former Avicenna Group Executive Director Bharti Patel on board as Executive Director, to support their immediate roll out to the nation.

It’s tremendously exciting as Alitam pharmacies will be providing a wide range of clinical services including men’s and women’s health checks, weight loss, a travel clinic, and hair loss treatment.

These services will initially be trialled in a number of Alitam stores within the next few weeks, before being rolled out nationwide, enabling patients to access urgent medical care without the need to wait for a GP or hospital appointment.

It’s a milestone for healthcare in the UK and Ireland. We’ll be directly addressing the difficulty patients have in getting an urgent appointment with their GP, or at the local hospital.

We all know the situation is dire: NHS waiting lists for routine treatments currently stand at 6million, predicted to rise to 8 to 10million within a year, while GP surgeries are also facing unprecedented pressure and appointment backlogs.

This partnership with Pharmadoctor is all part of my vision to reshape the healthcare landscape by expanding the role of the community pharmacist. You may remember I recently announced a multi-billion-pound plan to launch a chain of ‘Super Pharmacies’ across the UK and Ireland within the next five years.

These Super Pharmacies will offer everything from highly regulated ophthalmic and audiology services to physiotherapy and even midwife-led care. Our incorporation of GP-type clinics into the Alitam offering is the first step on the road towards a full, ‘Super Pharmacy-style’ preventative healthcare offering. Where we shift our healthcare system from one of disease treatment, to one of disease prevention.

It’s certainly a radical shift but, thanks to the skills and training of our under-utilised pharmacists, the existing pharmacy infrastructure, and the resources of Pharmadoctor, we can speedily make it happen.

Through easy access to weight-loss clinics for example, many issues related to being overweight—such as diabetes and heart conditions—will be avoided. And a great deal of anxiety, that goes along with being unable to find medical help, will be reduced.

Pharmadoctor CEO, Graham Thoms, will also be joining my recently announced Global Reset 2022 initiative—a new collective of the best minds within the business, financial, medical and political sectors tasked with constructing a revolutionary new national preventative healthcare system underpinned by pharmacies.

I’ll also be reaching out to pharmacies outside the Alitam group, urging them to follow suit and fully capitalise on the abilities of their clinically skilled pharmacists. We are resolutely focused on delivering a preventative healthcare system which fully meets the health and wellbeing needs of our population of 66 million.

Alitam is at the vanguard, setting the standard, and I want many pharmacists in the land to join us in this movement.

Some pharmacists are being proactive already. I commend them. But the majority are lagging behind somewhat, still dependent on NHS funding rather than investing in their business to create a foundation to deliver a number of medical services.

I look forward to working with all pharmacies, everywhere, to build the preventative healthcare model which will change, and save, lives.