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SUB-TYPE: PRESS RELEASES
Alliance Healthcare marks National Customer Service Week with a new membership at the Institute of Customer Service as it commenced a week-long internal engagement event for its 5,500 colleagues.
Commencing on Monday 05 October and through the week, Alliance Healthcare has held a number of internal educational activities in parallel to the daily themes set out by the National Institute of Customer Service, to raise awareness of customer service and the vital role it plays in successful business practice and the growth of the UK economy. Daily themes this year include: customer insight, capability and skills, recognition, leadership, and trust, ethics and sustainability.
Through the week, the Customer Service Team enjoyed a series of games and prizes, both at the National Call Centre in South Normanton, and across its virtual office. The UK‟s leading pharmaceutical wholesaler kicked off its week-long event with a video broadcast from Julian Mount, Managing Director, Alliance Healthcare, who said: “Customer service is so important to everything we are doing at Alliance Healthcare, as demonstrated by our devoted customer service through the Covid-19 pandemic. We stood shoulder to shoulder with community pharmacy and my team remained available on the phones, email and through our customer Portal (myahportal) and its online ChatBot; whenever required we were there to support the NHS and our customers during these difficult times, and demonstrated the best in class customer service when it mattered.”
In recognition of the value of customer service, Alliance Healthcare is now a member of the Institute of Customer Service - an organisation that exists to improve business performance by improving the customer experience. Vicki Martin, Head of Customer Service, Alliance Healthcare said: “We are so proud of our membership that our Customer Service Advisors now have new e-signatures with the institute's logo, highlighting its strapline: „Service with Respect.‟ This is yet another great step in our continued commitment to develop our customer service and support community pharmacy.”
As part of its daily communications, colleagues enjoyed a series of “catch up with a colleague over a cuppa” features, learning about the different roles and personnel from across the Customer Service team. In recognition of Thursday‟s theme – leadership, the Customer Service Management Teams took part in a “back to the floor”, completing tasks that would normally be carried out by their colleagues. On Friday 09 October, John Pignone, Sales Director gave his personal thanks and appreciation to the team for all its support to community pharmacy and the NHS.
Fikret Ozer, Head of Supply Chain, Astellas
“As our sole agency partner, AHDL play an important role in delivering the most fundamental corporate objective of Astellas, which is ensuring the safe and continuous supply of our life-saving medicines to the UK patients. The CS organisation is at the forefront of delivering this objective as they are the interface between our customers and us. The ongoing support and collaboration between AHDL CS teams and Astellas leads to not only a much more efficient and accurate delivery of the services provided, but also a much more customer-centric approach in capturing and handling the requirements of our customers. This produces better, quicker and more efficient outcomes for those collective customers and ultimately serves the needs of the patients."
Colin Frost, Head of UK Trade, Pfizer
“One of the fundamental factors, which has contributed to both the longevity and success of DTP, is the close working relationship between the Pfizer Customer Contact Centre and the Alliance Healthcare Customer Service team. The role of the teams are clearly defined, integrated and highly collaborative, which exemplifies the Pfizer – Alliance partnership and ensures an exemplary customer service to our shared healthcare customers and patients.”
SUB-TYPE: PRESS RELEASES
Alliance Healthcare and Alphega Pharmacy are proud to congratulate this year's winner, Maddyson Chan, a fourth year student currently studying Pharmacy at Cardiff University. She successfully pitched her idea to launch a new private service that community pharmacy could implement to create a new revenue stream.
The BPSA (British Pharmaceutical Students' Association) is an organisation who work to enhance the experience of its members by inspiring them to invest in their development, seize opportunities and become advocates for the profession. This competition is one example of that. It allows students to be innovative and explore the business aspect of pharmacy, whilst building confidence and winning prizes. The BPSA teams up with sponsors, such as Alliance Healthcare and Alphega Pharmacy, to deliver such fantastic opportunities.
The final was held virtually on Tuesday 22nd September, 2020, with four students competing via Zoom, due to current Covid-19 restrictions and saw the culmination of three rounds of presentations over the past 11 months from over 50 students.
Despite the lack of face-to-face contact, the four finalists performed incredibly well and a great rapport was built with the judging panel. The panel consisted of Mike Smith, Non-executive advisor Alliance Healthcare, Sue Dobson, Alphega Pharmacy Business Mentor, and Vinay Patel, Alphega Pharmacy Services and Contract Manager. The event was coordinated by Bella Shah, a fourth year Pharmacy student at Cardiff University and a member of the BPSA Executive Team, and Lorna Kimberley, Senior MarComms Manager at Alliance Healthcare.
Mike Smith, Non-executive advisor Alliance Healthcare UK, says: "As usual the presentations were of the highest quality. They all demonstrated a "thinking out of the box" approach and applied digital technology. The future of our profession is safe in the hands of these very motivated young students."
Maddyson Chan, winner of this year's event, comments: "I am so grateful for the opportunity to take part in the competition. Hearing feedback from peers who had previously competed inspired me to give it a go, and I would encourage everyone else to try it too!"
Alliance Healthcare has supported the BPSA for over ten years, and senior members from the BPSA committee visited the Alliance Healthcare Support Office in Chessington in January. They spent time with Julian Mount, Managing Director, and his team, including Neil Scobie, Head of Member Offer and Engagement Alphega Pharmacy. The students also enjoyed a tour of the local Alliance Healthcare Chessington Service Centre.
Alliance Healthcare will continue sponsoring, and working in partnership with the BPSA during 2021 and look forward to seeing the positive difference our young pharmacists make in this challenging world.
Julian Mount, Managing Director, Alliance Healthcare has been speaking with Pharmacy Business magazine and its editor Priyankur Mandav, about the remarkable way Alliance Healthcare has supported community pharmacy during Covid-19 and operates as the backbone of the NHS.
In an exclusive interview with Pharmacy Business magazine, a UK leading pharmacy publication with a print circulation of 10,300, Julian reflects on the remarkable way community pharmacy teams have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic:
"Together with community pharmacy, we are the backbone of the NHS and Alliance Healthcare UK supplies one in every three medicines taken in the UK.
"We knew we had to do everything possible to ensure medicine supply for UK patients; we certainly embraced the challenge and supported the incredible efforts of community pharmacy, the frontline heroes of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We decided not to furlough our field-based teams to allow us to maintain essential contact with community pharmacy and continue our support. I feel the Covid-19 pandemic has strengthened our already robust relationship and together we have stood shoulder to shoulder with community pharmacy throughout the pandemic, when other healthcare professions closed their doors."
Read the guest column here.
SUB-TYPE: CORPORATE NEWS
Alliance Healthcare continues to help our customers self-serve by driving forward adoption of our digital processes via the myahportal (Alliance Healthcare Portal) and phasing out the paper return notes process entirely. From Monday 14 September customers should only be processing returns claims through ‘Returns' via the myahportal.
The portal provides customers with a simplified approach to access multiple Alliance Healthcare systems and order products online, including surgical orders from NWOS and other functionalities.
As part of our digital evolution of using ‘Returns' online, customers will see the following benefits:
- Saves time – automatically completes sections of the returns note for you e.g. name and address details, along with product searches
- Visibility of returns claims online – for ease of reference
- Efficient process - No need to call Customer Service, authorisation to return specialist handling products* can be completed on line. (*a few exceptions apply)
- One claim for all - no need to separate out product types when submitting claims
- Guidance on specific product returns - clearly explains what to do if you have faulty items, quality issues and recalls
- Removes confusion – clear information on our terms & conditions for returning products
- Access from anywhere – you just need to be online
Over 13,000 customers have now registered with myahportal. Marta from Ashtons Hospital Pharmacy, Brighton said: "It is very easy to fill all the necessary fields and the reference return number given at the end keeps my files in order. I am very pleased that Alliance Healthcare keeps trying to improve their ways of working and that they are listening to their Customer's feedback."
The portal is accessible at www.myahportal.co.uk and customers can self-register in just a few minutes.
To support customers during the registration and in using the portal, a ChatBot system has been enabled that offers instant question and answer support for the user. Online support is also available via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and a helpline on 0330 100 0448 - option 8, for any technical support and assistance.
The old paper ‘Returns' system will close from 13 September.
SUB-TYPE: CORPORATE NEWS
Julian Mount, Managing Director at Alliance Healthcare in the UK, Sutton contractor Reena Barai, and chief executive of PCT Healthcare Peter Cattee took in the second Pharmacy Business virtual roundtable.
The coronavirus pandemic will lead community pharmacy into becoming the healthcare hub of the future, a leading pharmaceutical professional has said.
Managing Director of Alliance Healthcare UK Julian Mount believes in a post-Covid world more remote interactions from doctors and hospitals will be the order of the day, making community pharmacy the first in line for face-to-face healthcare advice.
Julian Mount shares his view on the challenges community pharmacy has faced during the Covid-19 pandemic
"If there is a positive experience with Covid-19, it's the positivity there is now around having that healthcare hub within the community," he said at Pharmacy Business' second virtual roundtable entitled ‘Reimagining community pharmacy in a post-Covid world'.
The roundtable delved into the future of pharmacy from the perspectives of a pharmacy wholesaler, an independent contractor and an owner of a chain of community pharmacies. It explored how a hugely positive public perception, renewed national recognition and changed attitude from the powers that be could reinvigorate community pharmacy as well as how the sector needed to adapt in the rapidly changing world of technology.
The three-member panel, which also included chief executive of PCT Healthcare Peter Cattee and Sutton contractor Reena Barai, felt that community pharmacy should build on the positivity it now has but the onus of continuing that momentum would be on the national pharmacy bodies.
SUB-TYPE: CSR ACHIEVEMENTS
Alliance Healthcare has started to roll out new reusable tote bins to replace plastic bags and cardboard packaging to its Health and Beauty customers.
Every year, over 2 million units of single-use plastic bags and cardboard boxes will be removed from its operations, considerably lessening Alliance Healthcare's carbon footprint.
The new reusable tote bins will be available in two sizes to consolidate customer orders and reduce the number of packages in circulation, minimising product damage and supporting Alliance Healthcare's commitment to reduce its impact on the environment.
Jon Cornforth, Environment, Health and Safety Manager, says: "Reducing plastic waste has globally become an important issue over the last couple of years and we have a responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment. By replacing plastic bags and cardboard packaging with our reusable totes we can reduce waste and move away from our reliance on plastic in our operations."
The totes are white with black lids and feature the Alliance Healthcare branding as well as a new Health and Beauty icon.
Employees have marked 30 years of Letchworth Service Centre, with a special birthday celebration.
The site was officially opened in 1990 by Kenneth Clarke, Secretary of State for Health at the time, who welcomed colleagues that had moved to the new site from Willesdon in north west London.
Over 430 colleagues in the local area are employed at the site and 46 have over 20 years' service.
Brian Smith is the longest serving employee at Letchworth and the second longest serving at Alliance Healthcare. He says: "I moved across from Willesdon to Letchworth when it first opened in 1990. I like working here, I've been well looked and I like the people. I'm proud that I've been part of the team for nearly 48 years and been able to support the NHS, particularly during Covid-19."
At 85,000 square feet, Letchworth is one of the biggest service centres in the Alliance Healthcare network, delivering on average 200,000 medicines on a twice daily* basis to over 3,200 pharmacies, hospitals and GP surgeries across East Anglia, north London and as far west as Oxford. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic over 343,000 units were being despatched.
David Fussey, Service Centre Manager, says: "I feel immensely proud to be able to celebrate 30 years of Letchworth. I've never worked for a business where I have been able to celebrate such an important milestone. The team is very dedicated and always puts the customer first."
*Two deliveries every week day and one on Saturdays as agreed with the customer
SUB-TYPE: CORPORATE NEWS
Skills in Healthcare, the contract sales arm of Alliance Healthcare, has achieved the Investors in People Platinum Standard.
The internationally recognised accreditation is the sign of a great employer and an outperforming place to work. The IIP Platinum accreditation is the highest accolade that can be achieved against the Investors in People Standard and is currently held by only 1% of IIP accredited organisations. The Standard is underpinned by a rigorous assessment methodology and framework where the assessor explored the processes and systems.In order to secure the accreditation, evidence was gathered and assessed via employee and candidate interviews carried out by the Investors in People assessor.
Paul Fowler, Head of Skills in Healthcare, said:"I am really proud of my team in achieving this external recognition. In 2016 we achieved a Gold standard so to go one better and reach Platinum this time is a great way to demonstrate to our clients just how great all our Skills in Healthcare people are."
Comments from Investors in People:
SUB-TYPE: CORPORATE NEWS
Alliance Healthcare has developed its latest functionality – ‘Your Docs', on the Alliance Healthcare Portal, a system that provides customers with a simplified approach to access multiple Alliance Healthcare systems and order products online, including surgical orders from NWOS.
As part of its digital evolution, Alliance Healthcare has moved the old ‘Your Docs' system to the new Alliance Healthcare Portal, with the following customer benefits:
Over 11,000 customers have now registered for the portal. Kate from Cooper's Pharmacy, Belfast said: "It is extremely easy to use. I can check quickly if something is in stock. It also allows me to place and track NWOS orders as well. We just can't imagine now not using it!"
The portal is accessible at www.myahportal.co.ukand customers can self-register in just 15 minutes.
To support customers during the registration and in using the Portal, a ChatBot system has been enabled that offers instant question and answer support for the user. Online support is also available via email at: email@example.com, and a helpline on 0330 100 0448 - option 8, for any technical support and assistance.
The old Your Docs system has now closed.
Across the healthcare industry we are all working tirelessly to help support the NHS and patients across the UK. As a leading pharmaceutical wholesaler, we recognise and embrace our role in providing front line support to you and your patients during the current COVID-19 global pandemic.
We've produced a short video of our wonderful employees who are the silent heroes doing all they can to support UK healthcare delivery
Watch the video here