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Celebrating World Children's Day

This 20 November 2020, see’s Alliance Healthcare recognising World Children Day by setting our colleagues a cooking challenge to raise funds for our wonderful charity partner, Vitamin Angels UK, kindly supported by the sponsor of our event, the LCM Group an established company located in the North West who’s business includes the Design, Building and Maintenance of commercial properties and complexes within the UK.


Using only £5 or less, our internal teams have been asked to create a healthy dish to raise awareness of childhood nutrition in the UK.


It is estimated that one in four children in the UK are from low income households and are at risk for food insecurity.  With limited resources, food insecure families often resort to purchasing inexpensive and sometime unhealthy foods.  With our colleagues help, we’re hoping to create some low cost, healthy alternatives for inspiration!


Vitamin Angels UK is a global charity that fights childhood malnutrition in the UK and around the world. In the UK, Vitamin Angels has a supplemental feeding programme that supports children from low-income communities who can benefit from increased access to better nutrition. The cost to reach a child with a nutritious serving of food is only 20p. Globally, Vitamin Angels provides women and  children with life-changing vitamins and minerals. They work in over 70 countries around the world and reach over 70 million women and children every year.


Our thanks go out to our exclusive sponsor of this event, the LCM Group, for their support in helping to raise awareness of our chosen charity.


To find out more about the fantastic work of  Vitamin Angels UK or to contribute to our charity partner, click here.


New State-of-the Art Warehouse Facility for Alloga UK

Alloga UK, one of the country’s leading healthcare pre-wholesaling and contract logistics companies, is to open another state-of-the art warehouse facility in the East Midlands.


Alloga UK provides supply chain solutions to the healthcare industry, offering specialist storage, fulfilment and distribution services for pharmaceutical, healthcare, medical device, veterinary and consumer product manufacturing companies. 


Alloga UK’s operations are currently based in South Normanton, with eight pharma-grade warehouses and the company’s strategy is one of growth and continued investment for a sound future for the business and its employees.


The company now needs to further expand its storage and distribution capacity in order to accommodate growth from new business wins, post Brexit and Covid-19 stock builds and increase in volumes from existing clients to provide capacity for continued growth beyond 2020.


Alloga UK is now delighted to announce that a new site will be added to their current warehouse portfolio, and is planned to be fully commissioned and operationally live in mid-2021.


Currently named  Derby 370, this new site, which will be known as AP8, is located on Derby Commercial Park which is 20 miles south of the Alloga Campus with good links to the M1 motorway and two miles east of the city of Derby facilitating good access to the working population. The distribution site has been developed by the owners, Panattoni (the world’s largest privately owned industrial developer) and it is significantly larger than Alloga’s existing warehouses, allowing them much needed new capacity for sustained future growth.


The specification of the site includes:

- Total size of 371,000 sq ft (34,466 sq m)

- 15 metres to haunch

- Capacity for c.70,000 pallets of storage (euro pallets)

- BREEAM = Very Good status

- Administration offices over three floors

- Warehouse office hub over two floors

- 74 HGV lorry parking spaces and 270 car parking spaces

- 24 dock level doors, eight Double Deck docks and three level access doors


Chris Williams, Managing Director of Alloga UK, states: “It is always fantastic news when we open new facilities, and Derby 370 is particularly exciting because it will be our largest warehouse and the first warehouse which is not located in South Normanton.


It gives us the opportunity to expand the capabilities of our pre-wholesale business, and further increase job opportunities for existing staff and also new skilled and talented staff from the Derby area.


“Our capabilities and service offering for our customers, and manufacturer partners, will continue to evolve with this considerable investment, which will also further enhance our ability to provide innovative solutions and services to meet the ever changing needs of our clients.”




Alliance Healthcare is proudly celebrating Diwali

Across our business, we have a workforce that is diverse and rich in culture, much like our customer base.


In the spirit of this, we have put together a short video featuring our team member Marni Gill, who shares whatDiwali is and what it means for him.


Have a look at our celebration video!



Our Managaing Director, Julian Mount, also features in this month’s Pharmacy Business Diwali special, alongside pharmacists and pharmacy leaders, sharing hopes and aspirations for the year ahead, as well as reflecting on the year that has passed.


On behalf of all of us at Alliance Healthcare, we wish a happy Diwali to all those who celebrate.


Alcura achieves data security certification

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has accredited Alcura with its prestigious data security standard  


Alcura, our patient care business, has worked tirelessly over the last few years to ensure patient data is protected and that all its systems and processes are secure and stable.


The hard work has paid off as the business has been awarded with a data security accreditation, known as the ISO27001, from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – an independent, non-governmental organisation for international standards in areas such as quality, health and safety, IT security, energy, and environmental management.


It’s not easy to achieve but it’s an important one for hospital trusts and manufacturer partners as it demonstrates that data security is taken seriously by the business. And this will strengthen Alcura’s position when submitting tenders. It’s also the team’s third ISO accreditation as they already have the Quality Management (ISO9001) and Environmental Management (ISO14001) certifications.


Commenting on the team’s latest achievement Simon Jones, Head of Homecare and Secondary Care, says: “We work very closely with the NHS and a number of hospital trusts, and support over 34,000 homecarepatients. We have a special responsibility to look after our patients and we take protecting their data seriously. I’m very proud of the team for attaining this endorsement as it’s one of the hardest to achieve.” 


Alcura’s work on data protection was also acknowledged in 2019 as they won an internal WBA award for a data privacy project with Boots, which enabled HIV patients to collect their medication anonymously.


Walgreens Boots Alliance and McKesson Complete the Formation of German Wholesale Joint Venture

Joint venture demonstrates innovative strength of two companies with impressive and trusted healthcare heritage in the German wholesale market


Deerfield, Ill. and Irving, Texas, Nov. 2, 2020

Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) and McKesson Corporation (NYSE: MCK) today announced the completion of their previously announced agreement to create a joint venture combining their respective pharmaceutical wholesale businesses in Germany, Alliance Healthcare Deutschland (AHD) and GEHE Pharma Handel (GEHE). WBA holds a 70 percent controlling equity interest in the joint venture and McKesson holds the remaining 30 percent interest.


“At Walgreens Boots Alliance, we all look forward to working together with McKesson Corporation on this joint venture,” said Ornella Barra, co-chief operating officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance. “It is a very exciting step for our Pharmaceutical Wholesale Division and a unique chance for us to further develop innovative services to manufacturers and pharmacists in Germany.”


“The completion of this strategic partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance enables us to strengthen and secure the future of pharmaceutical distribution in the German market,” said Kevin Kettler, chairman of the management board and president McKesson International. “Together, we look forward to delivering a successful model of operations to benefit the German healthcare ecosystem of patients, pharmacies and manufacturers.”


With future challenges in the healthcare sector, the new company is committed to strengthening the pharmacist's position as a healthcare professional, creating innovative added value services and significantly enhancing digitalisation and operational excellence.


Alliance Healthcare to Reduce Single-Use Plastic by 60% in Three Years

Alliance Healthcare in the UK has announced its promise to reduce single-use secondary plastic within the business by 60% within three years, as part of its “Getting drastic with plastic” campaign. The plastics saving initiatives have been live within the business since 2019 and even the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have not stopped progress.


Alliance Healthcare UK recently started to roll out new reusable tote bins to replace plastic bags and cardboard packaging to its Health and Beauty customers, as part of the initial initiatives to reduce plastic. Julian Mount, Managing Director said: “We recognise that as an industry leader we must pioneer the way in reducing our impact on the environment. Our three year plan will entail an ambitious 35% reduction of single-use plastic secondary packaging by September 2021.”


The work being carried out across the entire workforce includes: removal of invoice bags, switching to paper bubble wrap and investment in reusable totes.


Jon Cornforth, Environment, Health and Safety Manager says: “Every year, over 2 million units of single-use plastic bags and cardboard boxes will be removed from our operations, considerably lessening Alliance Healthcare’s carbon footprint.”


To date, Alliance Healthcare UK has already saved over 39 tonnes and by the close of fiscal-year 2021 will have saved 131 tonnes. The aim is to have reduced the overall use of single-use secondary plastic by an impressive 60% by September 2022.


Alliance Healthcare UK team members will mark the launch of the “Getting drastic with plastic” campaign with installations at each of its 14 Service Centre sites across the UK, where colleagues can learn about the promise and get involved with the local initiatives whilst also considering their own day to day behaviours that may impact the environment and making a commitment to the planet. The installation will be produced from completely plant-based materials to go along with the ecological theme of the action.




Alphega Pharmacy Launch Patient App with Healthera


Alphega Pharmacy has launched a new app, developed in conjunction with Healthera for its network of over 1,000 pharmacy members. The patient-facing app, which is available to download to any mobile device, is designed with the patient in mind, as more and more people turn to digital solutions to fulfil their prescriptions and other healthcare service requirements.


The Alphega Pharmacy app uses the UK’s market leading technology platform for patients and pharmacies. The app offers a seamless digital patient experience, enabling Alphega Pharmacy members to compete with the ever growing list of competitors who offer a digital service for prescription ordering.


The impact of COVID-19 has changed shopper habits with more and more people now using digital channels to shop online or engage with their healthcare services. Shoppers have made on average 51% fewer trips to the high street post-lockdown than they made in the weeks pre-lockdown*. All four big online pharmacy chains (Boots, Well, Echo, Pharmacy2U), have seen significant increases in electronic prescription service (EPS) items claimed in the period of March to May 2020**.


The app provides the Alphega Pharmacy member with a turn-key solution to support them in the ever changing landscape of independent pharmacy and the members also receive preferred rates because they are part of the Alphega Pharmacy network.


The key features of the app include:
  • Repeat Prescription Ordering – immediate access to over 8,000 GP surgeries (IM1 integration, NHS Email and Fax) for patient initiated ordering.
  • NHS Email ordering - available for patients in Wales or Scotland, or without an NHS Linkage Key.
  • Pharmacy chat – speak directly with customers through your online portal built into the app.
  • Service booking – patients are able to view the NHS and Private Services offered by the pharmacy and book appointments.
  • Broadcasting – send notifications / messages to all customers who use the app.

Other features include: online payments, ‘Carer’ mode allowing family members to manage medicines for their relatives, prescription tracking, real time patient messaging and co-branding opportunities to help re-inforce loyalty.


Raj Nutan, Head of Alphega Pharmacy UK said: “This is a great opportunity for our members to offer a first class digital experience to their patients.


The app provides a leading digital customer service offering to really drive retention, cultivate loyalty and grow additional revenue. Healthera are market leaders in this field and were an obvious choice for us to work with in developing the Alphega Pharmacy App. We are very excited to see how the app can really support our members and their patients.”


Quintus Liu, Chairman and CEO of Healthera said: “We are very happy to be working with Alphega Pharmacy as partners on this project. It’s great to see that Alphega Pharmacy realise the huge benefits of offering the patient app to their members, therefore driving the digital agenda in the field of independent pharmacy. As a business we have seen how the app can not only help support pharmacies drive revenue through dispensing volume growth, but also significant time savings in pharmacy of an average of around 105.5 hours per year via Rx orders going through the app rather than on the phone, emails or tokens***”


To find out more about the patient app, or about how Alphega Pharmacy can help Independent Pharmacy businesses call: 0203 044 8969 or email: 


Alliance Healthcare Marks National Customer Service Week

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.”


Alliance Healthcare and Alphega Pharmacy Announce Winner of the BPSA Business and Enterprise Competition

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.



Standing shoulder to shoulder

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.