Crimond Pharmacy has been a Numark member since they opened and are well known for their passion, commitment and dedication to the pharmacy profession. They certainly stand out from the crowd in many ways and continue to diversify their business and strive to deliver exceptional service to their local communities.
For the past six years they have be operating out of a portacabin pending development of their new all singing, all dancing pharmacy premises situated in the centre of Crimond, Aberdeenshire.
We spoke to pharmacy manager Lauren Duncan about the long awaited grand opening.
“The Crimond Medical Centre was a dispensing doctor’s practice up until 2011 when Sam Reid, owner and manager became involved in the opening of Crimond Pharmacy. A purpose built portacabin was set up in the car park of the GP surgery intended to serve as the pharmacy for two years until we moved into the new medical centre and community hub however due to many delays we spent six years in the portacabin until our move finally happened in September this year.
“The new Medical Centre and Community Hub is located just along the road from our old premises on the outskirts of the village. During the weekend of our move staff and their families knuckled down to pack up the old premises and relocate to our new shop. Our new front shop was stocked up over several weeks before hand with the girls working over and above their normal hours to get it done prior to the opening.
“After a busy weekend of relocating we opened to the public on Monday 4th of September. On the 8th we held an “open day” where we had balloons, cupcakes, coffee, a free prize draw and did a cutting of the ribbon. We had a great turn out and it was a fantastic day.
“We faced a few challenges in our temporary premises – dispensing between 6000-7000 items a month in such a small space was challenging at times as there was very limited space for excess stock, limited worktops for dispensing/making up dosette boxes etc. We made do with what we had at the time but it wasn’t until we were in our new shop that we wondered how on earth we ever managed!
We didn’t have a front shop in the portacabin just a small back wall of OTC products – this wasn’t ideal as there is such a wide range of products we would have loved to have stocked but we could only stock the most popular items requested by patients. Now we have a big front shop with a wide range of health and personal care products.
“Since our move we have been much busier – the girls have coped so well and everyone has involved themselves in the new roles and responsibilities. Our customers are full of praise for the new centre; it’s such a great thing for a small village. It includes the medical centre, the pharmacy, a café, gym, beautician and CLAN cancer support rooms. It’s just great and has been busy since the day we opened – our customers love having a shop to look round or go for a coffee as they wait for their prescriptions.
“We have a purpose built consultation room which is ideal for providing services such as smoking cessation, blood pressure and urine testing, flu vaccination EHC and pregnancy testing amongst a wide range of other services.
“The GPs don’t relocate to the new centre until November and we were concerned this would be an issue for some patients being used to everything in the one place – however they have dealt with it very well and we’ve had no issues so far.
“I have worked for the Buchanhaven Pharmacy Ltd company since 2004 when I was 15 and took on a Saturday job in the Peterhead shop alongside Sam. I went to RGU in 2007 and graduated with my Masters in 2011. I then did my pre-reg year at Buchanhaven before coming out to work as the pharmacist in Crimond in 2012. Buchanhaven Pharmacy Ltd are shareholders in Crimond Pharmacy.
“I love my job and am so thankful I’ve been given the chance to work in such a great new premises. I enjoy providing services such as blood pressure and diabetes testing, as I like providing a ‘hands on’ service to our patients. I am also currently carrying out polypharmacy reviews of our dosette box and CMS patients at the GP surgery which I really enjoy.
“I hope our new premises will attract more patients and our consultation room will encourage patients to take advantage of the range of services available. I plan to do my independent prescribing course January next year and having this will also let me provide even more services to patients which I’m really looking forward to. It’s an ever changing industry so it’s important we keep up to date with new products and services.”
Fundraising and local events
Manager and owner of Buchanhaven Pharmacies Ltd. Sam Reid and her team also do some incredible work for charity, more recently raising funds for Stoke Scotland following a member of Sam’s team devastatingly suffering a stroke at the age of 29.
“Ashley had worked for us since I bought the business back in 2004. Last year in November she had a stroke totally out of the blue when her new baby was just around a year old.
“She struggled hard with her thought processes when she tried to return to work a few months later and I think the call of a her new baby led to the difficult decision for her to resign.
“We decided to start fundraising for Stroke Scotland in 2017. Amongst other activities we’ve hosted a week long bake sale, held raffles, book sales, made and sold jam, chutney and lemon curd – you name it we’ve done it.
“Crimond chose to partner with CLAN – a local cancer support group. The pharmacies have an activity on the go all the time – it’s given us a real buzz! Customers have knitted and dressed dolls, donated hampers, bottles of whisky, knotted toys, loads of books and even the shelves to display them on!
“The big event by far was the sky dive. Ashley went along with the girls for moral support and six of our staff threw themselves out of a plane! To date we have raised just short of £5000 which is incredible. Our customers have been so supportive as they all loved and miss Ashley very much.
“I’m incredibly proud of my team for all their achievements, not only with their fundraising efforts but how they pulled together to make our recent relocation such a success”
“We’ve been Numark members since buying our very first pharmacy around 13 years ago now.
“Mostly we use them for staff training and own brand product but more recently we have utilised the insurance too. We regularly use their advice lines too for business and personnel support.”