Pharmacy chain gives digital special treatment

Chris Ellett

Pharmacy chain gives digital special treatment

National pharmacy chain Well have launched a brand-new start-up team, ‘Well Digital’, as part of the programme to establish themselves as leaders in the digital pharmacy space.

Based at the company headquarters in Manchester city centre, the team’s vision is to bring pharmacy into the digital era and pioneer new digital healthcare businesses. 

The initial focus will be on creating new services to appeal to their diverse customer base, and developing innovative tools to enhance operations.

With 800 shops nationwide, Well are the largest independent chain of pharmacies. Chris Ellett, Director of Transformation at Well, said:

“Pharmacies have ignored the digital era for too long. It’s time to embrace it. To use technology to help people and improve healthcare in ways we never thought possible.

“Over the past 70 years, the world’s moved. Since the 1940s, when Well started, the local pharmacist has been a fixture on your corner and in your community.

“So what does ‘digital’ mean in our world? 

“In 2017, we live our lives online and our expectations as consumers have radically changed thanks to disruptive services like Amazon, Uber and Airbnb.  However, the pharmacy sector is lagging when it comes to digitisation and the patient experience hasn’t dramatically changed since the Internet and mobile technology became commonplace.

“Part of my role is to modernise our business to meet and exceed the standards our customers have come to expect in other areas of their lives.  We’ve recently made a significant investment in technology to improve efficiency for our pharmacy teams, and now we need an industry-leading digital operation to support this”.

“I joined Well from Co-op, where I was working with Mike Bracken and his team. They taught me a lot about being agile, open and user focused. In fact, it’s fair to say Co-op Digital inspired us to start Well Digital.”

Well Digital have created a dedicated blog and Twitter account to document their transformation journey in a transparent and interactive way, encouraging two-way communication with colleagues and customers.  The company are actively recruiting to expand the digital team through these channels, which go live on Tuesday 23rd May.