Spotlight on Alitam member, Allesley Pharmacy.

For the epitome of futuristic pharmacy, look no further than Allesley Pharmacy in Coventry. Owned by local tour-de-force Gam Amar, who heads a team of 14, Allesley has been a linchpin of the community for over 35 years. But it’s Gam’s future-focus which sees it break all moulds and liberate patients from the shackles of what Gam refers to as ‘old world healthcare.’

Breaking free and powering ahead

The long list of innovations Gam employs is topped by his automated prescription service, Pharmaself24. Patients are free to pick up their prescription from a ‘vending machine’ any time of the day or night, and it’s a resounding success. “It extends our hours of access,” says Gam, “saving customers time and stress, and saving us time too.” Another popular introduction is the Healthera App, which enables customers to skip the calls, the queues and repeated visits to the GP. Gam’s commitment to providing ‘the gold standard in healthcare in the West Midlands’ is also evidenced by the 24-hour phoneline and the huge number of services he provides, previously only available through a GP. For example, free blood test clinics, ear irrigation clinics, a male health clinic and travel clinic among others. Allesley is one of the only pharmacies in the UK to offer the pneumonia jab.

“There’s a brave new world of healthcare out there,” says Gam,“ and pharmacists have the training, the technology and the trusted position in the community to enter it. As one of the only pharmacies in the West Midlands to actively push against the old order, it can sometimes feel as if I’m being brave. But when patients continually tell me how delighted they are, what a difference this is making to their everyday lives, it just feels natural,” he laughs

‘Nothing can stop us now’

Gam is no stranger to pioneering new ideas. He singlehandedly brought community blood testing to Coventry 10 years ago, in a drive incorporating 35 pharmacies and 16 GP surgeries. His initiative radically altered the blood testing landscape, which had been the preserve of GPs, and paved the way for even more GP-based services to be offered by his pharmacy. “People now realise they don’t have to struggle to access the healthcare they need from GPs or hospitals,” says Gam. “You can walk into a pharmacy, get the tests, vaccine or advice you need, with no wait and no parking charges.”

“Since joining Alitam, we’re able to capture even more of the territory traditionally held by GPs,” says Gam. “Now we’re underpinned by a vast knowledge bank and common drive. Being among likeminded people is incredibly liberating.”

Says Alitam founder Feisal Nahaboo, “The acuity of Gam’s vision is astonishing: he is building a futuristic pharmacy here and now. He is truly an inspiration to us all. Backed by the exceptional talent and vision of the Alitam executive management team, and working closely with the other UK and Ireland members, he is smashing through the old order and building the ‘Pharmacy of the Future’. One where healthcare is highly accessible, and delivered with care, right in the heart of the community.

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