In conversation with Bipin Patel of Broadway Pharmacy.

Embracing change has been the constant in Bipin Patel’s 38 years as owner of Broadway Pharmacy, Bexleyheath. His personal philosophy of always improving in increments has yielded remarkable results for his patients’ health; as he counsels them on making small behavioural adjustments to help with weight loss, giving up smoking and addressing many health challenges. “I tell my patients to have faith in the process,” says Bipin. “When you make a small improvement, you might not notice any difference, but you’re adding to the scale of change. Then suddenly the pendulum swings, and people are delighted to see results.”

Built on a foundation of care

“While I believe in change, our service is built on knowledge, confidence and old fashioned values of care,” smiles Bipin. “We’ve looked after fathers, sons and now their grandchildren; we know people really well and patients trust us completely.” Bipin’s pharmacy is deeply embedded in the community, wherever his store needs to be. “When circumstances change, we change too,” explains Bipin. “I’ve relocated twice in response to new developments on the Broadway; by putting ourselves in the right place we ensure we’re there for customers.” Bipin further positions himself at the heart of his community by speaking at the Local Pensioners’ Forum and chairing his local LPC branch. “Taking a little time to show people what you do, and exchanging information, is worth its weight in gold.”

‘The team is the key’

Bipin is fulsome in his praise of his staff. “They are key,” he enthuses, “we have a diverse range of ages, ethnicities, backgrounds – which means we bring so much experience to our working life. I credit them with almost all our success, because no matter what I do or say, without my team behind me I am nothing.” In return Bipin’s team rewards him with tremendous loyalty. “I have a very low turnover of staff, which again inspires confidence in our customers. One member has been with us for over 28 years.”

Alitam: the ultimate team

Bipin’s inclination for teamwork feeds into his passion for Alitam. “As soon as the concept was introduced, I could see the benefits,” says Bipin. “For the first time, we have top clinicians learning from each other, developing our skills and making improvements – big and small. We can add to our clinical services, learn what’s best practice in all areas, increase our efficiency and strengthen our relationship with customers through technology. I’ve seen how our app can enhance that relationship, enabling us to keep in touch with customers and follow up on things. With Alitam this is going to be taken so much further. It’s so exciting, we’re going to develop at a rate of knots.”

Bipin is enjoying collaborating with his Alitam peers. “We all have different experiences and skills, and already we are learning from each other in small ways. But this in itself leads to major improvements. By pulling together, learning about and implementing adjustments, we will build something very powerful.”

And for Bipin the endgame is always better patient care. “We’re here to make a change in people’s lives. There’s nothing more satisfying than a glowing review, or a patient telling you that you made a difference to something they were struggling with. Our instincts are based on years of experience of being on the ‘frontline’ of healthcare. One elderly patient asked for cough medication, for example. However the picture didn’t seem right so I told him to see his GP. Six months’ later I heard that the doctor had detected a shadow on his lung, the man was treated and went on to live another six years. This is the difference a pharmacy can make, and it’s what we’re here to do.”

Feisal Nahaboo, Alitam Founder says, “The superlative level of care offered by Bipin and his team is astonishing. His understanding of the benefits of continual improvement are in perfect alignment with Alitam values. I know with Alitam he will provide even greater support to his community and enhance many more lives.”

Bipin adds, “There’s such huge momentum behind Alitam. Very soon the pendulum will swing and knock the pharmacy world for six.”