Travel clinic

Barnton Pharmacy shares how their travel clinic was able to add value and boost revenue.

Barnton Pharmacy has been running a travel clinic in the Edinburgh suburbs for 18 months. Sally Arnison, Co-Owner of the pharmacy, says they realised that their fairly affluent location may lend itself to such a business opportunity. And they were right.

‘It has really grown this year, is giving us a healthy income and is still growing,’ she says. ‘The training costs are up front, but we did a business case and worked out that we could get the money back within six months. It actually turned out to be a bit earlier.’

They promoted the service within the pharmacy and on social media. They also approached local high schools, which proved to be an excellent source of business. They have so far accommodated the travel needs for a school trip to Kenya and 30 youngsters going to Venezuela.

‘We add value by offering a parent consultation too. And, though we offer a group discount, we make it back through link selling, which is very successful for us. We stock a range of travel accessories, such as mosquito nets, insect repellents and travel towels,’ says Sally.

The pharmacy charges a £15 consultation fee, which is refundable if vaccines are taken on the same day. Sally explains that the pharmacy found that it was receiving a number of phone calls from people looking for free advice on what they might need for travelling to certain parts of the world.

When Barnton Pharmacy started its travel clinic, others in the area were already providing a similar service, including general practices. But customers still came to them and, as word has spread, their numbers have increased. Sally believes that it is partly because of the convenience for customers. The two pharmacists share the travel clinic work, which enables them to see customers six days a week, rather than restricting it to set days and times.