The PDA will be supporting any members affected by the announcement made by Lloyds Pharmacy about potential pharmacy closures/changes of ownership.
Lloyds Pharmacy announced on 26 October that they intend to cease to trade in 190 pharmacies in England. This is likely to be achieved through a combination of selling branches to other pharmacies and closures. This is the first major closure announcement following government funding cuts to community pharmacy and we suspect that other companies are currently reconsidering the ongoing viability of their own pharmacy network.
The pharmacy sector said that widespread pharmacy closures would happen and now all those MPs who argued against these cuts in the many parliamentary debates on the subject have been proved to be correct.
Our immediate concerns will naturally be about the livelihoods and wellbeing of our members who find themselves in one of the affected pharmacies. Many employees will have certain statutory protections; however, we urge any affected PDA members to contact us so that we can advise them on their individual position and support them through the process. The PDA team includes experts in employment law so we can help with every aspect of such a change.
PDA will also be increasing our discussions about the impact of cuts for pharmacists and of course the impact on patients and their care. PDA have previously lobbied to discuss the potential impact of the pharmacy closures upon the public and consequences elsewhere in the health system.
PDA will ensure that members seeking our support get appropriate help to get the full benefit of their legal and contractual rights as specifics become clear and we’ll work appropriately with the company to find agreed solutions with our members whenever possible.
Mark Pitt, Director of Defence at PDA said “Our members are understandably concerned about this announcement. We are already hearing from those who expect to be directly affected and others who have worries about their branches. Once more details are known we will be able to help individuals with any specific concerns.
Pharmacists can be reassured that the PDA will help ensure that their employment rights are protected and they are treated fairly. Members should contact us for advice if they are affected by these closures.