Hopes for new pharmacy tenant as Lloyds closes on 'deprived' estate
Oxford City Council has already received an “expression of interest” to take on the lease of a Lloydspharmacy branch scheduled for closure, C+D has learned.
Lloydspharmacy confirmed to C+D on Wednesday (December 20) it is "in the process of closing" its branch on Blackbird Leys Road, Oxford, as one of the 190 “commercially unviable” locations where it will cease trading. "This is an ongoing process, therefore it’s too early to give any further details," the multiple added.
The pharmacy is leased by Lloydspharmacy from the city council, Labour councillor Linda Smith told C+D.
“They are able to give up the lease from the end of March, so that is what they are doing,” Ms Smith confirmed. “I believe the [pharmacy] will close at the end of January.”
Ms Smith explained that “someone who already provides pharmacy services in the city” has expressed interest in taking over the lease. She described this as “very encouraging”.
Closure is "major inconvenience"
Ms Smith stressed that the council is “working hard” to find a new tenant for the premises, and said “ideally” it would be another pharmacy.
“It is a vital service on the estate and it would be a major inconvenience when that chemist shuts,” Ms Smith said. She emphasised that local residents really value the “face-to-face advice” the pharmacy provides.
Residents would have “further to go” to reach another pharmacy, Ms Smith added. “The perception among residents is the closest one is already very busy and they are very stretched.”
Accessible healthcare “crucial”
However, Carol Trower, chief executive officer of local pharmaceutical committee Pharmacy Thames Valley, told C+D that Lloydspharmacy had “turned down an offer from a local contractor”, who was “interested in purchasing the contract”.
“We are concerned that there will be no pharmacy presence within the local shopping area,” Ms Trower said. “The population who use the current pharmacy will have to travel further for healthcare advice and prescriptions.”
She stressed that Blackbird Leys “is an area of deprivation” where “readily accessible healthcare is crucial to the community”.
Where else will Lloydspharmacy cease trading?
You can use C+D's map to view the location of each of the 20 locations where Lloydspharmacy has so far confirmed that it will cease trading. Branches confirmed for closure are marked in purple, while those Lloydspharmacy is still hoping to sell are marked in blue.
This map is live, and will be updated as C+D confirms the locations of further affected Lloydspharmacy branches.