Lloydspharmacy: We only adopt ‘part-closure policy’ where pharmacist cannot be secured
Lloydspharmacy only adopts a “part-closure policy” as a “last-resort” when a pharmacist cannot be “secured”, the multiple’s superintendent pharmacist has written in an exclusive blog for C+D.
Closing a pharmacy “for whatever period of time, is a last resort” for the multiple, Victoria Steele wrote in a blog for C+D, published today (August 10).
However, the difficulties Lloydspharmacy and “others in the sector” experience at present in terms of securing “skilled pharmacists” mean that the multiple is “currently facing a challenging time in opening up all of [its] pharmacies, all of the time”, Ms Steele added.
The part-closure policy
“Where we fail to secure a pharmacist, we have made a strategic decision to adopt a part-closure policy,” Ms Steele wrote.
The policy involves asking a pharmacist to open “one pharmacy in the morning, and another in the afternoon”, to avoid that a branch is closed for the whole day, Ms Steele explained.
A spokesperson clarified that the policy has not been introduced in response to the recent recruitment issues.
“This is the way we have always operated if we have had an emergency and how we contended with the first lockdown in March last year,” they said.
Ms Steele added in her blog that, while the policy ensures two communities have access to their pharmacy services, “it does have the disadvantage of our part-closure reporting being higher”.
Earlier this year, several people shared their concerns on Twitter, claiming that Lloydspharmacy was opting to provisionally close some of its branches rather than increase its locum pay rate to find pharmacist cover.
In a statement to C+D on March 29, a Lloydspharmacy spokesperson said that the multiple’s superintendent pharmacist “had investigated the complaints raised via social media” and was “satisfied” with the findings of the internal investigation.
In her blog for C+D, Ms Steele details how the multiple is working to make careers at Lloydspharmacy more attractive and points at the factors she believes are the root causes behind the current shortage of pharmacists.